Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

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Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by al » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 02:18:31



One of my gardening books suggests using old aluminium cans to make permanent
plant labels.   I assume you scratch the plant name onto the shiny metal
side of the aluminium foil.  Excuse my ignorance, but does this work... erm
how long do they last ?  (Does the metal colourize over time ?)
 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by Dwight Siple » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 02:39:07


Quote:

> One of my gardening books suggests using old aluminium cans to make permanent
> plant labels.   I assume you scratch the plant name onto the shiny metal
> side of the aluminium foil.  Excuse my ignorance, but does this work... erm
> how long do they last ?  (Does the metal colourize over time ?)

I've not used this technique but it would probably work somewhat. You
would just cut the can into strips and write on the inside with some
sort of stylus (an old ball point pen would work). The metal is soft and
will take an impression of the writing if you back it up with a couple
of sheets of newspaper on a hard surface. The writing is just impressed
in the metal surface and is not colored, so it is not easy to read from
a distance.

Aluminum does oxidize over time, particularly when exposed to acid rain.
However, the metal labels you buy at the Garden center will likely have
the same problem. The cans have the advantage that they're anodized to
prevent corrosion by the stuff they put into them.

The strips of aluminum can will have sharp edges, so you might want to
bend them over to avoid hazards to small children and pets.

The labels will have to be mounted on something to hold them up. A
length of galvanized wire can be bent around the strip and hammered
tight to hold the label. Wood supports will rot.

 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by hchick.. » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 02:46:21


Quote:

>The strips of aluminum can will have sharp edges, so you might want to
>bend them over to avoid hazards to small children and pets.

I think cutting up a bleach jug and using a permanent marker might be a better
idea.  No sharp edges and the plastic lasts a long time.  Could be a use for
old floppies too.  Thread a wire or string through the hole and write on the
floppy with a marker.
 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by pagh » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 03:14:06


Quote:

> One of my gardening books suggests using old aluminium cans to make permanent
> plant labels.   I assume you scratch the plant name onto the shiny metal
> side of the aluminium foil.  Excuse my ignorance, but does this work... erm
> how long do they last ?  (Does the metal colourize over time ?)

The Rhododendron Species Foundation has sometimes used aluminum tags for
field-grown species shrubs -- as these labels have to last several years
before the shrubs are old enough to put on sale. The tags must be removed
from plants before the shrubs are sold, as one rarely sees any of them,
but I obtained one rhody from them that I later found had an aluminum tag
that had the attached end deeply imbedded in the bark. The aluminum had
been EMBOSSED with species name, date it was planted (or a least tagged, a
decade earlier), & initials RSF. There must be some equivalent of those
plastic label strips to emboss aluminum strips instead of plastic.

The surface of aluminum turns black over time & rubs off, though I
wouldn't call that "colourize" which is what I thought crazy rich bastards
did to classic black & white films.

Man-made aluminum & aluminates MIGHT have some involvement in the
development of alzheimers disease, though years back when Science Digest
did a whole issue about it, looked like only about one out of ten
researchers thought it much likely. A few researchers think the link is
plausible; others think the aluminum deposits are an incidental
side-effect of other causes. From a lay perspective though it seems that
the only other possible explanation for these deposits, other than from
our continuous exposure to man-made aluminum, is that the human body can
go wacky & begin to manufacture aluminum from boxite, which is all around
us in the natural environment whereas aluminum is not. For there's no
question but that the majority of alzheimer patients have amazingly high
levels of aluminum deposits in the brain tissue. So while the science
proving or disproving a source of explanation for these deposits has
failed to clarify the issue, in the meantime anyone with aluminum kitchen
pots & utensils should toss them immediately; & check medications &
deodorants for aluminates with which we may be dosing ourselves orally or
through the skin every day. As for aluminum beverage cans, they are coated
inside & out -- everwhere except where the key-hole opening bares the raw
aluminum in the one place we'd put our mouths. So I avoid those too.

I  wouldn't want aluminum in the garden, first because it would be, like
plastic, an eyesoar, for I like things to look as woodsy-natural as
possible. Plus, even if a few aluminum tags here & there would likely be
harmless whether or not aluminum's connection to severe loss of mental
faculty can be shown to be factual, it'd still be like*** symbols of
humanity's self-invented doom all around the place, & I prefer the
symbolism of my gardens to refer more to Eden rather than some futuristic
city designed by Albert Speer.

-paghat the ra***
 preferring to die from UNrefined sugar

--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
   -from Peter Newell's "Wild Flowers"
See the Garden of Paghat the Ra***: http://www.moonsgarden.com/

 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by pagh » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 03:28:02


Quote:


> >The strips of aluminum can will have sharp edges, so you might want to
> >bend them over to avoid hazards to small children and pets.

> I think cutting up a bleach jug and using a permanent marker might be a better
> idea.  No sharp edges and the plastic lasts a long time.  Could be a use for
> old floppies too.  Thread a wire or string through the hole and write on the
> floppy with a marker.

I'm picturing a garden decorated with cut-up Budweisser cans & Clorox bottles.

How 'bout making an elaborate paper collage with the name of each plant
somewhere on the collage, imbed the collage in a block of fiberglass
resin, mount the block of resin on a three foot length of rebar, & pound
these in the ground in front of each plant.

OR, buy a kiln to manufacture your own bathroom tiles but adapted as
garden tiles, each tile glazed with naive images of flowers, & the name of
the plant, & these would be strewn about in the garden in from of each
plant.

