I do not have a green thumb.
All summer, I spend ridiculous amounts of time and money on plants for the little garden plot behind my apartment, only to see them whither away in the sun, or be ravaged by colossal city rabbits.
Not bunnies—city rabbits—big as cats with meaty legs the size of ham hocks. All winter they feast on hot garbage and mate with possums, spawning ferocious hybrid marsupial-rodents in the spring. Then the spawn go and consume my little garden as though it were Old Time Country Buffet with a sign on the door that read GIANT MARSUPIAL-RODENT SPAWN EAT FREE.
I hate those little shits.
Despite my failures, my inner farmer will not be tamed. The battle continues every spring with a new crop of tomatoes, herbs, and the fantasy of a September BBQ of feasting on home grown summer bounty. Not to be outdone, my plants must be marked in style, with cute little markers. Now, do I really *need* to mark the plants? No.
Does it make me feel accomplished, even when the leaves have been eaten to stubs? Totally.
Traditional Copper garden markers range widely. The fancy shop down the street sells beautiful hand pressed picks for $2.50 each, but I have seen alternatives in seed catalogs selling at 50 for $12.00. Not bad, but you can easily make several hundred on your own, for about $5.00 using plastic knives and aluminum duct tape.
Aluminum Tape can be found in the hardware store. It is traditionally used to seal the seams between ductwork and ventilation units. It is super sticky and waterproof. Runs around $5.00 for an 50 yard roll. You can also buy copper tape at the hardware store, closer to the electrical section, but it comes a little more expensive and I have not found the adhesive to be as sticky as I like it. You try and see for yourself.
Important: This needs to be aluminum duct tape, not just silver duct tape -- these are two different things. The aluminum duct tape is made from thin strips of metal sheeting and has removable paper backing. Several people have emailed me to say their markers failed because they used the wrong kind of tape. Again, let me emphasize: aluminum duct tape.Plastic Knives from the bottom of your junk drawer. I know you have some. These pictures would sure be cuter if I had used black or white or clear plastic knives, but you know what, I kept it real and used the electric pink knives from my junk drawer. Know why? Because I’m authentic, I’m thrifty, and my inner farmer would have thrown a hissy fit if I had gone out and spent money on a stupid thing like a plant marker.
Start by slicing your tape to size and sandwich the dull end of the knife in between. The tape is *very* sticky, so don't use your good scissors.
Use your pen to write the plant name backwards. This might take a little practice on scratch paper first.
Now flip it over and admire your work. The letters are a little wonky, but reverse embossing like this is darn impressive!
Now take it out to the garden and stick it in place. Stand back and admire your handy work. If your gardening talents are anything like mine, this will be the last time you feel a sense of accomplishment for the season :)
Lola stands guard under the tree, on the lookout for giant marsupial rodent spawn.
Go get 'em Lola!