So I was potting up a bunch of seedlings the other day and found that I was short on popsicle sticks. (AKA coffee stirring sticks from the coffee shop — I use them, then take them home with me for further use…)

What could I use to id these darned plants so that I could tell them apart when it came time to plant (or share) them? I looked up at the ceiling and found no inspiration, looked at the walls, no inspiration. But wait, what is that under the potting bench? A set of broken mini-blinds that I’d forgotten all about. I’d saved them for just this purpose over a year ago and there they were ready for me to pull out the scissors and snip them to just the right length.


I heard about using old blinds as plant markers from Farmers Brad and Jenny at Home Sweet Farm in Brenham, Texas. I had the pleasure of working as an intern/working share member for them for over a year. Learned tons of stuff about plants and good dirt, but the mini-blind tip sure saved me this time.

How to get free mini-blinds to use as plant markers? Freecycle. When Brad and Jenny ran out of plant markers, I posted a want ad on my local freecycle for broken mini-blinds and got back five replies with offers of broken blinds, enough material to make thousands of plant markers. (Remember that on Freecycle it is good etiquette to Offer three times for every Wanted post!) I prefer plastic mini-blind slats, but the metal ones work too — lighter colors are easier to mark and to read.

Happy gardening!


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