One of my favorite edible garden blogs, My Tiny Plot, did a post a few months back about a plant tag making system that utilizes aluminum tags, metal punches, and a very heavy jig to make custom, professional-looking tags. They last a lifetime and never rust or fade with time. I’d love to have one of these sets in the future, but seen as though they are in the UK through Alitags and have their own hefty price tag (no pun intended), I decided on the stay-at-home/mom-on-a-budget version. I came across a pack of 50 aluminum tags at a local nursery today for the friendly price of $7.99. Using either a ball point pen or pencil, press firmly as you write the name/date/etc of your prized trees. For me, I wanted them for my fruit trees, but they are perfect for just about anything that you don’t want to forget in the garden.
I am now the proud owner of 8 fruit trees, up from just 2 less than a year ago. I finally found a place for the new bare-root Gold Kist apricot (I sacrificed a lack-luster rose near my kitchen window).
So I mentioned that I was at the nursery today…and I got one more bare-root. I swear. Last one. Snow Queen white flesh nectarine. I do already have the Double Delight Nectarine with yellow flesh planted January 2012, but I didn’t have a white flesh. So there’s my reason. HA! It’s perfect for low chill areas, less than 300 hours and it has amazing reviews on taste. I even had a spot picked out before I went to buy it.
You know those root-knot nematodes that got me all down and out last summer? And I solarized one bed for three months? Well I pulled some beets from that bed and, you guess it, root-knot nematodes still. So, I decided to plant the Snow Queen in that bed. It’s grown on citation rootstock, which is nematode resistant and does well in wet soils. So there, you little buggers!
I have been using the same kind of aluminum tags for about 12 years, and they look just as good today as when I first tied them to my grapes and fruit trees. Every few years I have to move them or loosen them so they don’t girdle the spot on tree or vine, but other than that, they have been great to have. I sometimes forget what year I planted something, and all I have to do is check the tag for the year.