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Use Paint Stir Sticks as Plant Tags
Use paint stir sticks as a a cheap an easy way to add a decorative plant tag to the plants in your garden.
Why Use Paint Stir Sticks as Plant Tags
When looking for that extra touch for your garden or your indoor herb garden can be as simple as adding a decorative plant tag to the container or throughout the garden. But the thing is, most decorative plant tags are not cheap. For small plantings, this may not be a big deal, but for those with a large garden, then this a big deal.
Although I do not have a large garden, I do have enough plants that expensive plant tags add up. So I normally use the ugly supplied nursery tag, plastic spoons, blank plastic tags, or copper plant tags from the dollar store. But these never last the season.
After replacing the tags several times a season and forgetting what varieties of plants I have in my collection, I decided I wanted to go with a more permanent solution for tagging my plants in the garden.
With a more permanent solution, I can keep my nursery tags stored in my garden notebook for future reference. If you keep your nursery tags, then it should be stored in place you can remember and not in your garden where they can be lost.
How to Make Your Paint Stir Stick Plant Tags Last Longer
If you ever used or seen a paint stir stick in person, then you know that they are untreated thin pieces of cheap wood. This means that the wood sticks will start to break down after a few months and in a season or two they will be useless.
To keep your paint stir stick from breaking down, you can paint them. If you paint them with an exterior paint, then you can make your tags last longer. Most exterior paints are the same ones you would use on your house or patio furniture. When exterior wood is painted, it slows the decomposing process down. depending on how much water your paint sticks are exposed to, you can multiple season out of them.
How to Paint Your Paint Stir Stick Plant Tags
Painting your paint sticks is easy and not all that expensive. Although its better to use exterior paint, you could almost use any type of extra paint you might have laying around the house. If not, you could always head over to the local big box store and pick up a sample of your favorite brand of exterior paint in the color of your choice. I prefer Behr Ultra and Premium paint for my painting projects. You can pick up a sample of Behr for under $5 and twenty+ sticks before you have to get more.
Once you have the paint, you can either use your fingers, sponge, or a brush to lightly paint the top and bottom surfaces of the paint stick. You will want to paint several coats or they might look like the above image.
The above image has sticks that were only painted once and not all of the sticks are not fully painted. Since these sticks were for an indoor herb garden, I wasn’t to concerned about multiple coats of paint. As for the part that isn’t painted, I chose not to paint it because they were going to be buried in the potting mix.
I’m not sure if it possible for the chemicals in the paint to leach into the potting mix. If it does, would the chemicals be pulled up into the plants via the roots? I know that the plant sticks will rot faster but, for me it isn’t worth the risk.
As for no edible plants, the whole paint stick should be painted.
Once the paint is dry, use a hobby paint pen to write the name on the stick. I normally write the common name and the scientific name on the other. To help me learn the scientific name, I normally face the scientific name forward so I can see the name every time I need to access the plant.