Easy free plant markers for seeds and transplants

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 | Comments Off on Easy free plant markers for seeds and transplants

Our community doesn’t offer recycling for any plastics other than 1s and 2s, so we can accumulate quite a few yogurt containers. I like to find new things to do with them…



For a long while I’ve used leftover yogurt containers as oversized plant cups for potting up tomatoes on the seedling light table in early spring. I drill a hole about an inch across in the bottom of each container with a spade bit and it creates a great tomato pot. (The drilling is much easier for me with several stacked tightly together and placed upside down on the floor and braced between my shoes. Keeps hands out of harms way…)

I learned from Calvin Bey that tomatoes do better to hold them under good light inside (or in a greenhouse) and pot up as they get larger, then plant them out when the soil has really warmed up. These big guys with their fat root systems will roar past the transplants you put right out in the garden in the still chilly days and nights. But that’s all over till 2015 <sigh>.

So today I was going to plant some autumn seeds but realized I didn’t have an old mini-blind to chop up for plant markers per usual. An old plastic miniblind (that has lost the shiny finish) and a thick carpenter’s pencil will make a marker that will last for years out in the garden. Not that I meant them too, I just lost a few in the mulch and found them, still legible, a couple years later.

Looking around I saw an extra yogurt cup, wishing it had a place closer than 50 miles away to be recycled. So I cut off the rim and the bottom and was left with a slightly curved but usable sheet of plastic. Cut that into plant marker sized bits and there you go. Since it’s shiny, I used a fat sharpie pen, which likely won’t last quite as long, but that is ok. Who knows, by the time I pull these up in the spring, maybe Yancey County will be recycling 5s and 7s? But if this marker trial works, between this and the tomato cups, I’m not likely to have any to spare.


—A Larrapin Garden’s new home is in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Posts on this blog may be boom or bust depending on the season, but if you subscribe here you’ll get one weekly email—usually on Wednesdays—to let you know what’s new. You are also invited to get garden related miscellany at the Facebook page or on Twitter. The Pinterest boards are here, but are habit forming so watch out…. with love, Leigh

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