DIY Plant Markers
You don’t need to be Martha to pull this off; it truly is a piece of cake!
So I bought these cheap-o white, “easy to write on”, plant markers from my local Home Depot. I had visions of a neatly marked container garden on my balcony but when I tried to write on them I found out (even with a sharpie) the ink of the pen would smear. Not a hwat look. After messing around with a couple possible solutions, this is what I came up with:
I’m not sure if you tried this when you were a kid, but I did and it’s called “scratch boarding”. In school you’d cover a piece of drawing paper with different colored crayons. Then you colored over the entire paper again, this time with just black crayon. Then (and here’s where the fun begins) using a pointed wooden stick or a lollipop stick, you etched a drawing, scraping away the black crayon, exposing the bright colors underneath. NEAT!
In a nutshell, this is exactly what we’re doing except we’re using paint and allowing the white of the marker to come through.
What you’ll need:
- Colored paints in what ever colors you desire (if you have acrylics that works.)
- Weather resistant, clear coat paint made for plastics
- 1- wooden skewer
- 1- paint brush
Mix a very small amount of paint (depending on the number of markers that need to be in said color - if using multiple colors) with a single drop of water. You should achieve a very thin consistency of paint.
Note: don’t add too much water. We need to thin the paint. If it starts looking like watercolor paint simply add more paint to the mix. Work in tiny increments; a bit at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
With clean plant markers, paint starting just above the hole on the marker toward the end that’s squared off or not pointed (see examples). Paint should go on thin but it should cover the marker evenly. If some of the marker comes through, apply a second coat. Allow the markers to dry (30 -60 mins depending on your paint instructions) before moving on to the next step.
With dry, painted markers take your wooden skewer and write (ie: scrape or scratch off) the paint. You could write out the name of the plant or draw an image… the choice is yours.
Once you’re done with all your markers, cover with clear coat to seal and protect. You don’t have to cover the entire marker, just the area with the paint. Allow the markers to dry for 24 hours before use.
- Since all colors come from only a few, to save money, I bought white, black, red, blue, and yellow paint then simply mixed them to make the colors I needed.
- If you find that you make a mistake you can scratch off all the paint using a large coin.
- Paint clumping when you scratch? You might have too much paint on the marker. Scrape off all paint and start over making sure you thin the paint with more water.
Next up: DIY Plant Markers….
So easy to make, you’ll slap yourself…. or maybe you won’t slap yourself pre say but it will make you wish ~ “I thought of that”.
Progress: Re-grown Store Bought Celery
So a few days back, weeks rather, I started re-growing store bought celery…and here’s the progress; teeny, tiny stalks (not ready to be cut..yet).
They are thriving in my homemade self-watering containers (tutorial coming soon)…. next to the garlic I planted (also store bought).
More updates to come.
Tutorial: How To: Re-grow Store Bought Celery
Great tips and ideas for starting your seedlings!
Next up: DIY Self Watering Planters… Not made from Home Depot buckets.
Quick Tip: To regrow celery from store bought celery, keep the end of the stock (the part you don’t eat) and soak it in water for a few days. When leaves appear from the center and grow about an inch or two in height, plant in soil covering the stock (not the leaves). When matured, cut celery just above the dirt line then cover the remaining stock with a layer of soil and water. Grow, repeat and enjoy!
IKEA Greenhouse!!! It fits nicely on my balcony… doncha think :0)
How To Add Drainage Holes to a Metal Flower Pot:
(Plus an easy greenhouse remix)
Eeeeeeek! They forgot to put drainage holes in my metal flower pot and I don’t own a drill. Well cry no more cause this an easy fix!
What you need:
- 1- Large nail
- 1- Hammer
- A bunch of small clean/ untreated rocks
- Potting Soil
…and for the remix…
- 1- Plastic Shower cap or some Saran-wrap
Using the hammer and nail, turn over the flower pot and firmly pound in some holes. I use a diamond/ square technique with 3 holes on each side (which forms a square) and a small diamond/ square in the center.
NOTE: Once the nail breaks through, wiggle it in a circular fashion to widen the hole. The nail shaft should fall easily through the hole.
Now that you’re done pounding away, place the pot under some water to make sure you have enough drainage (IE: on medium flow, the flower pot will not hold water past the halfway mark).
The key (and there are many theories) is that you want the the soil to be moist or damp but not soaked. Soaked soil will drown your plant and could cause mold to grow.
Just add rocks! Add rocks or untreated pebbles to the bottom of your planter making sure to evenly cover the bottom of the pot. The rocks will allow for faster drainage and will keep you from over watering your plant. As an added bonus, the rocks allow the oxygen flow helping them breathe and grow faster (neat). Now you’re prepared shall a storm come along. Your plant should have sufficient enough drainage to manage a medium to heavy down pour.
With the rock bed laid, add nutrient enriched potting soil (or soil and compost if you have any).
Plant your…er… plant and cover with a bed of stones (or cork, or mulch, or… well you get the idea).
My green bean plant is very young and I wanted to “harden” it (IE: toughen him up for the changing weather conditions). Since it’s recommended to do this gradually, I need a bit of shelter to keep the plant happy while I was gone during the day (somebody’s gotta pay these bills). To do so, I created this make-shift greenhouse with untreated wood skewers and a shower cap stretched over the top; secured by the lip of the flower pot.
Place potted plant in a sunny spot and get ready to enjoy the fruits (or veggies) of your labor in the following weeks to come.
Unboxing: JUBEL Self-Watering Container from IKEA
Wanting all things pretty on my balcony garden getaway (yes, I’m a snob like that and I’m surprising cool with it), I’ve been looking for some interesting pots and containers to make DIY self-watering planters from. While cruising one of my favorites places in the world (IKEA) I found these colorful self-watering containers in 2 lovely sizes. In true geek (engadget) fashion and without further ado, my unboxing of these lovely glass beauties.