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Post by Chilli-head 25th February 2021, 8:43 pm

I'm struggling to remember where I found the tip, but today I received 200 medical tongue depressors. Like an outsize lollypop stick, they are made of biodegradable beech wood, are writable with a regular pencil, and cost 2p each. An easy and cheap way to avoid lost plastic on the plot And a great deal cheaper than any official garden product !
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Post by freebird 26th February 2021, 8:52 am

I usually cut labels from waste materials I have to hand, though I admit, generally plastics. I did buy some of those solid plastic ones a couple of years ago, because I had a couple of pounds to use up on a voucher. I reuse, by wiping off the permanent marker with some hand sanitiser on tissue.

I have used wooden sticks (ice lolly sticks) in the past, but found they can go very dark and slimy and illegible when used longer term.
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Post by Ploshkin 27th February 2021, 10:13 am

I also cut up plastic containers for markers. I usually write in pencil on them then it rubs off and I can use them again. They go into the recycling or the boiler when they are finished with.
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Post by Chilli-head 27th February 2021, 10:28 am

Suitable pens is another problem. I used to use overhead projector "permanent" pens, but these are somewhat out of fashion these days ! Black sharpies work, but any other colour fades in a lot less than a season. And any fibre tip does not like being baked in a hot shed. Wood can be written on in pencil, only some textured plastics take pencil, a lot of polythene bottles (which I used to use) are hard to mark. Which is a shame, as I have some 5L white plastic bottles to re-purpose - I have taken to buying liquid soap in bulk and re-filling the pump action bottles since the first lockdown soap crisis - I think on the whole it reduces plastic waste, and the soap is better !

I'm hoping the wood will be good for single year use then composting. That it hasn't had a lolipop on it may make it go mouldy less quickly Laughing
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Post by Florence 27th February 2021, 11:02 am

White plastic labels scrub up at the end of the season if the sun has baked them into pieces. Don't think there's a cheap and enduring way of labelling rows of plants or tubs to be honest. Unless you grow the same things every year or just use a generic term (cabbage, runner beans) and keep the seed packets to know what you grew.
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Post by Dandelion 27th February 2021, 9:38 pm

I like the cheap tongue depressors too - the two things which appeal to me are that at the end of the season they go into the kindling pile for the log burner, and also because they are fairly wide, I can write on them with big letters. I have pretty bad eyesight (one eye long-sighted, the other short sighted) and if I'm in the garden without my glasses I can see what I'm doing! I wonder if wax crayon would work? I'll have to try it.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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