Saturday, June 18, 2011

Label your plants and save a headache

It's a beautiful morning at Gidget's Garden and it is going to be a busy day in the garden. The plants need to be fed, trimmed, and debugged, weeds need to be pulled, and flowers need dead heading but that's nothing out of the ordinary, there are lots of chores that we expect to do on a very regular basis.

In addition to those things, I have to do some more preparation for the inspection to get our certificate to sell at the Golden Hill Farmer's Market. The person who encouraged me to apply to sell was kind enough to make sure that I knew I needed to have all of our plants labeled before our inspection. This makes sense but it means some work for me.

Labeling your babies is always a good idea because even in a small garden, it's easy to forget what is what. You'll probably be able to identify a pepper plant as a pepper plant, but if you want to know what variety of pepper you are anticipating, then I would suggest you label your plants well. I am not great at this, and now I have a headache, because it has to be done now.

This was labeled but the sun sanitized it within a couple of weeks. 
To be fair to myself, I actually did try to be better about labeling this year, but I did not know that Sharpie markers are not UV resistant so all of the labels I put in are now blank again. One way to deal with this is to place the label in a shady spot under the plant but that's not possible when labeling a seedbed. I decided I need to invest in some other materials to help me keep my plants labeled.

I secured some paint markers hoping they may be more UV resistant
I also used the sharpie again for plants that I know are now providing enough shade to hopefully prevent the labels from fading. The metal tags are for our perennials. They are great in that you write on them and it leaves an indentation in the tag so fading does not occur. I also wrote over the indentation with a sharpie for easier reading.

Label on Avocado tree
In addition to labels for the hundreds of plants that I may or may not have anything from, to sell at the market, I need to get some seeds started, and labeled, today too. We are planning on building a real greenhouse in the near future but for now, a kiddie pool is going to be the beginning of a make shift one. I'll write more about that and the success of it in a future post.

2 kiddie pools for temporary, makeshift "greenhouses"
100 pots for seedlings
Even if you aren't going to go through the application process to sell at a farmer's market, it is a very good practice to clearly label all of your plants. If you plant more than a couple of varieties of a certain vegetable, it will be hard to remember in a month from now, which variety you put where.

Gidget is inspecting our Iceberg rose for the label

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