4 Easy and Inexpensive Ideas for DIY Garden Markers

I can’t believe this is true, but I’m now in my fourth year of growing my own summer vegetable garden. It is an addictive habit, and each year I’ve expanded my operation immensely. I first started out with a couple raised beds at our old house, re-claimed more of our yard for the subsequent three years, and this year, my husband and I really outdid ourselves: we bought a full-blown farm.

When I only had one garden bed, I was pretty safe trusting my own memory when it came to where I planted what. As my gardening operation grew, I needed a better way of keeping track of where I planted what so I didn’t get carried away when it came time to weed, and garden markers did just the trick. Below I share some of my favorite ways to create DIY garden markers with supplies you likely already have on hand.

1. Carved Sticks and Permanent Marker

This is a great, affordable option if you have a nice sharp carving knife and fairly good handwriting. The marker is liable to run a bit, but at least you’ll have some idea where you planted what.

2. Canning Jar Lids

This is another great, fairly inexpensive option with a touch more flair. Because you’re not writing on wet wood, the marker is liable to be a tad more permanent and your results a bit more predictable. If you have nicer writing than me, they can look super snazzy.

3. Bottle Cap Markers

If you’ve got access to bottle caps, a power drill and some string, this can be another clever and inexpensive option for DIY garden markers. Simply drill a hole in your bottle cap and a stick, write in the plant name with permanent marker, and tie the two together using string, twine or whatever you happen to have on hand.

4. Mason Jar Markers

Saving your seed packets can be incredibly helpful because they often have instructions for care printed right there on the packet. Keeping the packets is also helpful in keeping your garden log, because you can note which varieties from which suppliers produced the most in your garden, your soil, etc., and you’ll know which varieties to order next season.

Attaching an empty seed packet onto a stick and covering it with a mason jar is an excellent way to preserve the packet right where you need to have access to it. The jar will protect it from rain and help it to remain visible so you can see what is planted where. Considering the price of mason jars, this is a slightly more costly option, especially depending on how large your garden is. That said though, there are plenty of other uses for mason jars when fall and canning season rolls around.