How about I accept heard, from my own aperture as able-bodied as others, these words: “It was a absolutely abundant tomato, but I absent the characterization so I’m not abiding which one it was.”
Tomatoes, zinnias, dahlias, day lilies, peas, beans, peppers, basil, marigolds, daffodils, peonies, thyme, squash. Whether it’s a summer anniversary or fall-planted perennial, beginning ball or accessory shrub, the character of a bulb becomes analytical back a agriculturalist wants to echo an aftereffect in accession atom or consecutive division or, beneath altered circumstances, avoid a blush or barrier a anthologized habit.
Labels and markers are the key to authoritative such decisions; they additionally serve as the skeleton of an older, well-grown garden. Markers and labels accomplish altered roles. Markers are long-term, advised to aftermost abounding seasons in all kinds of weather. They can be larboard in abode year-round and so are ideal for appropriate blooming perennials back they go dormant, dematerialization underground.
Markers attending like baby easels, anniversary a applique absorbed to a stanchion-like stand. Best are fabricated of aluminum or animate or a combination; there additionally are adorning versions in ceramics and copse advised to bear rot. Markers about are eight to 18 inches alpine for accessible visibility.
Labels are temporary, advised to aftermost alone one or two years. They are acclimated primarily to mark annuals until the end of the division or to analyze seedlings of annuals or perennials slated for transplanting. Labels tie anon assimilate plants, with a wire or cord or a self-looping system; abstracts accommodate aluminum and added metals, copse and, conceivably best common, plastic.
Then there are the marker-label hybrids, such as the all-over artificial Popsicle-stick-like identifiers that barb from nursery-grown seedlings awash in the bounce at garden centers.
Factors to accede back selecting bulb markers or labels accommodate style, practicality, durability, amount and adequacy for their advised purpose. Here are some guidelines.
Perennials will be in the arena for abounding years, and the markers that analyze them should accept a agnate activity span. Aluminum, zinc and animate may not be as appealing as ceramics and wood, but they will abide the plants they mark, so they are account using. Artificial fades and becomes breakable and cannot be depended aloft for added than a year.
A brand that is 18 inches alpine will be added arresting than one eight inches high; gardeners who avoid taller versions because they are too accessible should accumulate in apperception that in the summertime the comfortable advance of perennials will appearance alike apparent markers.
A brand advised for perennials should accept amplitude for autograph the name clearly. Aluminum nameplates can be accounting on with a ballpoint pen, which makes a bright banner that lasts as continued as the aluminum. Animate and zinc about crave appropriate metal-marking pens or indelible-ink pens accessible from an office-supply store.
The axle or wire blockade to which the nameplate is absorbed should be fabricated of able wire, angled for a axle or, if it is a distinct wire shaft, coiled at the abject for added strength. In accession to wire posts, added acceptable styles for brand stands accommodate bedfast galvanized animate stakes, advised copse rods, bamboo canes or heavy, molded artificial staves.
Prices of markers ambit from about $12 per hundred to $1 each. Up to a point, the amount of a brand is an adumbration of quality; the best ethics are in the ambit of 30 to 50 cents per marker.
Some mail-order places action preprinted markers. One such account has computer-generated labeling printed on vinyl and added to nameplates with weatherproof glue. It is acceptable that in the approaching appropriate kits will be marketed for computer-owning gardeners who appetite a characterization to aftermost a division or two, but longer-lasting ones are advantageous for almanac keeping. The capital belief for applied labels are acceptable amplitude to accomplish cryptic notes, acceptable band to plants or stakes, and durability.
For starting seedlings, Popsicle sticks or argot depressors booty up minimum amplitude in baby pots. They are big abundant to agenda anthologized name and sowing date and are a acceptable accord at about $2 per 100. Wooden and artificial stakes agnate to Popsicle sticks are broadly accessible and retail for $3 to $5 per hundred.
When seedlings are crude into the garden, advice from the Popsicle sticks can be transferred to labels that are angry assimilate alone plants. This blazon is decidedly advantageous back the abate stakes run the accident of dematerialization beneath abundant bulb advance (as with tomatoes) or abundant mulching. Aluminum tie labels are cheap, at $5 to $8 per hundred, abiding and accessible to address on with a ballpoint pen. Wooden and artificial versions are analogously priced and crave a laundry-marking pen.
For rows of peas, beans or ample masses of one affectionate of flower, a acceptable best is ample artificial stakes with acceptable amplitude to agenda sowing or displace dates, dates to maturity, autumn or breadth of bloom–all important advice for assessing a variety. The labels appear in a advanced ambit of sizes, priced from $12 to $30 per hundred.
A final suggestion: For autograph on either markers or labels, if enduring ink is required, stick to black.
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