UGH!!! The pitfalls of not labeling or taking notes

judsoncarroll4
judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin
edited November 2020 in Garden Design

Something has been growing very well in the garden... it was small and I thought it was an herb.... Gosh, it seemed to be the most bland herb imaginable!.. I kept pinching off the tops and tasting, hoping for an identifiable flavor... I finally realized, it was not an herb.. it was lentils!

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Comments

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I always think I'll remember stuff. I am so often so wrong. Thanks for sharing this reminder to take good notes.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin

    The crazy thing is that I've grown lentils before - now, I look at them and am amazed I didn't recognize them!

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    I’m right there with you! I bought a root herb from a nursery I had not seen in nurseries before but I use regularly and was excited to have one! It’s not ginger or tumeric. Idk what it is! And my nursery is closed due to covid-19. So I guess I will just let it grow...

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,102 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I hate it when we do this. Every year I have had great plans for tracking everything including the weather. That way we would know what caused any issues or if there was a bumper crop what contributed. It works great for a couple weeks. Then we get busy, and miss a couple days here and a couple there and pretty soon we have quit completely. Same thing with our chickens, both the layers and the meat birds. We plan to track conditions that cause them to slow down or stop laying and so on. We might get how many eggs they laid, but weather, feed costs or changes and so on always gets lost through the season.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin

    I agree... the best laid plans... Well, I definitely put this garden together more haphazardly than I otherwise would. Next year, I plan to keep a small notebook in my pocket so I can write things down as I plant them, just numbering the rows or beds in my notes. Ditto on all the other things that go into good gardening.

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    I can hardly remember my own name some days, but that innate optimism always kicks in and I think- oh, I’ll remember...

  • Melissa Swartz
    Melissa Swartz Posts: 270 ✭✭✭

    This brings up a question--what are you using to mark your perennial plants? I've tried several things but after a year the labels are gone. I've tried Sharpie, indelible pens, plastic, wood...Nothing lasts beyond the first year. (Of course I could write it all down and keep a journal, but that never seems to happen...)

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Melissa Swartz I've wondered about those nice markers they have at botanical gardens. I imagine they are expensive, but surely worth a bit to have them permanently identified. I haven't found where to get those yet. But here's a video of one way to do it.


  • WJ
    WJ Posts: 2
    edited May 2020

    Thomas Jefferson did it with the very basic resources of his times.... if you read his horticultural journals... well, never mind... the average American with a graduate degree is not as educated as a 5th grader in Jefferson's time... so most cannot understand anything he wrote.

  • Melinda
    Melinda Posts: 123 ✭✭✭

    I have to label every single plant, even the dups, or this happens.

  • Melissa Swartz
    Melissa Swartz Posts: 270 ✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle Thanks for the video--I would never have thought of using those materials for plant labels. Very helpful!

  • MissPatricia
    MissPatricia Posts: 318 ✭✭✭

    My husband has been telling me to label for 50+ years, and I am finally getting pretty good at doing it. The video was good: air conditioning flashing and a paint pen. Sounds easy.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin

    At least I remember where I planted my chia - it is coming back this year on its own!

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I label plants two times, to make sure if one fails the other is still there

    If you have nieces, nephews or grand children a rock painting day will mark you plants in a fun and memorable way

    A grease pencil works pretty well. Sharpies fade in the sun

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    It is amazing just how fleeting memory can be. I wasn't able to get out and forage or garden much the past two years because of health issues. Now that I getting some mobility back, and heading out each day to forage a bit or work on the garden or other projects, it's just a constant exercise in frustration to see plants that I should know well but can't exactly recall, or to pull up something useful by mistake because I didn't recognize it in time. So I have started carrying a small bag with popsicle sticks and a water-proof marker along with a field guide and water-proof notebook with me whenever I go out now, even just to work around the yard.

    I rarely did much labeling in the garden before. This year everything gets labeled!

