Year Round Plant Markers and Tags
If you are looking for a durable, reliable plant marker and label system, this may be the answer. Both the markers and adhesive labels will endure the seasons indefinitely and, dare I say, they may outlast us all.
I discovered these plant markers through Betty Fretz of Floral and Hardy near Moorefield, Ontario. They sell zillions of gorgeous plants starting with the letter H (hostas, heleborus, heucheras, heucherellas) and more.
In Betty’s situation, she has to keep track of hundreds+ of plants outdoors through the hot and humid Canadian summers and wickedly cold Canadian winters. I knew if they work for her, it’s a system I could rely on.
I’ll show you exactly what Betty uses and how I adapted it for my garden. Some product links go to my affiliate accounts.
- These Kincaid markers are 10 gauge stainless steel. They are available in a variety of styles and sizes (10″, 15″, 20″ heights).
- The plate size is 1 1/8″ x 3.5″ which allows oodles of room for your plant labels.
- You can buy them directly by mail order from Betty in Canada or from Kincaid Gardens in the U.S.
The Marker Labels and Label Maker
- The labels are made using a Brother P Touch Label Maker and the Brother Laminated Tape (TZe251). If properly applied (see below), they will last for years.
- This Brother label maker allows you to print 3 lines of text on one label.
To Ensure Proper Adhesion
1. Clean the plates of the plant markers with methyl hydrate and allow to dry. This will remove any grease or residue on the markers. Methyl hydrate is commonly found in the paint section of stores and used as a paint thinner or glass cleaner. Mine cost $3.69.
2. Apply the labels as directed making sure your fingers do not touch the sticky backing of the label or the cleaned marker plate. Grease and oil are the enemy of good adhesion.
Here’s What I’m Using
Zinc Garden Markers
- This summer I was given a box of hundreds of zinc plant markers and, being the frugalista that I am, I decided to use these up before investing in stainless steel markers. While the zinc markers are okay, they are not nearly as strong as the stainless ones and will disintegrate over time. But so far they’ve been through 3 years of winters without any sign of wear.
- Many mail order seed and plant companies sell zinc markers. You can also see zinc garden markers at Amazon.
- Brother P-Touch 1090 I got this label machine on sale at half price for $20 and they seem to go on sale quite often. You can see it here at Amazon. This label printer allows 1-2 lines of text on a label.
- Brother TZE221 Black on White Extra Strong Adhesive Tape (for making labels).
One tape is 0.47″ wide and 26.2 feet long, so it makes quite a few labels. Here’s TZES221 tape at Amazon. It comes in several finishes and colours but make sure you get something that’s extra strong and laminated (if available).
Choices And Considerations
- Think about how tall you want the garden markers and which way you want the plates to face. I like to be able to read the labels without having to bend over.
- Consider the size of the plate when deciding how you will label them. My zinc plates are 2.5″ wide. Betty’s are 3.5″ wide.
- The label makers allow you to choose different fonts and font sizes, plus upper and lower case, and a variety of signs and symbols.
- For a good overall look, choose one style and stick with it. For example, left-justified text in one upper case font.
- Decide whether you want to use proper plant species names or common names. I use markers on a lot of vegetable seed tests so I use common names from the seed packets with additional codes written with a grease pencil or HB pencil on the back of the marker indicating where I got the seeds and when I started them.
- Floral and Hardy Kincaid Stainless Steel Plant Markers (Canada)
- Kincaid Gardens Stainless Steel Plant Markers (United States)
- Brother P-touch Label Maker (Amazon.com)
- Brother Laminated Tape (Amazon.com) – look for extra strong adhesive with laminate
If you’ve tried these markers and the Brother labels (or have something else that really works), let me know.
More Fall and Winter Gardening Ideas
- 7 Things To Plant In The Fall Garden
- 14 Fall Tips For A Better Spring Garden
- Start Your Fall Veggie Garden Now
- When Is It Too Late To Plant Seeds Outdoors?
- 6 Tips For Growing Veggies In The Winter
- Bulbs 101 For Beginners
- How To Plant Bulbs In Containers
- How To Grow Vegetables In The Winter
- Winter Care For Wild Birds
- Overwintering Outdoor Potted Fig Trees
- How To Care For A Winter Pond
- Making Your Own Un-suet Suet for the Winter Birds
- Plant Markers and Labels That Endure All The Seasons
But Wait! There’s More!…
I’ve got lots more gardening tips and ideas for you:
See a really easy way to organize seeds and keep track of them while planting