Thursday, May 13, 2010

Plant Label Fail

The problem with those plastic plant labels/tags that come stuck in the pot with the plant is that they have several drawbacks. They fade over time rendering the tag useless as the printing has magically disappeared. Chickens like to eat them. They can blow away. They're rather unsightly.

My hens devoured the portion of this label which tells the plant name. Fortunately I could remember this one: Polish Spirit Clematis.

There is a plus side, however. Lazy folks, such as myself, can just jab the label down into the earth by the transplanted plant, and voila! 'Tis marked! Years later, however, when we want to remember what was that plant I planted there, well, there's no way of telling (see above).

For years I relied on those markers because I really didn't have any other means to mark my plants. My recent chicken acquisition has made me re-think the way I mark my plants because, you see, my chickens simply adore eating those plastic plant labels. I've lost track of countless plants now because the girls have either eaten the entire label, or they've eaten just enough so as to remove the name of the plant, or they've scratched the label out of the ground and the wind has blown it into Oz, or some other obscure place that I can't seem to find.

Aluminum plant labels--a more permanent solution

Enter: aluminum plant labels! Our nurseryman friend gave me a handful of aluminum plant labels with little wires that can be twisted around a stem or branch, and the label stays on the plant for eternity. I defy any chicken to eat these labels!

Newly-planted azalea with its nifty aluminum label (which looks huge, but only because it's in the foreground!)

Now, when I get a new plant, it gets marked immediately so that when I'm old and senile (oh wait, that's NOW!) I'll know what I've got.

Close-up of the aluminum plant label showing how the words get "pressed" into the label with a pen or pencil

A pen or pencil is used to write on the aluminum which etches/scratches the wording right into the label. There's nothing to wear off or fade. Genius. I write the year that I'm planting the plant, where I got it, and of course the plant's name.

1 comment:

  1. Visiting from Inadvertent Farmer and absolutely LOVE these labels. I have used the aluminum labels that you stake into the ground and write on with a special black pencil before, but that wears off over time. This is a much more permanent solution. I'll have to check my local nursery. Thanks for sharing!