When it comes to buying plants or anything else I am poor....also read cheap! I love deals, plant swaps, trades, the barter system and making things for myself. Today's post deals with the last thing, making things for myself.
As you know, I have a great many varieties of Citrus. Many of them look very much alike in growth habit, leaf shape and size, etc. I am also amassing a decent size Camellia collection, through trades, grafting, cuttings, friends etc. The different cultivars there also have a great many similarities. I am very anal when it comes to keeping my plants tagged. I like to know who is doing what, if they need a little different care, etc. I have been using plastic tags stuck in the pots for years now. Occasionally they get lost, stolen (squirrels take them believe it or not) or just fade over time.
I have noticed many of my friends at the Camellia Society use aluminum tags hung from the plants. They are permanent, are always with the tree, and easy to spot.
I looked them up online. I found that I could get 100 of them for $15.95 +shipping. So basically, right around $20. Remember at the beginning I said I was poor, read cheap? Just like a lot of other families in the country, I don't have an extra $20. So, then a brain storm hit me. I drink soda and they come in cans....HMMMMM?!
I will make my own!
Start with an empty aluminum soda can. I find empty is easier to work with. Ha Ha.
I use Pepsi, it is the only one that will work. You can try Beer or Coke or some other kind, but I am pretty sure Pepsi cans are the only ones that work. The last two sentences were a joke, ANY aluminum can will work.
Cut the top and bottom off. Then slice it down the side. You will need to uncurl it a bit. Remember the sides will be rather sharp. You can file them down or wear gloves if this concerns you.
Cut the aluminum into approx 1 inch strips. They don't have to be exact, this isn't brain surgery. I get 7 from one can.
Punch a hole in it at one side with a nail.
Then with a ball point pen, write the name on it. If you write on it on a towel or several layers of newspaper it will indent better.
If you know the botanical and the common name put both. It could very easily be useful in the future if you have both.
You then slip a piece of wire through the hole and hang it from the plant. Make sure you tie it loosely to the plant so you don't girdle it. If you don't want to hang it, make a little hanger from an old coat hanger and stick that into the pot.
There, nice and cheap....especially if you already buy beverages in cans.