Plant Tags that Last for Decades

I don’t know about you but I get hacked off with all the plastic that is used in gardens. I have a mountain of plastic pots from the garden centre, and have been given many plastic seed trays. I also go through so many plant tags that I resorted to buying plastic ones that crumble over the winter and leave tiny bits of plastic in the soil that I can never get rid of!

Other types of plant tags work for a bit but then some flaw is revealed – wooden tags look great but tend to rot after about two or three years. Slate can work but if you snap it the points are lethal. I even tried a label maker and I also tried copper but it was too hard to read.

I decided I’d had enough. I’ve invested in a plant tag making system that uses aluminium tags and these cool-looking metal punches that you use with a, very heavy, jig.

You place your blank plant tag in the jig, line up the guides, select your letter punch, put it in place and whack it really hard with a hammer. In this way you spell out your plant name. I’ve made tags for all my permanent planting such as my ‘APPLE – Queen Cox, planted 2008’. And ‘PEACH – Peregrine, planted 2008’.

The system works perfectly for trees and other permanent additions to the garden, like Roses, or Wisteria. You can even buy those ‘cloud-shaped’ tags that the Victorians were fond of and you can see in just about every walled kitchen garden you’ll ever visit. I have also bought a stock of stand alone plant tags that stick in the ground and bend slightly so that you can read them.

For other, non-permanent plants I’m planning to stamp out the type of plant ie. ‘Carrot’ but then add the variety in pen (which can be wiped off next year). I haven’t tried this yet but I’m hoping that it works.

So…the plan is never to buy another plant tag but to continue making my own until I have every type of plant covered. I’ll let you know how that goes. But for now I’m just going to sit back and admire my handy work!

11 Comments on “Plant Tags that Last for Decades

  1. I love the look of the aluminium tags. Brilliant for bushes and trees – no more forgetting the variety or when it was planted. We use old ice-lolly and ice-cream sticks. They are wooden and don’t last more than a year or two but we haven’t had to buy them, and saves just throwing them away. With 4 ice-cream loving kids we have more than enough each year!

  2. Oh, excellent. I also get a little peeved at all the plastic I rely on for gardening. Now to explain to OH that I NEED this.

  3. Great idea. I too have been struggling with this. I hate the horrible plastic. Where do you get the kit from please?

  4. I got it from Alitags Unfortunately, it’s not cheap. But this is the kind of thing that will last forever and I’m hoping I can pass it on to one of my boys if they show any interest in gardening.

  5. What a brilliant gadget. I’m impressed by the lengths you go to, but aluminum labels do look very professional.

  6. This will make a perfect gift for my dad on fathers day he’s always losing his labels. I like to know which variety of tomato I’m eating instead of guessing.

  7. The aluminium labels look the part and seem to solve a problem that lots of us gardeners experience. For everyday use I bought a box of 500 lollipop sticks which las a year then go in the compost heap.

  8. Or you could use the tubes that tomato puree comes in. They are aluminium, simply snip them apart and they are so soft you can use a pencil to “emboss” ’em

  9. I have been growing Tomatoes from seed for years now and l like the cheery Tomatoes nice and sweet they dont last long when the children come up to see me and my wife at the week ends

  10. I really like that , i have seen similar tags in large gardens, but never realised you could get a kit to do them at home.

    I can see this being the next garden related toy I ask for!