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Old 12-14-2008, 01:22 AM   #1
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Default Creating your own plant markers

This is a really easy project. Personally, I think participants in a group starting seed or simply potting up a plant get a lot more out of the project if they are provided with an opportunity to create their own plant markers. It's a lot of fun after you've finished your project to be able to write the name of what you're growing on your own stake.

I use left over mini-blinds to create plant tags. I'll admit to seeing them poking out of garbage cans on pick up day and pulling over to rescue them so I can re-use them.

All you need is a ruler, a pencil, a decent pair of scissors, and light colored mini-blinds. If you don't have access to any discarded mini-blinds, purchasing a set is relatively affordable. I think I paid around $5 for a white set and probably was able to get well over 500 plant markers out of the pack. When you compare that to the store bought packs at 100 for $3.99, that's not a bad deal. Free is better if you can score some on garbage day. With the mini-blind plant markers you also get a larger area to write on. This is particularly nice for the younger set that might find it difficult writing on a store bought plant marker that's less than 1/2" wide.

I pull out about three mini-blinds, remove the string, and pencil in marks every 5" down the entire length. Then I begin cutting. Don't try cutting more than three mini-blinds at a time or you'll ruin your scissors. After I have them in 5" lengths, I snip the ends in an inverted v to be able to push the plant marker down into the soil easier. There's really not much more to the process other than that.

When working with a group, I set out the materials and tape a sample to the work station and let participants cut their own any length they want. Most end up with tags about the same size as the sample I provide.
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:20 AM   #2
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Good idea! And if you ask at the local big box stores, sometimes you can get the "cut offs" and discards from their blind dept. I got a 5 gal bucket worth with every color under the sun. It was great fun. I gave some to a friend for her son's elementary class, they were making wind chimes. Also a great way to recycle these items!
Try "tin snips" to cut your blinds, their tough and made for that kind of thing.
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:13 AM   #3
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I've got tin snips. Never thought of that. Those should work quite nicely.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:16 AM   #4
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I cut up my old plastic milk jugs and use a permanent marker on them.
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:39 PM   #5
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I'd be wary of using old mini-blinds for plant markers.

http://www.cchealth.org/topics/lead_...miniblinds.pdf
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:17 PM   #6
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Good article. Most older mini-blinds do contain lead.
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:09 AM   #7
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Good point, I should have made that clearer. The newer ones are all plastic and last a good long time.
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:14 PM   #8
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Aye yi yi, I didn't think of that. The blinds I used were brand new. The blinds I used in the past were taken out of garbage cans and I haven't a clue how old they were.
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