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Re: plastic plant labels

There are two distinct classes of labels:

1  Those which are made by the 1,000s for nursery sales.

2  Those which are for garden use.

Nursery sales labels are cheap and impermanent. Garden labels should be
permanent, and, of necessity, cannot be cheap. Those labels which are
intended for garden use should, in addtion, be

1  legible

2  inconspicuous

Thes two additional requirements would seem to be contradictory. However,
the labels I make satisfy both permanence, and legibility, and are almost
inconspicuous. You can see a sample of an old label of this type on the
North American Rock Garden Society site at


These labels are printed, using a laser printer on sheets of self adhesive
mylar, the kind used for encapsulating photos or cards. I do a 1/2 sheet of
labels, about 30 to a 1/2  sheet at a time. The other 1/2 sheet is used to
cover the printing. The backing is removed, the labels cut apart, and
attached to polycarbonate 1/8" thick  5/8" X  7" sticks with one end cut at
a 45 degree angle. I used to use acrylic, but they break under the weight
of a foot; the polycarbonate does not. The labels outlast the plant, but
the sticks are recyclabel.

I have used most of the label techniques described in the past:  dymo
tapes: they do not stick consistently and the pigments fade, plastic hand
written labels - they break and the writing disappears (except under UV
light), ... .

The names for the plants I label come from seeds or plants on oders, all of
which I prepare, using the computer. By cutting and pasting one need not
type the names a second time. When an order arrives, I check to see what
actually came, and print the labels a few minutes later.  The preparation
time/label is about 2 minutes. The cost is about 50 cents/label. What one
gets in exchange is a label which lasts over 10 years.

Iza Goroff
Whitewater Wisconsin

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