We’ve seen many instances where people have had trouble with labeling their outdoor plants. It would seem like a simple enough issue, but weather has a habit of washing away even our best efforts. And many of us have come to realize the hard way that permanent marker is only permanent indoors. Then, there are weather-proof labels you can purchase. But in today’s economy, everyone is looking to avoid buying what they don’t have to. Perhaps saving that little bit on labels will mean you can buy some extra seeds. With little to no investment, you can create weather-proof labels for your outdoor plants using our preferred method.
To start, all you will need is a written or typed label listing your plant type, a 2 x 2 polyethylene zipper baggie and some clear packing tape. If you bought your seeds from World Seed Supply, you most likely just need the seed packet and some tape. We typically ship our smaller seed counts in 2 x 2 polyethylene bags with little tags that depict the species. Larger seed counts will come in larger bags. So in this case, or if you obtained seeds elsewhere, you may need to acquire smaller bags. A considerably larger bag may work, but it may also create an environment that allows more moisture to gather inside. Moisture is the enemy. If you do not already have a tag with your seed variety, you can easily make one by writing in ink or by printing one out on the computer. Just aim to keep the print to a length that is no more than 1.5”.
At this point, you should have the three required supplies. The rest is pretty simple. Take a 3” piece of clear packing tape and place it sticky-side-up with the two shorter sides at the top and the bottom (just as you would place a sheet of looseleaf when writing). Place the label at the top edge of the tape. Average packing tape is 2”, so if you kept your print length to around 1.5”, none of it will hang off the edges. The print can be up or down. Fold the label on the tape end-over-end so that you are laminating the label with the packing tape. Keep folding until you’ve use up the whole length of tape. Now, place the laminated label inside the 2 x 2 polyethylene zipper baggie. Tape completely over the opening of the bag with the packing tape so that there is no way water could get in. You can now tape this onto your pots right under the rim where it will be most hidden from the rain. For plants already in the garden, you can tape these onto anything such as a flat rock or a piece of wood and place it in the vicinity of the plants you are trying to identify.
In our experience, these weather-proof plant labels have worked very well. They have stood the test of some pretty intense downpours. But if you still want to be on the safe side, it may be a good idea to create a map of your garden. Depending on your conditions, you can even alphabetize pots or plants. Often, effective solutions are found in simple things. Today, we hope you’ve found our simple solution useful.
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