Garden Project: DIY Plant Labels

So…who’s planted their garden?


We’ve had ours out for roughly a week, in part due to the weeks of nice sunny weather and lots of rain, which greened up our lawn to the point that it requires mowing twice a week.


But, as soon as we got the plants in the ground – last night we had a frost warning. Frost. Luckily I have a garden dedicated man in the house, who went out after midnight and covered all the little babies up with tarps. I, of course, was tucked away in a nice warm bed, completely oblivious.

I prefer it that way.

garden2What I don’t like being oblivious about, however, is what is planted where. Honestly, I forget what’s what. I am adept enough to recognize a tomato plant versus a melon or zucchini plant. But we like to plant unusual varieties and types, and it isn’t easy to remember all of the differences. So…what to do?

Label them.

Since I am writing for Burpee Home Garden this year, I want to keep the garden looking sharp. So, the little labels that come attached to the plants just weren’t going to cut it. That, and I am a sucker for labels that are all matchy matchy.

Thanks to a successful shout out on Twitter, I was pointed to a website where the clever gal had made some really cute ones on the cheap.

I like cheap.

Now, hers a little more colorful than mine, but I intend to do more of them in other shades. I just wanted to share what I did and how, so that if any of you are in the midst of planting, you can whip up a few to mark your plants as well. We can’t have you confusing your boxwood basil with your eggplants.

Not that you would.


Garden Stake Recipe

  • Wooden Paint Stirrers
  • Spray Paint
  • Paint Marker
  • Spray Varnish


First, flirt with the paint guy at Home Depot and secure a good amount of free paint stirrers. You’ll need several. Once you get them home, lay them out on a newspaper or a cardboard box, and proceed to spray them with a coat of paint. We used a dark raspberry. had I known how cute they would turn out, I’d have bought additional colors. Lucky for me, I have a ton more to make.

Allow the first coat of paint to dry 30-45 minutes, then spray the opposite side. You can, of course, spray 2 coats on each side, but, in my opinion, rustic works. Once they are dry, use a paint pen, available in the craft section of Walmart or at Michaels. Decide what to write on each, and do it. I prefer all caps, with little dots on the end of each letter, just because it looks like the things you buy at them mall when you are 12 and want your name written on everything you own.

Maybe that was just me.

From there, spray a coat of varnish over the stake and allow to dry. Finally, place it in the garden.

Voila! You’re done!

I love the way these look, and I really like how large they are and how easy it is to read them. Hopefully you can use this idea, too!

Happy planting!



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