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Creating Folia plant tags - one method (Or, how to exercise your OCD)

Monday, 20 Feb 12 Rainy 12°C / 54°F

(in progress – explanations soon….)

Update: Now I have a moment to explain the crazy.

I created a set of Folia plant tags to keep attached to the plants, from seedbed to planting out in the garden. Partially, this is motivated by the fact that I don’t garden at my own house but am essentially a sharecropper for my friend’s front yard. He loves the garden, but is often wondering what things are. Also, we may be leaving this garden next year, and want to leave a record of what things are, where they came from, etc. The QR codes are ideal for this purpose, not to mention for the large numbers of passers-by that also want to know about the plants in the garden. Easy information for all! :)

Main photo: the finished tags in the seed flat

Photo #1: Printed tags, cut to size
– Apparently, QR codes can be read even with a darker background (I tested this) Yay! No glaringly white tags in the garden!
– I batch-printed these with a laser printer (no runny inkjet!), printing four sheets per page so they were quite a bit smaller
– Cut them out with a large paper cutter

Photo #2: My ‘laminating machine’
– Each tag was placed in a row along a length of heavy-duty packing tape (the regular stuff isn’t as stiff, and I’m wary of it wicking moisture)
– Doubled-over the tape, putting another layer on top to make a sealed, laminated surface

Photo #3: Cutting out each tag by hand is annoying. And sticky.

Photo #4: Water test
– Just to be sure, I submerged a tag in a bowl of water for several hours (it wanted to float, hence the yellow anchor) – not a leak in sight!

Does anyone else have a strategy for printing and using Folia plant or stash tags? I’m totally curious to see what options work for others.


This entry is about

A Shower garden

A Shower garden

A Shower garden

A Shower garden

A Shower garden


  • Tralamander

    Tralamander wrote:

    Oh wow! Just when I was worrying about being too in love with Folia! ;)
    Seriously though, they look great, and I’m sure it was such a fun project. Great stuff!

    Posted on 21 Feb 12 (over 3 years ago)

  • macchick

    macchick wrote:

    If you get a product called HP Tough Paper and print on a laser printer, then they will be completely waterproof, then no need to tape or laminate. No worries about OCD issues, I too do the same thing!

    Posted on 21 Feb 12 (over 3 years ago)

  • ErikInTheBakery

    ErikInTheBakery wrote:

    Bah, that’s not OCD. I just got done writing on tiny labels that I wrapped around the ends of toothpicks (no QR code though).

    Posted on 22 Feb 12 (over 3 years ago)

  • ErikInTheBakery

    ErikInTheBakery wrote:

    Oh, and I’ve been meaning to ask, is this garden actually in a shower?

    Posted on 22 Feb 12 (over 3 years ago)

  • KathN

    KathN wrote:

    How extremely cool!!! ::runs away to print labels::

    Posted on 22 Feb 12 (over 3 years ago)

  • DarkCreek

    DarkCreek wrote:

    These are so cool! I must be blind, but I can’t see where you found these to print off…

    Posted on 23 Feb 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • evergreengirl

    evergreengirl wrote:

    @Tralamander – Heh. I try very hard to keep my love for Folia to a respectable level, but it’s hard. I was trying to design something like it at one point myself – which means I love the already-created version all the more!
    @macchick – Initially, I’d thought of doing what you suggest, but the label file for printing leaves so much extra space that it didn’t justify the cost. Yes, I know I could do some arranging in a graphics package, but I tend to futz with things like that forever instead of just finishing. :P Also, how stiff is HP Tough Paper? I like the strength of the doubled heavy-duty packing tape – they don’t bend over at all.

    Posted on 24 Feb 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • evergreengirl

    evergreengirl wrote:

    @ DarkCreek – you can print them off singly or in batches after you create a planting. For single tags, go to that planting’s page and halfway down you’ll see a QR code (square barcode-like thing), and underneath that is a “Print Plant Tag” button. For batch mode, go to your plantings directory (“My Plantings”) and check all the boxes of the plantings you want to print (sadly, you can only check one page at a time). Et Voila! I didn’t love the large size of the tags, so I printed them four pages on one page (through the printer dialogue). That makes them just the right size for me, but you could also print them half size with only two pages of tags per printed page. Then, of course, there’s cutting them out and laminating them… a pain at this point, I want to find a better option.

    Posted on 24 Feb 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • evergreengirl

    evergreengirl wrote:

    @ErikInTheBakery – I realized I hadn’t posted anything about my Shower Garden, so I journaled about it here: http://myfolia.com/journals/113252-a-shower-setup
    Yes, it is actually a shower! :)

    Posted on 24 Feb 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • LillyPilly

    LillyPilly wrote:

    Very nice job! I hope the ‘landlord’ appreciates your painstaking efforts.

    I don’t think this is at all OC, you are just ahead of biosecurity requirements, by a few years. Now, if you start adding the codes for every vegetable to your MENUS, I might think it you a bit compulsive. Or just ahead of your time.

    Posted on 25 Feb 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • Qycone

    Qycone wrote:

    I am absolutely in love with this idea! Now I guess I have to get all my seeds organized and in Folia! LOL I have QR codes to print! Thanks for such a wonderful idea!

    Posted on 29 Feb 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • funkisockmunki

    funkisockmunki wrote:

    Wow, nice job! We have the exact same laminating machine too! ;-)

    Posted on 29 Feb 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • vaericks

    vaericks wrote:

    Any idea how UV resistant these would end up being?

    Posted on 29 Feb 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • jenniferworthen

    jenniferworthen wrote:

    Super awesome. And I looked up that Tough Paper thing macchick mentioned – how totally cool! I ordered a similar brand on Amazon today and I’ll report back. Here are my non-waterproof tags at the moment:

    Posted on 29 Feb 12 (about 3 years ago)

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