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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Post  growinglife 4/5/2010, 10:56 am

I just found out a way to make my own plant markers that cost me nothing! Plant Markers Icon_idea I simply took a couple of short plastic food containers and washed them in the dishwasher. Then, with sharp scissors, I cut the lid and the sides of the bowl into strips. Next, I cut the bottom of each plant marker into an arrow point to stick into the dirt. Using the white side, I simply wrote the plant name with a black Sharpie and Presto! Plant Markers Icon_cyclops I had about 100 plant markers from three containers!
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Post  boffer 4/5/2010, 10:58 am

That's a new idea for me, thanks for sharing it.
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Post  jenjehle 4/10/2010, 11:02 am

You made 100 from 3 containers? I've made these before but wasn't able to get that many!

I'd love to see pictures of yours. Maybe yours are different than mine. I'd like to make 100 out of 3 containers, that's for sure Smile I love using things I already have to make things I need, instead of buying them. And I can have my kids help.

My husband is a Classical Guitarist and he makes guitar pics out of old credit cards! How about that for resourceful Plant Markers Icon_lol Plant Markers Icon_lol Plant Markers Icon_lol

Enjoy the weekend! I'm enjoying 70 degrees and sunny... time to plant some more lettuce!

Jenny, NE Indiana
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Post  Retired Member 1 4/10/2010, 1:55 pm

I hadn't thought of using plastic containers -- great idea -- but get good results from styrofoam take-out containers. Same principle of cutting into strips and then cutting points on the end. They last all season in the garden. Although this year I'm using plastic spoons since I found a 48 count box at the local thrift store for 25 cents. Almost free.
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Post  pattipan 4/10/2010, 2:14 pm

growinglife wrote:Plant Markers Icon_idea I simply took a couple of short plastic food containers and washed them in the dishwasher. Then, with sharp scissors, I cut the lid and the sides of the bowl into strips.

What kind of food container are we talking about here? Glad..Ziploc reusables? Cool Whip bowls? Margarine tubs? Please share with us the type. :o)

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Post  mckr3441 4/13/2010, 11:28 am

Great Idea!

Plant Markers 593714 Plant Markers 593714 Plant Markers 593714

I used it yesterday as I planted and ran out of those popsicle type sticks. Worked great. I put a link to this idea in the N/C Midwest regional forum.

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Post  sunshine0408 4/14/2010, 10:03 pm

we moved into our home 2 yrs ago but when I installed faux wood blinds everywhere, I did not remove the extra slats from the extra length (until recently). one slat makes several plant markers. I use a sharpie and they have lasted through the rain, snow and heat here. they seem to be very durable.
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Post  growinglife 4/14/2010, 10:27 pm

Thanks for the numerous responses! Plant Markers Icon_sunny
Sorry it took so long to answer requests for a picture and further explanations.
The cutting out was by no means exact. I just snipped the width I wanted, narrow for ones like Thyme, Parsley; and wider for ones like Long Island Mammoth Dill or Brandywine Red Tomato.
As to the containers, I used short, squat sour cream and margarine containers. That way the height was what I needed (vs. the tall ricotta cheese, or yogurt containers). I even used the lid and the corner crescent shaped pieces Plant Markers Icon_exclaim
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Post  jenjehle 4/16/2010, 9:34 am

Yeah, this is what I did too. I found the lids worked great! But what I realize is that mine were much bigger than yours so that's why I didn't get as many as you did.


I kept some of them from last year. But plastic plant labels were so cheap at my local Menards, I just bought some this year. I wanted big, tall, strong ones to hold up against any strong wind I might have here in NE Indiana.

Thanks for the clarification!
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Post  candyfloss 4/17/2010, 10:56 am

i made mine from clear easter egg boxes that my kids had this year. They were rectangular, about 7"x 5" or so.
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Post  Ole Joe Clark 4/30/2010, 8:17 am

I use the 1" wide slats from the blinds that I have to seperate the box into 1 foot squares. They cut easily, and work well. I have in the past, cut up various white plastic containers and used them. Whatever works for you. Plant Markers Icon_biggrin
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Post  camprn 4/30/2010, 1:00 pm

I use tongue depressors.
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Post  Dunkinjean 5/19/2010, 7:17 pm

I love all the ideas for plant markers. flower

I bought a flat of annual flowers that included plant markers. My husband put label stickers on them and I wrote new labels with waterproof pen.

I will keep in mind using all the ideas if needed.

Thanks for the info!

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Post  countrynaturals 4/22/2019, 10:11 pm

When I use a Sharpie on plastic, it rubs right off. This year, I bought 100 little wood craft sticks at Dollar Tree (they look like popsickle sticks.) I labelled them like a spreadsheet -- A1, B2, etc. Then I put the plant details on a real spreadsheet. If I can't tell tell by looking what the plant is, I do have to look it up on the computer, but the label doesn't melt or rub off, and it's long enough that it doesn't get lost in the dirt, and I can keep a whole lot more info on the computer. So far, I haven't lost track of a single plant, and that's a record for me already. Rolling Eyes
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Post  AtlantaMarie 4/23/2019, 7:11 am

Yeah, I tried those the first year, Suz. Used a sharpie on them. Within just a few weeks, I couldn't read the sharpie. By the end of the season, they were well on their way to rotting... :-(

I now have plastic sticks that I use a grease pencil on. Seems to work better. And I can take the grease pencil off with goo-gone.
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Post  countrynaturals 4/23/2019, 10:03 am

AtlantaMarie wrote:
I now have plastic sticks that I use a grease pencil on.  Seems to work better.  And I can take the grease pencil off with goo-gone.

How did we ever survive without Goo Gone? I love you
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Post  countrynaturals 4/7/2020, 3:16 pm

1st day of planting out, and my newest, most awesome system is already defeated! Sad 

I labeled all the peat pots, as I up-potted from Jiffy Pellets. I used a Sharpie and wrote right on the pot what each plant was. That was over a month ago. Today, when I took them all out, I discovered the peat pots had all disintegrated well past identifying their contents. So, this year we'll have a Happy Surprise Mystery Garden. Razz Any other year, I would have been devastated. This year, I'm just happy to be alive and able to garden. Wink
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Post  OhioGardener 4/7/2020, 6:00 pm

I use white plastic markers made from the sides of the quart-size yogurt containers. I cut strips 3/4" wide, and put a pointed end on them. The inside is pure white and easy to write on with a grease pencil. And, the best part is that they are free!  Smile

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