A "Do-It-Yourself" Plant Label
Dr. Frank D. Mossman and Britt M. Smith
An inexpensive plant label has proved quite satisfactory for us and may be of interest to other members. We have made these labels from aluminum and from corrosion resistant steel. Aluminum labels are .006 in. thick, and corrosion resistant steel 0.002 in. thick. Other thicknesses have teen tried and found to be less satisfactory. Each metal usually comes in rolls which are 12 in. wide, and a pound will make approximately 400 labels. Aluminum has been $82.00 per pound, and the corrosion resistant steel is about $815.00 per pound, but we found some of the latter in a surplus yard for 40 cents per pound.
We have found that paper cutters work very well for cutting stock. First, cut across the 12 in. width to make sheets 6 in. by 12 in., then cut across the 6 in. width of those pieces to make the strips 3/4 in. by 6 in. The last step is best performed with a small cutting shears. Cut the two ends each approximately % of the way across and from opposite sides, and make these cuts approximately 3/8 in. from the end. Make them as nearly perpendicular to the sides as practical, as this will make them easier to install on the plants.
To write on the label, use an old ball point pen, and back the label with something which will give a little. such as a clip board with four or five sheets of paper on it. By pressing a little, the writing is embossed in the metal and will be readable as long as the metal lasts.
To install the label, wrap it around the stem and place the two side cuts together to the extreme of the cuts. Bend the two little tabs over the backs of the adjacent metal, and the job is completed. Tabs can be bent back up and the label reinstalled if it is desired.
This is not original with us; Ben Lancaster showed it to Dr. Frank Mossman. Just as Ben showed us a useful idea, we are now passing it along, and hope that others will find it as convenient and useful as we have.