Garden Markers


I’m not too sure about PVC. Plastics become brittle from UV exposure. They usually need pigmentation and special coatings to block UV for outdoor applications. Siding is definitely treated on the outer surface, but I don’t know about the inner surface. It is good trial though. In general, thicker material can also help extend the life of plastic due to limited UV reaching the core.


People had asked me about getting cut when I cut up the pop cans. It’s not really an issue for me. I just cut them square and throw out tiny sharp edges. I don’t get cut.
John S


I cut a few cans and vinyl shades and think both will work. The only issue the vinyl shades might have is with the writing material fading over the years. The best low cost labels I have used is from a $1.00 yard sale of aluminum window shades. They are so easy to use and if installed properly they will function much longer than I will. The key is to etch your print instead of using markers. Good luck, Bill


Someone once told me that one key to dealing with lost plant tags - in addition to maintaining an up-to-date orchard map - was to make two permanent tags - put one on the tree; bury the other one at the base of the tree at a designated spot - say, at ‘due north’ .

I cut up some aluminum beer and pop cans and made labels by ‘embossing’ the name by writing on them with a ballpoint pen. Hung them in the trees with soft, aluminum 18 ga. aluminum fence wire.
Hooved rats(whitetail deer) chewed them beyond legibility.

Got 'hold of a set of old enamel-coated aluminum venetian blinds(white on one side/brown on the other) that they were throwing out at the office. Cut them up into suitable lengths. you can write with pencil on the white side, scribe the ID in the brown enamel with a nail. I’m slowly getting around to labeling all those trees that I still know the ID on… but there are a lot, anymore, that I have no idea what they are…


I keep a garden journal. I should update it more than i do. I often plants stuff and don’t mark it in the journal, but I do have all trees marked on a map in the journal.
I bought copper tags and I like them a lot.


I bought a bulk roll of copper for making my own tags. I have been very happy with it, embossing with pen is easy. I found after 3-4 years the whole tag gets dark, but if I rub with a ball of aluminum foil the non-written part becomes lighter and the dented part stays dark, making the tags really easy to read. I’m hoping for 25 years out of these copper tags.


My handwriting is appalling enough on paper, nearly unreadable for embossing. I consider the money for my metal embossing Dymo well spent.

It is slower, but very consistent and I’m getting more efficient at spinning the wheel.


Yeah well I had my wife write them out! I should have been a doctor if you look at my hand writing! (a running joke among nurses).


Alan, aka Harvestman had a great source for plastic, engraved tags. Unfortunately, I had a computer failure last year and lost the name and address. The tags are fabulous.


Here is what I plan to use.
Zinc Trap Tags (Write-On) 25/Pack

These Zinc Trap Tags can be embossed with the requirements in your area by writing on the tags with a lead pencil. The information written on the tags will never come off and will stand out more as time passes.

Option: 1 Pack ($2.95) 2 Packs ($5.50) 4 Packs ($9.95)


As things have slowed down a little this fall I have turned back to some tasks that were pushed aside. There were so many good ideas on this thread and opportunities to learn from others mistakes, it’s what really makes this forum special. I have some pear grafts that are marked with sharpie on plastic tags, they have lasted fine for the first summer but it is time to make something more permanent. I used some salvaged aluminum flashing and am tying it on with aluminum wire. I stamped the letters with a screw driver. It is a little crude but looks like it will last.


Jason those look like they will last a lifetime. The aluminum window blinds I use are similar but don’t appear to be as thick as your material. Looks great, Bill



What is the thicknes of that material?



Not sure mike, it’s pretty sturdy and has a fold at the top that stiffens it up. I could stamp it deep and not cut through it. I called it flashing but I think it is actually what we call drip edge that you put at the edge of a roof, I think that is the reason for the folded edge, to make the water drip away from the house.


DVM here - and yes, we are ‘doctors’ - and I have to attempt to decipher my colleagues’ handwriting on a daily basis. Most of us ascribe to the medical alphabet as detailed here:;_ylt=AwrB8qD3nydW6V4A49EunIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTIyMDNqNmZxBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAM1MWU1NGJkMTczNGZmZGRjZjdmY2EwNDYwZTdjNWJkYwRncG9zAzIEaXQDYmluZw--?.origin=&…+%3Cb%3EDoctor%26%2339%3Bs+alphabet%3C%2Fb%3E.+I+need+a+poster+of+this+at+my+desk+for+reference&p=Doctor%27s+Alphabet&oid=51e54bd1734ffddcf7fca0460e7c5bdc&fr2=&fr=yhs-mozilla-004&tt=…+%3Cb%3EDoctor%26%2339%3Bs+alphabet%3C%2Fb%3E.+I+need+a+poster+of+this+at+my+desk+for+reference&b=0&ni=21&no=2&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=11ctdvbv3&sigb=141q83c56&sigi=12dqte34k&sigt=12ia7s0ep&sign=12ia7s0ep&.crumb=GE.odNwKSnz&fr=yhs-mozilla-004&hsimp=yhs-004&hspart=mozilla


That’s one heck of a URL! But all I get is a blank page when I click on it. I googled Doctors Alphabet and found a typeface chart of scribbles. Maybe that was it.


Here you go.


:confused: :astonished: :frowning: :sweat: :fearful:


Yup! That’s what I found. I think the only thing they left out were the instructions that the symbols are meant to be written in an overlapping manner, almost on top of one another, lest anyone else might actually decipher them.


Ha! Yes, I love my vet, he is fantastic. I have been taking my dogs to the same vet for over 15 years. i went to MSU, and thought about becoming a vet, but soon realized I was not smart enough. It’s easier to get in Med School! I think we have 26 Vet schools in the USA. Competition for entry is fierce,