I don’t usually bother with plant tags. I hate plastic in the garden, so the tags that come with plants are not an option for me. Besides, I keep those in a binder so I can occasionally flip through them and mourn the vast number of plants I’ve managed to kill.
As for the metal ones, I always, always manage to trip over them, mangle them, occasionally slice open a leg on them. And given that the Fraudulent Farmstead is not a botanic garden, mostly I just don’t bother.
But I do like to label the plants in the front garden. Those vegetables often look a lot alike when they first start coming up.
So I decided to create cheap, DIY plant tags whose names would not be likely to run, bleed, or completely wear off by the end of the season.
I bought a bunch of silverware at a garage sale. It was rusty and pitted, and $5 for about 5 pounds of knives and fork. SCORE.
(Silverware in the kitchen garden. Revel in the synchronicity.)
I used a spongy sanding thing to scrub the rust and any shellac/varnish off the knives. I’m sure the spongy sanding thing has a name, but I bought it about seven years ago to clean gunk off my pruner blades, and I’ve slept since then.
I wanted to use a grease pencil, but I couldn’t get one at either of the two craft stores I tried. So I settled for a paint pen. Not a Sharpie, because that ink fades like crazy.
So I wrote the plant names on the handles of the knives, then stabbed them into the ground.
Total time invested: 15 minutes.
Total cost: $5 for knives, about $3 for paint pen. (I did eventually find a china marker, so if the paint pen wears off, I’ll try the china marker next time.)