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gixxerific
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Reusing plant labels

Reusing plant labels.

I bought tags from Lowe's the past few years. They all have writing on at least one side many both sides. I came up with a crazy idea to soak a bunch in bleach water over the winter to see if they would clean up. After a few weeks I kept looking at the container thinking this is futile. The writing was still there and dark. I just left them there all winter.

Today I was taking them out to actually spray paint them white as I have done to a few others as a test (which also works). ;) Seeing as I could still see writing on the tags in the bottle. Well while rinsing the bleach water off the writing came off, i was upset at first cause some of it was still there, mainly the paint marker, but with a single gentle swipe it was gone. The Sharpie ink came off much easier than the paint marker, I very much suggest getting paint markers for labels. It will not fade. (Well unless you soak them in strong bleach for several month's.) :P

A VERY VERY faint reminder is on a few of them but all in all they look brand new.

Score one of recycling. :idea:) :flower:

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applestar
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Good idea! ...especially since you're going to need them all :()

DoubleDogFarm
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But, at what cost? Now you have bleach to deal with. Will it be used in a load of laundry?

Eric

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gixxerific
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:But, at what cost? Now you have bleach to deal with. Will it be used in a load of laundry?

Eric
Right now it is being used to clean the rest of the labels. It will be kept until this fall and used again. It is in a sealed container so it should keep.

What am I doing wrong now! And what would you suggest? -wall-

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digitS'
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applestar wrote:Good idea! ...especially since you're going to need them all :()
Yeah :wink: .

I don't know all the names of these sorts of things. Paint markers - pens - ?

Anyway, after disasters with plastic labels and using "permanent" markers in the garden, I bought some pens from Johnny's Seed. (Marks-a-lot ink will fade to nothing in the full sun :? .)

Wanting to reuse some of the plastic labels in following years - I tried rubbing alcohol. Since then, I've learned that there is alcohol in some ink. I guess that's true with the pens I have. I bought pens from Harris Seed last year and it is the same with them. Quick!

I've used alcohol on another ink - tho' I can't remember what it was. It didn't work. One thing: The plastic labels themselves will only last 2 seasons for me. Then they break.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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ElizabethB
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I made tags from a milk bottle using a grease pencil. Works ok for me.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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gixxerific
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Digits look at a craft store for paint pens. They are well as the nam inplies pen with paint in them. :lol: They will not fade. At least in the first year they will fade eventually I'm sure.

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digitS'
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ElizabethB wrote:I made tags from a milk bottle using a grease pencil. Works ok for me.
You know, I can't find grease pens any more! I guess I'd have to order them special.

Twenty years ago, I used Popsicle sticks and grease pens. Probably about the last time I was in a craft store - looking for popsicle sticks :wink: .

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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ElizabethB
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Also like popsicle sticks. G likes sugar free popsicles for a snack. Grease pencil, paint pen, nail polish, sharpee, marker, craft paint all work. I was looking for something to make plant labels from this am. No empty milk jug. Found a Solo cup in the pantry. The grease pencil did not do so well on the rough surface. Out came the nail polish. I only need initials - not full names (JP - jalapeno peppers, RB - red Bell so on and so on). In addition to milk jugs, popsicle sticks and Solo cups I am thinking yogurt cups, margarine tubs anything around the house that you can cut and write on.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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ElizabethB
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OMG :lol: I just had a brain storm :!: There is an old mini blind gathering dust in G's shop. Plant labels here we come :!:
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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hendi_alex
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When using a sharpie, alcohol removes the old ink pretty easily. Since I've quit keeping up with varieties, I can just reuse the original labels from year to year.

The labels read:
Small tomato
determinate
black tomato mix
plum tomato
jalapeno
sweet bell
etc.

There is no need to label lots of things like egg plant, as they are pretty obvious after sprouting.

All packs of seeds are now mixtures.
Asian cucumbers
Pickling cucumbers
arugula
lettuce mix

Makes things way easier, and all of them taste equally good to me!
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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shadylane
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I have had troubles with the white plastic plant markers breaking, so I started to use the copper lables that you press a pen into the copper and make a engraved lable name, they come with a wire loop to stick into the ground. Best of all they stay in tack. The copper changes to a dull penny look but I know where the plants are.

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hendi_alex
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Plastic ones will get weak if left in the hot sunshine all summer, plus the ink tends to fade. I've started putting my markers on the north side of plants and under the shade of their canopy, pushed fairly deeply into the soil. The markers now last for several years..
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

imafan26
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The new plant labels are a lot thinner than before and do not last long at all.
I do cut up old vertical blinds and I use a lot of plastic knives. They last a long time and it is cheaper to buy or recycle knives from take out than to buy labels.

I do use china markers (grease pens). They are usually stocked in the stores in the beginning of the school year and then I load up on them. I wish I could get more colors. Otherwise sometimes the stationery and art supply stores have them.

I don't like to use sharpies on labels. They fade and become useless. I use a number 2 pencil. Pencil lasts longer in the sun than sharpies :D

In the days when labels were thicker, I could scrub the labels with ajax or sandpaper to get the old writing off. I even used white out on the labels to write on them again. It is not worth doing that with the thin labels though. :)
Last edited by imafan26 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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hendi_alex
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Perhaps I don't use as many labels as most gardeners. I've used about $8 worth in the past 15-20 years. So for me is such a minor consideration.

I did give a good bit of consideration for more permanent applications, and chose to use soft aluminum labels that last for many, many years. They are produced by Amekron Products and are sold under the brand 'Impress-O-Tags'. The tags come with an aluminum twist tie, and they are great for labeling trees and shrubs, but attached to a stick or spike, could be used for any kinds of plants. I really like these permanent tags which can be written on with any pointed device. The aluminum has a soft inner core and embosses very easily. These are extremely permanent markers.


They can be found at many sites on the internet.
https://www.amekron.com/norderNow.html
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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LA47
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For perinnials, shrubs and trees I use some scraps of coil stock left from our house remodeling. It is powder-coated white and cuts easily. Then I use an electric tool engraver to write the name on the tag. I've heard of cutting a soda can in strips. It is so thin you can write the plant name on it and it will indent the name but I'm clumsy enough I figured I'd be able to buy some really fancy tags with the money I'd save in NOT having my finger stitched back on! When I plant my veggies out I use wood stakes if I plant more than one variety. The plastic tags are only used for starting plants in the house so they last a little longer.
High Altitude Gardener zone 4B or 5A

imafan26
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I had those soft aluminum and copper tags before. I did use them on my permanent plants.

For plants I am trying out like different varieties of tomatoes, eggplant, or flowers I just use one label for the tray. Sometimes I do want to shoot myself especially with the tomatoes and peppers if I plant multiple varieties and they get mixed up. Then I have mystery tomatoes. :oops:
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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