Friday, July 3, 2009

Green Living Tip for Gardening: Making Plant Markers from Mini Blinds

Reducing, reusing and recycling are great ways to go green, especially in the garden. Here’s another living green tip on how to reuse broken mini blinds as plant markers. I can't really take full credit for this great idea. It was shared at an Herbal meeting I went to last month by Daryl Hoitt of, an organic grower who was kind enough to pass along her sage gardening advice.

At first glance, mini blinds may not seem to be an ideal candidate to reuse as plant markers. When I first heard it, I thought the very same thing. Mini blinds are big, bulky and not all that attractive, how can they possibly be re-purposed for gardening, I thought. It didn't take much convincing though before I understood that they are a perfect way of going green in the garden.

Here's how to make handy plant markers for your deck plants, vegetable garden or even seedlings.

1. Find a set of broken mini blinds. Sometimes that's as easy as walking through your house and finishing up your "to do" list. Item #4 to do - fix broken mini blind. If you don't have your own, ask friends and neighbors, or even pluck them curbside to save them from an inevitable life in a landfill. You'll probably want to use light colored ones like cream or white.

2. Make sure the blinds are relatively clean. If not, dust them off or take a hose to them to remove the major dirt that may have accumulated during their first career as window coverings.

3. Snip the horizontal plastic strips with a pair of scissors. Make sure at least one end is cut at an angle so it can be easily pushed into the soil. Depending on the width of the blind you can cut several plant markers per blade. I found that cutting the angled end next to the holes that allow for the vertical cords works best. That way, you don't have to use the piece with the holes, but still end up with lots of markers.

4. Use a china marker (I know them as grease pencils) to write the name of the plant on the marker. You can use whatever color you'd like, I just happened to have a red one handy. Then push the marker into the soil next to the plant.

5. When you're finished cutting you'll have reused the majority of the blind and only the broken "skeleton" will remain, which you can then discard knowing that you saved most of it to live again in your garden.


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