organizing in my garden

ronbreApril 7, 2009

I'm always losing plants..physically..dont' know where i planted what (plastic spoons and popsicle sticks just don't get it..animals carry them off..etc)

And plants die and I can't remember what they were.

So for the first time ever I bought permanent zinc plant markers..and they came today..all 100 of them !!!!

they are 1 1/2 " wide and 3 1/2 " long and up on 11 " double wires little signs..they have semi permanent pecils that come with them..but I'm thinking PAINT..I want to paint the info on them with oil paint..and then seal it..

maybe i'll get around to it..i was also thinking paint PENS..which would be even easier.

I'll put them on my shopping list..

I have ordered dozens of fruit and nut trees as well as berry bushes to start arriving soon..and my biggest worry was that my labels wouldn't get here in time..but they were in there styrofoam peanut laden box..(what to do with those ??)..anyway..they have arrived..i think a quick trip to a craft store is in store for some beautiful markers..for beautiful labels on my new zinc permanent labels..don't you?

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I agree that permanent paint, possibly sealed with a clear coat of something,
would ensure that your markers stay intact in the elements.

let us know how you end up doing on your garden organization.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 9:21AM
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About those peanuts--I heard that you can put a layer of them at the bottom of huge pots; helps drainage and keeps the pot lighter so you may be able to move it.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 12:56AM
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Marge's tip certainly does work with the pots--but make sure you never ever have to dump the dirt out. What a mess........

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 8:53AM
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i don't do pots outside, except indoor ones going out for a i don't have the patience to water all those pots every day.

i used the grease pencils that came with them but then bought a paint marker which makes wider lines and should be more permanent..which i like better..have 80 markers out of the 100 already used on new fruit and nut trees and bushes and grapes and stuff that have come..or are on order

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 11:25AM
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I know this is a post about zinc gardening labels, but alisande's post about peanuts being a mess at the bottom of a container prompts me to say this...put the peanuts in a plastic bag first! It's much easier to deal with and reusable too.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 3:04PM
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I buy a fair amount of stuff on-line or from catalogs. I save up packing peanuts in a big plastic bag. When it gets full I take it to my local shipping company. They are happy to re-use them.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 4:23PM
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Besides losing plants, I have a hard time remember what is what during the winter time when I want to clean up or change things. What we started doing a few years ago was take digital photos when the plants are both dormant and in bloom, print the photos on plain paper, hand label the plants on the photos and place it into a three ring binder. This also helps when we add new plants and want to see if the color works together or if the plant height is appropriate.

"Sean McDonagh Racing"

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 4:49PM
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as for the box of shipping peanuts, i sold a clock and shipped it in the it is gone.
I'm glad most people don't use those anymore, I can't ever find places to recycle styrofoam.
as for the garden, I really do love those labels..i have started useing them and they are really a great easy to see and read, my husband having a closed head injury (disabled) can easily read them and he has commented on them several times as being a good idea.

As for the plant photo journals..I have always kept those..i keep the photo and tag and also all the catalog information..I also go through my garden books (i haven hudnreds) and i write down anything I think I should know like when to take cuttings, the photo.

Funny also today..i went through all my online photographs and labeled all my flowers and plants on my photograps..with their given names..i grouped them in my photo online album in categories like "daylillies" "hollyhocks" "iris" "shade garden plants"..etc..My reason for doing this today was I bought a new chameocyparis that is gold leaved and short like a mop head..and I wanted to look through my photos to decide the best placement for it..then got hooked into the labelling..did it for hours.

I have way way way too many garden journals..i have pre fire and post fire and pre Joel moving and giving him land and post..having to move all my stuff off the land for his house..

I need to go through and decide what pertinent things and notes..i want to keep and what can be shredded i have dozens and dozens..mostly all outdated since the fire and the move..some plants i saved and they survived so I need to keep their information..but so much has long since gone good thing..going through and labeling what i have on newer me a better idea of what was still alive and blooming in my garden since the fire and moves..onward and upward

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 7:47PM
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It's been nearly a month since your last post so this is a little late . . . but my suggestion for the zinc garden markers is to use a Brother label maker and the "TZ" tapes. These tapes are weather/fade resistant and will last for YEARS in the garden in the sun, rain, dirt, etc. On a white background they are very readable from a distance, with the clear tapes they don't stand out as much if you want them to be not quite as noticeable.

I have tried permanent marker (Sharpie), but it fades in just one or two seasons, the carbon pencils rub off if the marker ends up buried under dirt or leaves. I've had the Brother labels out in the garden for 6+ years.

Also, I sink the markers pretty far into the ground otherwise they always seem to work their way out (weather and critters are the culprits).

If the plant was a gift or I want to record additional information, I'll put another label on the back with that info.

Your garden sounds beautiful!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 12:16AM
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Oooh, Jane, you've just given me an excuse to buy a label maker! I've been wanting one for ages, but didn't really have enough uses to justify the purchase. I, too, tried writing on my zink marker with a Sharpie, and had the same result.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 9:47PM
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Organizing in my garden means remembering to de-clutter. I bite off more projects than I can handle and tend to "collect" materials for them--rocks, or bamboo for stakes; empty pots and planter, trying to decide what goes where; general plant debris, raking. Buying too many new plants and not getting them all planted.

So I have to remember to take a hard, realistic look at various areas and simply remove what doesn't belong there; set aside time for cleaning up and neatening up and not just the more fun stuff.

Like house organizing, this approach also reminds me to ask, is this area too high-maintenance for me right now? Am I trying to do too many things? So can try to simplify and enjoy more.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 12:48PM
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I have a label maker but do not know what the TZ tapes are..our stores have a very limited amount of refills for the label maker..probably a better source somewhere online..i agree, that labels printed would look better..maybe i'll find the tapes for next most are labeled already for this year..i still have about 30 labels left..i love the zinc labels..they stand up nicely and are easy to read..and see..but i do know that a label printed would be even easier..will look for TZ whatever that is.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 7:57PM
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I also use my Brother Label Maker and the TZ tapes--white with black letters--on my zinc plant labels. Some have been on the markers for 8 years--none have ever faded or come off the plate.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 4:06PM
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Another testimony to Brother & TZ tapes. Mine markers have be out there for almost 10 years and are still fine. I like them because you can put more info on them and have them still readable. My own hand printing is too large and hard to read from a distance.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 9:02AM
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I can identify most plants year round, but I like to label my daylilies with the variety names, so that I know where they are even when not in flower. (Ditto irises.)

At one time, I bought some thin plastic plant stakes. I wrote on them with a graphite pencil. The sun faded the words. It was very hard to see what I had written only a year or two ago. Except for the parts that were underground.

My next try was with stout plastic knives. They have to be light colored for this to work. I tried to find a box of just plastic knives in a store. I looked all over. I just wanted the knives, no forks or spoons. I ended up stealing knives from Wendy's. I took a few extra every time I visited. I have a handful of them now.

I write on the blade of the knife with a Sharpie marker. Then I stuff it into the ground, right near a main stem. If I ever want to know which variety is which, I just pull up the knife and have a look.

I have only been doing this for about two years, and my writing is just as crisp as the day I first wrote it onto the knife.

Just recently, I realized that I could mark seedlings in the veggie garden this way, and re-use the knives from one year to the next. 'Til now, I have been drawing a diagram of what I planted where.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 5:13PM
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I just put the info on the back side, which is slanted down, and that way the sun doesn't bleach it out. :)


    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 10:27PM
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