For the Garden: Ideas for Making Plant Markers

Do you take pride in your garden, admiring the tender plants as they come up, envisioning the produce that will grow? Most gardeners do, but one problem that arises is marking the garden rows. Every gardener wants to be able to identify what’s growing, in which spot, and so here are a few fun and unique ideas for plant markers that will spruce up the garden.

Broken china: An article at the Just Organize Yourself blog carried a number of cute ideas for plant markers, and I followed the link there to Esther Coombs’ Etsy Shop, which offered a novel garden idea. Take pieces of broken dishes, smooth the edges (making sure there are no sharp points that poke when you lean over to weed) and mark plant names on the plate pieces. Use a marker that works well on ceramic and won’t wash off. (Coombs uses ceramic ink and re-fires the pieces, but that might be more complex than some gardeners would want). If you’re talented, draw on flowers or vegetables to match, then let dry and glue the plate to a wooden stake. Talk about cute! Or, if there are no broken dishes on hand, order them ready made from Coombs.

Slats from old blinds: You’ve probably pulled slats out of wide-slatted window blinds before in order to shorten the blinds to the right length, and then saved the extra slats thinking, “Just in case.” Now’s the time to use them in the garden instead of letting them clutter up the closet or garage! AC contributor, Nannette Richford, had a great idea for using old blinds in the garden, and here’s a summary of her method: Cut the slats 6-8 inches long and trim one end on each to a point. Use indelible markers to write plant names. If you’re artistic, paint the entire marker with a base coat, and then draw scenes that include specific garden plants and garden insects. Naturally, just the good bugs, though! When dry, seal with a clear acrylic sealer to preserve, especially if you’ve painted scenes or would like to use the slats for more than one garden season.

Scrap wood: It’s easy to find scrap wood at very little cost, or even for free, to use in the garden. Ask at home improvement stores, hardware stores, constructions sites, garden centers, or even check with the neighbors, who may have weathered wood on hand. Trim the wood to 6 inch lengths and sharpen each at one end. Paint plant names on using glow-in-the-dark paint, which will make it so fun on those warm, summer evenings when you sit outside admiring the garden … listening to a symphony of night sounds as each plant slumbers in the dark.

Driftwood: For those who live near the ocean, driftwood gives a ready supply of interesting wood to use in the garden. Pick up small driftwood pieces and allow them to totally dry. Sand lightly to give a sheen and then paint the names on them in ocean compatible colors. Another great looking method on driftwood is to use an inexpensive woodburning kit (find one at a yard sale or borrow one from a neighborhood kid) and burn the plant names onto the wood. Seal with shellac for a nice, warm finish.

Every garden needs plant markers, but not every garden will look as spiffy as yours with a set of made-just-by-you markers. And you might want to include a signature on them, just in case a neighbor likes them so much he/she wants to borrow them for a day … or longer.

Other articles by this author:
Growing Tomatoes: Are You Getting a Great Harvest from Your Tomato Plants?
Recycle Berry and Tomato Baskets: Green Uses for Plastic Fruit and Vegetable Baskets

Nannette Richford, “How to Make Plant Markers from Old Venetian Blinds,” Yahoo! Contributor Network.
Esther Coombs’ Etsy Shop
Joy, “Clearing up the Confusion,”