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭
  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    During an herb talk in Seven Springs a few years ago, the speaker recalled a job she had seeding many acres with Golden Seal for a wealthy client. The next year, the client called to complain that the seeds never grew. The speaker went on to explain that after researching the issue, it was learned that the client paid a crew a lot of money to "weed" the area. Pause to think about it. Yep, they weeded out all of the Golden Seal.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2021

    Wow, what a loss.

    @frogvalley Do you go to seven springs often? I have gone and loved it. Its about a 5 hour trip for me - you know, up and down hills...

    One time after a trip to Florida, we were exhausted and not thinking. We decided to cut across West Virginia. The road was straight, or so it looked and we could save time. HaHa. Up one mountain then another. We saw beautiful scenery but those roads!

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Did you try using disposable aluminam pans, like pie pans? cut them the right shape and write on them with a dead ball point pen hard enough to see the lettering.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A really cut garden marker is metal juice can lids with a hole punched in and hung on metal stakes ( I use old metal coat hangers. If you can bend curves in them it adds an artistic look. Change the height of the metal stakes and its just a fun look. They last for years. You can tin punch the plant name in or paint it on

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RustBeltCowgirl Good idea. I will share this with my niece. It would make a good children's garden project.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,102 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This sounds like a great way to use up old canning jar lids as well. The flats cannot be reused for canning and I have a hard time getting rid of them. Always thought there had to be some good use for them. Now I know what. I must have thousands of them saved cause I always knew I would find a use just as soon as I got rid of them. Glad I kept them. Punching them with a blunt nail or something to "write" the names on will be fun too.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I labeled my three types of hot peppers, sitting in moist bags on heat waiting to sprout.

    When I checked them yesterday, the labels were no longer readable! Something about the heat, moisture, contact with the furnace metal, or whatever has made the ink go away. :-( I know these three bags are peppers, but I no longer no which one is mild, which medium, and which hot!

    One of them does appear to have begun sprouting, FINALLY. The others probably won't be far behind. Around 4 weeks to sprouting, wow! Nothing else I grow is that slow to germinate.

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Try finding a wide pop cycle stick in some amount of bulk you need, label it and then spray a shellac or sealant over it for extended use that at least should last the season and then go over the label id with your sharpie again and respray as necessary. don't forget to add your own touch to it to 'happy it up' some...a flower, a pix of the veg you're labeling and so on...

    Or you could take the same wide pop cycle stick, 'happy it up' at the upper end and then glue it to a rock that you have painted with the name of the plant, glue the rock to the lower end of the stick with enough room to allow the stick to be deep enough not to fall over, and shellac both of them. Then put the stick into the soil up to the rock..it should make your marker more secure and what a cute and mood lifting touch.... If you can't find pop cycle sticks long enough for that then glue 2 together lenghtening the sticks as necessary to allow for needed depth to keep it from falling over..I would then camo the point where the 2 sticks joined with the painted rock.

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I almost never label my plants, and almost always forget what I planted. Some strange leaves started sprouting in a pot and I tried to figure out what it was. The only thing that would come up on the plant search is sorrel. I pulled it up and recognized it. It was oca, and I did plant it. I had never seen the plant, only the tuber at the store, and had no clue it's an oxalis. Fortunately, it survived my brutal treatment.

  • flowerpower *
    flowerpower * Posts: 257 ✭✭✭

    I think a garden map would help too. I know I have had problems where I did not keep track of where one type of potato ended and the other began.

    I like seeing tags on plantings and trees, say like in Botanical Gardens. Even though we may recognize the plant, recognizing the variety is not so easy. For a heirloom or medicinal plant the variety is important. Maybe we just have to freshen the markings up from time to time.

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant I try to go every year, but usually only make it every other year. I love to buy the VIP tickets so I don't have to wait in line for food and get to sit in the front without having to plunck down an hour before the talks. I'm hoping to go this year. Let me know if you are going so we can meet up.

    I also love your idea about popping the name of the plant into a piece of metal like a lid. I'd never thought of that. Great! Most things I recognize from having/using them for many years. New items however present a challenge so I'm going to be trying out a few of the above suggestions.