Am new "chair" for native garden @ Elementry school. Anyone have ways of labeling plants so small hands don't move or remove.... Thanks............AMS
What kind of pots will you be using? Or are you planting in the ground? You can use a permanant marker on plastic pots. The old popsicle stick can be removed, but not if you hot glue it on to the side. Hope this helps.
That's kind of a tough one. Since you said it is a native garden I assume that you need things that will stay in the ground.
Why not construct larger signs with six or so plants pictured on the signs for the kids have to match up with actual plants in that area of the garden. That way the posts could be set in the ground and would be heavy enough to keep small fingers at bay while offering the opportunity to exercize the skill of plant identification. Kind of a can you find this plant in the garden exercise.
Here are some labeling ideas:
Use ceramic tile pieces and a labeling machine (not the raised letters; the kind that is like letters on scotch tape). Use smooth egg shaped rocks and write with paint pen or sharpie on the stone; in a school garden, annual sign renewal can be integrated into a lesson plan. A clever recycle of milk jugs that I have seen is to take a wire coat hanger and snip it to form a "shepard's crook" and cut plastic ovals from the sides of milk jugs that you write on w/ sharpie and hang from the "crook".
Hmmm... for something harder to remove, I was thinking about painting a sign, drilling it to a wooden stake, putting the stake into a can filled with plaster of paris, and burying the can.
Julie in Michigan (familiar with kids and their love of touching stuff)
I like the big buried can filled with plaster of paris--was thinking along those lines myself. However you chose to attach the labels to it, little hands wouldn't be strong enough to get that puppy out of the ground. :o)
You could also paint on stepping stones, or even glue seed packets to the stones and then paint the whole thing over with a few coats of polyeurathane (love that stuff!) so little feet wouldn't wear the identification off.
How about using long slats from blinds? If you put a right angle bend in it, and bury most of it under the plant, it shouldn't get pulled up easily. I've also heard of burying a tag slightly to one side so that if a label gets lost, you can still determine what the plant is. Plus it has a good message about recycling.
If your school has an art teacher and a kiln considering having the students design terracotta plant makers either in slab form or hanging tag form (bent piece of copper wire holds clay disc with name and drawing or incription of plant) The marker will last longer if they are glazed with a clear glaze. If the kids have an investment in making the makers then planting the plants the markers will stay in place alot longer.
I also use recycled mini blinds that my "dawgs" never fail to demolish the minute I leave and forgot to raise them.
But, I cut them into pieces, label what they are, the date planted and for the wee ones a color dot on the marker and the pot it/they are in. that way if they mix up the tags, we can go back and color match them.
I like to keep it quick and simple.
Great Ideas Guys, Thank You!!! Anne-Marie
The school here used the plaster-filled cans, and it was fine for the little kids, but the older kids had lots of fun digging them out at throwing them. I think a large sign with several plants on it at once would be the safest. Have the kids design them! The school did that with some larger signs and those kids, at least, felt obligated to not damage them, and a few even defended them from other kids! If a kid feels that something is "theirs" they are more likely to tell other kids to respect it too.
Lots of good ideas,, here's another and cheap too.
You need cardboard, 2 inch clear packing tape, a hole punch and twin.
The bigger kids could make them. *G (Always a nice shortcut, huh?) *chuckle*
Cut cardboard squares, or various shapes. Write the name of the plant on the solid brown side (you can use any old cereal box for this, just write on the side that doesn't have print).
Now take the two inch plastic tape, and laminate with the tape. Covering the entire square.
Take a scissors and cut off all the excess on the edges. It is now water proof :) Leave an overhang of clear plastic tape on one edge.
Take your hole punch and punch two holes, one in the plasic pot rim. And one in the clear laminated overhang.
Take your garden twin and cut strips. Take a strip and tie the lable to the pot.
Cheap and effective, and if the big kids do it, short on the time factor too :)