Question about using pencil to mark metal plant tags

rootedinreadyville(Zone 7)January 6, 2007

I read on one of the website's where I ordered zinc plant tags that you can write on them with a #2 pencil and it will last outside in the weather for several years.

Seems too good to be true! I'm wondering, before I go ahead and do this with all five hundred tags, if anyone has tested this method.

If so, did it last for several years with out needing to be touched up or will it fade away with direct sunlight exposure?

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shapiro(5a Ontario)

Dear Rooted: my own personal experience has been that the zinc plant tags outlast the plants. It is just about impossible to erase the name if you ever wish to. Here's what I do: look out for discarded blinds - liberate the slats from all the strings and cut the slats into short lengths, about 8 or 9 inches. Write on them with a "china" marker.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 3:53PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

The only drawback I see is reading the grey lead against the grey metal.

I have used a special black pencil on these labels and it has lasted 5 years. Was a gift so don't have specific brand info.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 4:58PM
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Shapiro, what is a china marker? Can I get one at Michael's or Hobby Lobby? What I have used on the zinc plates is a black sharpie, then I go over it with the grease pencil which came in the package with the zinc plates. This method lasts only about 14-18 months out here in the wild windy hot cold west and I'd sure like a better method. Thank you.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 7:32AM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

A paint pen is the only way to go :)
Craft stores sell one called Uchida by Marvie ---- or somthin' like that. I've misplaced mine. About $3.50.

I always thought a china marker was like a 'crayon' pencil (wax pencil?).

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 2:02AM
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rootedinreadyville(Zone 7)

A cattle tag marker (you can get them at the Farmer's Coop) works great too and they show up real well.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 9:01AM
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Neither the graphite pencil or the grease (china) marker that came with my Paw Paw label order held up after one season, even with the labels turned away from the sun. So far a paint pen (Deco marker?) from Michaels Craft Store has held up for three years.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 9:08AM
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tink2(5 Northern. Illinois)

Just where did you find metal tags? I can only find the ones with stakes and have been looking for the tag kind. They use to come with wire ties, but I can do the wire myself. I want to label the different kinds of fruit trees I have.
Thanks for the posting,

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 11:30PM
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Hi, Here is the web address for Gardener's Supply Company which just has thousands of helpful, pretty and different gardening supplies. I have been using their plant markers and their marking pen for about a year now. I can't tell you how long the writing will last yet, but so far it is holding up since last spring and the writing is as black as it was when I wrote the label. It says you can remove the ink with fine steel wool. Donna (type in the search box Plant Markers)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 8:28AM
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I use these aluminum "impression" tags and they are very durable. They are super easy to write on with a pencil or ball point pen because they have a soft/core. Plus you can write on both sides of the tag. They come with aluminum wire ties.

Here is a link that might be useful: Metal Plant Tags

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 9:43AM
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It's true that the pencil lasts forever, which is also a drawback when you want re-use the plant tag.

I have been using laser printed self adhesive labels over the zinc stakes as a result. There are weatherproof labels from Avery which need to be printed from a true laser printer (not ink jet) which so far have not faded or peeled at all (10 years and going)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 12:53PM
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I've been using white-on-black printed labels from Garden Fonts for several years and couldn't be more pleased. They seem to last forever and are very professional. Mine are a custom size because of the metal stakes and labels I use and cost 85 cents apiece. The style font I use is Serif. Very, very satisfactory.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 8:12PM
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Back when I used to use these, the idea was to use a ball point to mark with. Not for the ink part, but to indent the label with the marking. You just had to push a little harder to make it forever legible.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:13AM
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