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Foolproof seedling labels?

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    I use cut-up plastic milk cartons for my veggie seed labels, but am yet to find a fail-safe texta to write on them that won’t disappear over time. I refresh the labels when I ‘get around to it’ but if I’m away for a few days by the time I get back its often gone! Does anyone have any recommendations ?

    thanks, Di


    I dont know if this will help but I read somewhere if you write on plastic eg kids lunch boxes- you then go over it with clear nail polish and it doesnt wash off.

    I dont know if clear lacquer would do the same thing if no nail polish is available.

    Just a suggestion.

    Have you also tried iceblock sticks from the craft store some you can buy are coloured so if you colour coded your vegies you will know by the stick what veg you have in.


    Di, you can get garden pens that are more suited to the outdoors. I had one but stupidly left it uncapped in the sun so now its my invisible ink pen. The garden pens do work well though but remember some plastics are not as “ink friendly” as those designed & manufactured specifically for writing on. Milk carton plastic is close cell bonded and designed not to incorporate the chemicals in most textas so in most cases you wont get a permanent bond. The Diggers Club has special seedling markers which remain readable for years if you use the right pen.


    I cut up the plant labels that come with seedling punnets into three strips. I write on them with normal permanent marker. I just checked and the ink is still there 6 months later… After watering etc.

    Judi B

    I’ve used the CD/DVD markers and they last long enough till the seedlings are identifiable.


    A laundry marker pen – designed to withstand water !! – does a good permanent job on plastic strips cut from food containers, doesn’t fade much if at all.Also I have read of someone cutting strips from aluminium drink cans – easy with scissors – and then “engraving” the veg names with a sharp object, or even a ball point pen.


    Ice cream containers make good labels as well


    Thanks for all the ideas !


    I use yoghurt containers too. I write with laundry marker or permanent marker – some work better than others….


    I use the Sharpie pens for labels, they will last for months if the label was dry when written on, and can be cleaned off with Jiff if you want to reuse the label. Better than any of the more expensive textas! I have tried heaps of things over the years, these are really the best, and cheaper than most!


    I use an old discarded aluminum Venetian blind cut into appropriate size labels. Its easy to put a nail hole through so the label can be tied to a stake etc. I usually store the unused labels with the seed packets. A permanent black marker works for years and can be cleaned off with a gritty type paste if needed.


    For the milk carton labels I use a childs lead pencil- the learner style ones are good as they have thicker, blacker lead- It must be softer.

    Either that or I use beer cans. If you cut the bottom off a beer can and then the top you are left with a sheet of aluminium. Cut these up into vege tags and lean on a newspaper and write on them with a ballpoint pen. It sort of engraves the label and I reckon you could go on holiday for two years and you would still know what your plants are πŸ˜‰


    I use the milk carton labels too, but i use a chinograph pencil,they are waterproof and permanent – made in germany by Staedtler.

    The leads like a black wax …I get them at the newsagents for about $2.00

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