I don’t quite have my garden planted yet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get some plant markers ready for when I do. I realize that this is akin to buying the prom shoes before either the dress or date has been procured, but sometimes a girl’s just gotta go out of order. Sure, you can buy plant markers. Some are cute and some are purely utilitarian, but why buy them for several dollars each when you can MAKE them for pennies? The options for styles, colors and materials are virtually endless, so you can totally customize them. For this DIY, I’m making tall, colorful stakes.
Paint stir sticks. I went to the paint counter at Lowe’s and asked for some, and the very friendly lady gave me a heaping handful. Free is GOOD.
A Paint pen.
Optional: a small saw
Step 1: Make a list of the plants you have (or will have) in your garden or containers. If you want your markers to look smart, jot down the scientific name, so that when people ask you what you’re growing, you can be all, “Oh that? That’s just Lycopersicom esculantum.” Then you’ll show them a tomato and they’ll be forever impressed. Or, you can add your own touch, like “Squash – Susie’s favorite” or “Jalapenos – We’re Gonna Make You Sweat.”
Step 2: Paint stirrers are good for raised bed gardens because they’re long and strong (“and ‘bout to get tha friction on!*”) so they won’t fall over with a gust of wind or a heavy rain. But if you’re planting in smaller pots, they may be too big. In this case, you can use a small saw to cut them down. If you don’t have a saw, you can always break them – just be careful of flying pieces! You can also use tongue depressors.
If paint stirers were cash, I'd be ballin'.
Step 3: Pick your paint colors and slap some paint on those stirrers. Do a couple coats and let each dry completely.
Step 4: Using your paint pen, use your best handwriting to write the names of your plants on their stakes. “Why aren’t we painting the names on, Katy?” you ask? Because painting letters is hard, and we haven’t got all day. But if you’re so inclined, go for it.
Step 5: If you want to add a coat of polyurethane to your markers, now’s the time. I’m not going to though, because I want mine to weather a little bit. But the poly will make these shiny and fancier-looking.
Step 5: Place your markers in the dirt, and marvel at your achievement. If you haven’t planted anything yet, now would be a good time to do so. Or if you’re not a gardener at all but know someone who is, these make a great gift!
*I’d like to now apologize for the Sir Mix-a-Lot reference. But hey – when it’s perfect, it’s perfect.