February might not be the time to start digging in your garden, but you can start planning it! After I’ve decided what I’m going to grow, I get to flex my design muscles by deciding where each plant will go…and how I’ll identify them once they’re planted! It can be hard to identify plants by their sprouts alone, so I like to use garden markers to identify what is growing where.
I’ve gathered up a few of my favorites for you today! Get garden-ready with these plant markers so you won’t mix up your greens and your beans.
Put those nights with your girlfriends to good use! A wine cork is an easy and sustainable way to label the plants in your garden. Simply use a permanent marker to write the plant on the cork. You can use almost anything to put your cork in the ground, depending on the height you’d like. Try a wooden or metal barbeque skewer.
Mason Jar Lid
We’ve all been through a canning phase, right? Use those extra lids in the garden! The flat surface of the inner lid is the perfect place for the name of your plant, or a sticker. You can hang the jar lid on a small metal garden post, or hot glue it to any sort of stake. As an added bonus, the flashy metal lid may scare away birds who’d like to feast on your garden before the harvest.
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This is a classic garden marker choice. Be sure to find rocks that are flat and smooth, which will be easiest to paint. This might be a challenge, but try to find rocks in the same shape as your vegetables. For crisp clear lines, use a paint marker. This is a great way to get your family in on the action!
Take your favorite kitchen tool to the garden! Pick up a pack of wooden spoons and some acrylic paint and in no time you’ll have easy and inexpensive garden markers! You can use paint or a sharpie to write the names of each plant. Stick the handle in the ground and you’re good to go.
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Nothing is more at home in a garden than a pot! Use pieces of broken terra cotta pots for a unique and low-profile way to identify plants in the garden. A permanent marker or a paint marker will do the job.
Some plants (edible and decorative alike) need staking to keep them growing upright. Take advantage of this and make those stakes into garden markers! Stakes are often sort of an eyesore, but by choosing beautiful stakes and writing the name of your plants on them, they become a beautiful blend of form and function.
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Clothespins are an easy and rustic option for garden markers. As with most of the DIY options I’ve gathered for you today, you can jazz clothespins up with some paint or leave them plain. You can clip the clothespin on a stick, stakes, or a tomato cage – whatever works!
Now, this is a time you can really get creative! Get some polymer clay, a unique cookie cutter or two, and get to work. After cutting shapes from rolled clay, use letter stamps or carve the names of each plant into the clay. After baking, you can – you guessed it – paint the markers or leave them as-is. You can glue them to a stake, or just place them in the ground.
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If you have a laminating machine, almost anything can be a garden marker! Draw, color, or paint what you’re growing in your garden and laminate it to protect your artwork from the elements. If art isn’t your forte, you can also purchase printable images from some artist websites and laminate those.
If you don’t have a laminator, you can try drawing directly on plastic! When heated, polystyrene plastic shrinks and hardens into a more solid form. Draw or write the names of your plants on sheets of this plastic (look for it at any craft store). After baking, you’ll have a solid, weather-resistant piece of art for hanging in the garden.
This might seem strange, but hear me out! Many families have been getting a lot more takeout recently, which means you probably have a lot of extra plastic silverware hanging around. For a quick (and sustainable) solution, use the plastic knives for markers! All it takes is a permanent marker and about 15 seconds.
If your Scrabble board game has seen better days, re-use the tiles in the garden! This is another fun way to have your family help you with garden markers. Send your kids on the hunt for the letters to spell the fruits, veggies, and herbs you have growing outside.
Wire Hanger Signs
Hangers don’t just hold your clothes – they can also hold garden signs! Pick up small pieces of wood from the woodworking section of any craft store and get to work decorating! All you have to do is glue a piece of string to each end of the wood to act as a hanger. Finally, curl the end of the wire hanger into a hook and plant it in the garden!
This one is a classic. Grab a stack of paint stirrers at the Home Improvement store and let your imagination go wild with décor. Paint or markers will work here. But if you use markers on this porous wood surface, be sure to seal them with polyurethane so the colors don’t run. You don’t want to wonder if you are pruning a cucumber plant or pea shoots!
Bead Garden Markers
This one isn’t just a great activity for your kids…it might require their permission! Raid their friendship bracelet supplies! All those beads will add some more color to your garden. Use letter beads of all colors, shapes, and sizes to create unique markers for each plant – just like a bracelet! Use the wire hangers from above to hang your bead markers.
If you grow your plants from seed, you already have these supplies on hand: the packets they came in! This is a great option for those of us who aren’t as crafty as others. It requires no writing, just the seed packet and a stake or stick. Just staple the packet on and you’re good to go. To protect the packet from rain and watering, hang a clear mason jar over each one. A benefit of this marker is that you’ll always have the information you need about each plant, right at your fingertips.
While we anxiously await warmer weather and the promise of fresh vegetables, start your plans now by making these garden markers! You’ll feel prepared and excited to greet the planting season knowing you’ll get to use your DIY garden markers!