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How do I organize my plants?

Posted by d_giffin 5 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 13, 08 at 10:20

I just planted two large shade gardens, and I am trying to think of a practical way to keep track of what I planted where. I tried to draw it out, and I am NOT artistic. My drawing looks like a glob with more globs in it.

I thought about taking some pictures, but it is still going to be hard to know what is coming up where.

Plant labels in this area are very expensive, or at least the ones I found are.

Also, what do I do about the nice cards I am getting on the buckets that held the plants? They are all different sizes, and there has to be some way to keep them organized for next year.

I am just not a natural organizer, so maybe some of you are, and you can help me with ideas. Thank you!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How do I organize my plants?

An inexpensive way to make plant markers is to use old vinyl or metal blinds. Cut them to whatever length you want. I will warn you that writing on them with a "sharpie" does not last more than a year. For some reason, writing on them with pencil lasts longer.

Since some shade plants go dormant (like trilliums), it is important to mark them so you don't plant on top of them or dig them up by accident.

RE: How do I organize my plants?

To track my plants, I made a one page form in a word processor program that I print out and then write the scientific name, the common name, where I bought the plant, the date planted, area of the garden planted and then any important information such as how to divide, when to divide and last time I did, companion plants, etc. I then staple the plant tag onto the page and then arrange alphabetically in a notebook by scientific name.

I am not an artist either, so I drew a rough sketch of my garden and divided it into zones. Each zone has a special designation that I then use to track area planted on the sheet. I also took pictures of the garden and then wrote on a printed copy each of the plants.

I found some "cheaper" metal plant markers at Target this year, pack of 10 for $5.00. The package includes a wax pencil; however my experience is that no matter what you use to write with, it will fade within two years if not sooner. Several years ago I saw a special garden labeler for printing off labels and then sticking to sticks or tags and guaranteed not to fade....well I already had a Brother P-touch labeler at home. So I experimented with it using the white TZ tape. It works! I have labels three years old that look like I placed them out yesterday. They have gone through sun, snow, severe ice storms. I am very satisfied with this system.

RE: How do I organize my plants?

I use the tops from juice cans and a grease pen but sinking the plastic tag you mentioned works the best. I have all my beds named by theme and attempted to keep a diary of what I have where and the date and place I got the plant from, how well it is doing. I ended up re-arranging s much at first that became a bit futile to keep up with. If I sunk the original marker near the root when planted,(esp. different hosta) when I go to "re-arrange" I get to be sure of what I am moving. Now that my beds are "done" maybe the diary will be easier to keep up with. Pictures are always nice too and I went on line because I was so new to so many plants and got descriptions off different sites to put in the diary. That way I could keep track of what I had and what I wanted to find on sale.

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