Hate it when this happens!

vera_eastern_wa(5a-5b)April 29, 2014

I have a container of winter-sown (spring-sown actually) sprouts that were labeled with a sharpie and now all are faded away! It is one of those containers that is about 12" x 12" and 2.5" deep and so several different rows of seeds were sown and individually labeled. ACK!!!! Let the guessing games begin LOL!

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Vera, your not the only one. Normally, I'm really careful but with school I fell behind and took some short cuts. Now I'm paying for it, as the tape labels fell off or faded. Lesson learned.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:47PM
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terrene(5b MA)

After trying a Sharpie, paint pen, assorted markers, and discovering that they either fade or are impossible to erase, now I just use a regular pencil on the plant tags. It lasts longer than the tag does, and I can more or less erase the pencil and re-use the marker if I want to.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 7:22PM
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I use a # system for my jugs; therefore if the ink fades I go back to the document to find out what I planted. But a lot of times I'm not always accurate. It is fun to post 'Identify this'? A lot of gardener's are so knowledgeable, so it is a good thing.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:02AM
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I bought a plastic bottle of colored toothpicks from Amazon. With six colors and one or two toothpicks per plant or per row, you can get (I think) 27 different non repeating combinations. I keep the notes that say what one red is, or what a red/blue is (and so on) in the seed box. They're small, unobtrusive and can be left in the sprouting soil, the peat pellet, the ground, a plastic jug, whatever you want.

Not good on glass!

Since I only need to identify a few things (not 27!) there's usually no frequent need to look up a toothpick.

edit: can't spell to save my life...

This post was edited by cold_weather_is_evil on Wed, Apr 30, 14 at 0:20

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:18AM
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Yes....I used to scratch numbers into containers too when I used mostly recycled containers from butter, sour cream, etc., but couldn't really really get good scratches on this clear container. Also it doesn't work so well on greenhouse pony packs and I use those quite a bit.
Noticed a few other container labels have faded as well....sharpie on tape....but those I'm pretty sure I"ll recognize once first true leaves have emerged.
Love the toothpick idea....pretty dang clever!!


    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:50AM
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I use short lengths of old vinyl blinds that I cut up and then mark with pencil. They last all winter and can be erased and re-used. One blind gave me hundreds of plant markers!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 4:09PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I use mini blinds too. They usually last a few seasons. UNLESS they are put in the ground and get lost or mangled such as when the tree workers tromped through my daylily bed dragging brush recenlty. The ground was frozen so the plants were mostly okay, but some of the plants tags got broken and strewn about. This isn't helpful because I can hardly remember which daylily is which and which seedlings were planted where!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 5:57PM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

I use mini blinds and a paint pen. They last forever. Every spring I gather up a bunch of them from the tomato garden -- I mark the varieties so I know which ones I like and which produce best, etc. And for less than $4 for one set of blinds, you get lots and lots of tags. On my third year with one set and plenty left.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 6:44AM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

Sharpie has Industrial markers, too.Tags labeled with them have not faded for me. 'Regular' Sharpies definitely have faded. I'm only using the Industrial ones in the garden from now on. Mine came in a 3 pack from the local Staples store.

Here is a link that might be useful: Industrial Sharpie

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 7:37AM
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Years ago my 1st year w'sowing, I found a pen specifically used for greenhouse labeling....not bothered by moisture, etc. I started sowing as early as October and all labels remained intact until I didn't need them no more! I can't remember where I even got it :O


    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:04AM
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I love the metallic plumber's tape. One roll easily marks my whole season's containers, and doesn't fade.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:50PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I use a combination of the metallic tape and a Sharpie paint pen. Neither have ever faded or been lost.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 10:04AM
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Lee Valley had some garden markers that lasted FOREVER. I still have a couple, but I see they don't sell them anymore. :O( So sad.

Hope you get some lovely surprises!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 9:48AM
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Last year, mine faded also, so this year I only used milk jugs and tied different colors of yarn on the handles and made a list of what was planted in each container.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 5:30PM
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ellenr22 - NJ - Zone 6b/7a

I bought a paint pen once, but found out it is carcinagenic. - so check your supplies.
Pencil works for me too.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 8:50AM
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Me too! I have a huge flat that I can't remember what the heck it is and the markings on the tag have faded. I'll just plant them and see what happens!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 1:39PM
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I think I will get a china marker & try that to see if it lasts. We used to use them at work for something - can't recall what- and seems like they were fairly sturdy.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 4:25PM
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smarmyclothes(6a Kalamazoo, MI)

I did a dumb thing last year and put my first labels on the lids of my containers- so once I took the lids off and tossed them in a pile... oops. Luckily I was a paranoid newbie and labelled the sides of the containers, too.

Even so, I used paint pen on duct tape and some of the duct tape wanted to unstick. So this year I did popsicle sticks labeled with ball point pen. If you press hard enough with the pen, it leaves an indent in the wood. Even if the ink washes away, you can usually still read the imprint.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 3:10PM
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