Do you like experimenting with new plants? I certainly do, which is why I add 20 to 30 new plants to my yard every year. Some of these are replacing ones that didn’t survive the weather. Others I buy because I like the blooms and want to see how well they will work in my yard. With each of these plants, I always make a point of saving the little plastic name stake that has a picture of the plant on the front with the name, and the planting and care instructions on the back. Here’s why.
Will remind you of what you’ve planted
The obvious reason for keeping the plant name stakes is to remind us of what has been planted. These stakes have both the type of plant it is (ie “stonecrop”) and the variety (sedum oreganum). This makes it super easy to find the exact same variety again if the plant is highly successful and one that we want to plant elsewhere in the yard.
Lists the planting instructions
The back of the plant name stake contains instructions for sunlight, watering, spacing, and soil needs. While we refer to these instructions when planting, what happens if we decide to move the plant to a different location a month or two later? Keeping the name stake reminds us of the different planting requirements that must be followed to the plant to thrive in its new location.
Prevents us from losing the plant
Name stakes also serve as a place keeper so that we don’t lose the plant’s location during the winter. This prevents us from accidentally digging up (and throwing out) the roots when we weed in the spring and planting a new plant over an old one. The name stake also gives us a sense of location when we mulch the beds in the late fall to insulate the ground.
All these are good reasons to hang onto those colorful plant name stakes instead of tossing them in the recycling bin after the plants have gone into the ground. To keep track of my store plant stakes, I attach the name stakes to a piece of medium-gauge gardening wire. The top half of the wire is shaped into a series of large coils which hold the tag securely. The bottom half is pressed into the ground and long enough so it can be seen even when the plant is mature.
More by this contributor:
8 high yield vegetables for the garden
10 clever ways to cut vegetable gardening costs
Why I plant vegetables and flowers together