Try these biodegradable plant tags that can break down and compost wildflower seeds right in your garden!
It’s super easy to make these custom plant labels so you don’t have to try and identify those tiny sprouting seeds. Instead, give yourself a temporary way to identify vegetable seed sprouts that will later turn into more plants!
Plant lovers get ready!
In this article we will take a closer look at:
- How make your own plant markers
- Learn how to print your own plant tags
- How to customize wooden plant tags
- Stop guessing if those sprouting seeds are weeds or not and keep plants markers.
One of the most common gardening mistakes I never seem to learn from is not labeling my in-ground seeds. I’m great at labeling the plants indoors but for some reason when it comes to my in-ground garden, I seem to fall short. Then as spring comes and seeds start sprouting I struggle with whether it’s seeds or weeds in my garden space. Which causes me to leave all the tiney greens until they are bigger and can be thinned. Sadly this is a bad habit because thinning can be harsh on tender roots.
Don’t be like me, take a few extra minutes to add plant tags.
Use your garden planner to track the general area for each seed planted, but use a plant marker to get you through the season. Don’t worry about tags fading between seasons when you try these biodegradable plant tags. Made from clay and seeds, rest knowing once day as it breaks down seeds are released to offer a blooming treat for attracting beneficial pollinators one day.
Biodegradable plant tags that are loaded with marigold seeds made by YOU!!!
The below plant tags are made with marigold seeds, a common natural bug deterrent to keep in the garden. As the plant tag slowly deteriorates the seeds are released into the soil and start sprouting. Can you say effortless planting? If you our new to companion planting, Burpee has an ah-mazing Companion Planting Guide. Start simple, and add marigolds to your garden and thank yourself throughout the season.
Why you should grow marigolds in your garden – the basic just do it version
Marigolds are super easy to grow, give you an endless seed supply, are great for bad bug control but good bug attraction. For example, I bought a six pack of marigolds at the beginning of the spring season, planted one small plant in each corner of my raised beds. By the end of the summer I had marigolds still growing and thriving, which is a HUGE deal in my Georgia heat garden. They had more than triple in size and were giving me endless seeds.
If you need a natural bug control for whiteflies, bad nematodes or deer (to name a few) give marigolds a try. If you want to attract ladybugs or other beneficial insects to your garden, you guessed it, plant marigolds.
Have I convinced you yet?
Why not kill two birds with one stone and make a biodegradable plant label that will continue to work even after it breaks down into the earth? I mean can these workhorses of flowers really get any better?
Here’s how to make your own customizable biodegradable plant tags.
- Air-dry or modeling clay
- marigold seeds or any other seeds do you like 🙂
- washable marker
- rolling pin
- cutting board
- wax paper or other surface protector
- Protect the surface of your work area with wax paper or plastic.
- Take clay out of package and begin working in your hands to warm it up and get it “workable”.
- Place ball of clay on cutting board or protected surface.
- Mash down ball of clay with your hands to get it flat. Then take your rolling pin and roll it out. I made mine pretty thin, about 1/4 inch.
- Take your seeds and place a strip along the center of the clay. Fold in half and pinch sides to seal in seeds. Begin rolling out and pinching clay to keep seeds from falling so they instead get smooshed into the clay. You’ll begin to see dirt and seeds as you roll and work the clay. The desired thickness is up to you, the thicker the longer lasting the labels will be. But since we are making biodegradable tags I wanted mine to dissolve pretty quickly. Once my seeds sprout I can tell what the plant is, so I just need them to get me through those six to eight weeks.
- Taking the knife, cut strips approximately 6 to 8 inches long. You will need a pointed end so it goes in the ground easier. Once you have six to eight inches long by one to two inches thick you can cut one in at an angle. You could also make your plant labels smaller so they only stick up above the ground one or two inches, it’s entirely up to you. Now that you have your plant marker made it’s time to customize.
- Taking a small set of stamps like these wooden stamps, take your washable marker and color over the stamp. Then press the stamp into the top end of your plant tag. It took me a few tries to figure out where the actual impression on the stamp was, so don’t get discouraged if your lines aren’t perfectly straight. It makes it quirky and unique.
- Once you have the name of your crop done your plant markers are ready to dry on a rack for a few days.
Want video tutorial? Head over to our Facebook page for several!
Pro tip: If you want to make the wording last even longer you could replace the marker and use acrylic paint like in the example below.
If you want your plant labels to last even longer here is another example that uses acrylic paint and clear coat to seal these handmade markers.
- air hardening modeling clay
- rolling pin
- black acrylic paint
- white acrylic paint
- clear coat
- small paint brush
- Take modeling clay out of package. Work clay into a ball then take the rolling pin and smash in half then turn your rolling pin 90° to form a x in the dough as you smash it down.
- Begin rolling the clay out to one quarter to 1/2 in.
- Cut clay markers into 1 inch strips.
- On one end cut at an angle to make it easier to plant in ground.
- Press the stamp into the clay as it is still wet. Once you have your customized plant name you can add any decorations such as stamping or small cookie cutters to imprint design. Go crazy and use your knife to score a brick look.
- Let dry for one to two days.
- Paint markers with acrylic paint using a small paint brush to fill in the stamped areas.
- Seal the whole label with spray clear coat.
- Share your finished product on our Facebook page! Show us how you added your own flare and what colors you used.
Repurposed items for herb plant labels
The budget friendly and planet friendly option is always to use what you’ve got first. So take a look around and see if there’s anything you could repurpose into plant tags this could be:
- broken blinds (the cheap ones that always break)
- wax milk cartons cut into strips
- wine corks and permanent markers
- metal spoons and a label maker
Wooden plant labels that will compost in place and look adorable!
If you want to keep a cohesive natural garden look, bamboo or other wooden plant tags are a great option. You can upcycle your own version with popsicle sticks or clothes pins like in the image below.
Update a plain wooden plant marker using a wood burning tool or stamps to give your herb garden tags a whole new approach. Have you seen the growing trend of plant puns?
Here are some plant puns I plant, I mean plan to try
- So many weeds not enough thyme
- If friends were flowers I’d pick you
- I will survive
- Save me from this crazy plant lady
- Please don’t die
- I probably need water
- Rooting for you
- You grow girl
Or you can buy some decorative plant labels like these!
Try your luck with these chalkboard plant tags to add a message for indoor plants. Just be careful to place them away from your watering stream.
Plant label makers for the organization freak…like me.
If you grow your own flowers on a big scale you may want to consider getting a plant tag printer. These are great for large scale nurseries or small businesses that are growing seedlings and transplants to sell. I just found out you can purchase plant label makers and I’m kind of obsessed. You could certainly use a regular label maker and add it to just about anything repurposed and upcycled for a unique garden marker.
Hopefully you got inspired with ideas for some homemade biodegradable plant labels, so you can keep track of what those sprouting seeds are.
Don’t forget to share, comment and Pin for later 🙂
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