I’m months late posting the instructions for this project, but back when I made these markers they were vitally needed. Due to flooding and mud, I found myself replanting. Then we got more rain. Some of those seeds washed to the ends of rows or were completely lost. Others never emerged. I replanted again, probably in a hurry.
Then I started to wonder if I’d planted rutabagas in two rows or three. I couldn’t tell if the newly emerging Brassica plants were cauliflower or broccoli. I wasn’t even sure if I was pulling weeds or tender garlic shoots. Clearly I needed to rely on plant markers instead of my memory.
So I made these garden markers. They’re durable, easily visible, and can be saved for reuse.
iced tea spoons
fine point permanent markers
heavy paper (I used old file cards)
outdoor Outdoor Mod Podge
1. Collect iced tea spoons from thrift shops, eBay, or the back of your drawer. Regular spoons work, but the longer handle on iced tea spoons is really helpful in the garden. It’s easy to sink the finished marker well into the dirt and still see the plant name. Make sure the bowl of the spoon is clean and dry.
2. Draw ovals approximately the size of the spoons’ bowl on heavy paper. As you cut out each oval, remove a very thin pie slice. This will help the paper lie flat in the rounded spoon when you glue it.
3. Now get out your fine point permanent markers. You might choose to draw an image of the plant’s seedling, to better help you as they emerge. Or do a nice botanical sketch. Or simply write the plant names. I have no drawing skills, so I scribbled a cartoon-y vegetable personality along with the name.
4. Using a Q-tip or paint brush, apply Mod Podge to the back of each paper oval in turn, immediately placing it in the bowl of the spoon and smoothing out any wrinkles. Once you’re satisfied, paint a layer of Mod Podge over the paper as well.
5. Let the Mod Podge dry. This usually takes half the day to dry completely. Then add another coat, sealing the edges well. Let this coat dry fully.
6. Take your spoons outside, set them on a piece of cardboard, and spray them lightly with acrylic spray. Let them dry. This doesn’t take as long, an hour at most. Then respray.
7. Scamper out to your garden and ceremoniously place your markers!