OR, with copper wire & the tiniest glass beads, use needlenosed pliars to
shape a length of beaded wire into the name of the plant. Nail this to the
top edge of a one-foot-long chunk of two-by-four & cement the other end of
the 2x4 into the ground near the labeled plant.

OR, with a woodburning kit make Buddhist gravemarkers our of slats, with
the names of flowers instead of the dead burnt right into the slats. If
you're worried the wooden slats will rot in a few years, then get plastic
toy airplanes in all sorts of colors, & use the woodburning kit to melt in
the names of the plants on the wings of the airplanes & hang them from the
appropriate plants.

-paghat the ra***

--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
   -from Peter Newell's "Wild Flowers"
See the Garden of Paghat the Ra***: http://www.moonsgarden.com/

 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by Heidi Stum » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 03:21:22


If a sharpie marker or some paint would stick to the aluminum, you could
(once the ink dried) spray over the label w/ some clear acrylic paint to
lengthen the life span of your ID.  My favorite idea for plant markers
is to paint the name on a rock, also using a clear coat of acrylic to
seal the paint.  If your ground is anything like mine, you can dig up
plenty of free labels in your own yard!  :)

Heidi
Raleigh, NC

 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by pelirojaroj » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 03:40:57


I used a bunch of old CDs (those AOL sample CDs, etc.).  Flipped them on the
"pretty" side and used permanent marker.  They look neat and make pretty
rainbows, too.   ;-)

--
--  pelirojaroja
-----------------------------------------------
"There is a garden in every childhood,
an enchanted place where colors are brighter,
the air softer, and the morning more fragrant
than ever again."

-- Elizabeth Lawrence

Quote:

> >The strips of aluminum can will have sharp edges, so you might want to
> >bend them over to avoid hazards to small children and pets.

> I think cutting up a bleach jug and using a permanent marker might be a
better
> idea.  No sharp edges and the plastic lasts a long time.  Could be a use
for
> old floppies too.  Thread a wire or string through the hole and write on
the
> floppy with a marker.

 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by Dwight Siple » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 03:43:30


Quote:

>...I'm picturing a garden decorated with cut-up Budweisser cans & Clorox bottles.

> How 'bout making an elaborate paper collage with the name of each plant
> somewhere on the collage, imbed the collage in a block of fiberglass
> resin, mount the block of resin on a three foot length of rebar, & pound
> these in the ground in front of each plant....<plus several other suggestions>...

I know a couple of guys who would like their garden decorated with beer
cans (Labatt's blue, not Bud), but it's not for everyone.

The labels are generally meant to be unobtrusive, just there for
information, so they might be small and not detract from the flowers
(which are, after all, the main point). Also, the printed label part of
the cans would be on the back, so you'd only see the "inside" of the
can. Personally, I'd rather put my effort into the garden and not the
labels, but then my garden is just there without any labels at all, so
you will have to guess what's what.

PS: plastic bottles are generally not protected against solar UV, so
they will disintegrate with exposure. Anywhere from a couple of months
to a couple of years.

 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by Dwight Siple » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 03:44:58


Quote:

> I used a bunch of old CDs (those AOL sample CDs, etc.).  Flipped them on the
> "pretty" side and used permanent marker.  They look neat and make pretty
> rainbows, too.   ;-)

Mine are all in use as coasters for the beer cans.
 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by David Hil » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 06:19:27


".......   One of my gardening books suggests using old aluminium cans to
make permanent  plant labels.   I assume you scratch the plant name onto the
shiny metal
side of the aluminium foil.  Excuse my ignorance, but does this work... erm
how long do they last ?  (Does the metal colourize over time ?) ........"

You cut the label to the size you want then using an old Ball point pen you
inscribe the name, the indentation will last for years.

If you want to label tree or shrub then make a hole at each end . Insert
soft wire into one end,  then wind several coils around your ball point pen
to form a coil like a spring,  then plain wire to other end of the label.
As the tree or shrub grows there is plenty of slack in the coil, so nothing
gets embedded in the plant.

--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
www.abacus-nurseries.co.uk

 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by pagh » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 09:09:50



Quote:

> I used a bunch of old CDs (those AOL sample CDs, etc.).  Flipped them on the
> "pretty" side and used permanent marker.  They look neat and make pretty
> rainbows, too.   ;-)

Stop, yr killing me!

--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
   -from Peter Newell's "Wild Flowers"
See the Garden of Paghat the Ra***: http://www.moonsgarden.com/

 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by Salty Thum » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 09:55:57




Quote:
> Or cutting up an old mini-blind.  (Or a new mini-blind, for
> that matter.)  A mini-blind makes hundreds of labels.  

> Pat

You should be careful using in old mini-blinds for anything, as older stuff
(and even some newer stuff) used lead as stablizers.  Probably only applies
to vinyl blinds but I wouldn't be surprised if some really ancient stuff
had lead in the paint.  Do a search if it applies to you.

- Salty

 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by Don » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 10:00:44



Quote:

> Man-made aluminum & aluminates MIGHT have some involvement in the
> development of alzheimers disease, though years back when Science Digest
> did a whole issue about it, looked like only about one out of ten
> researchers thought it much likely.

Aluminum is an element and strictly speaking, is not something that
is man-made.

[snip]....So while the science

Quote:
> proving or disproving a source of explanation for these deposits has
> failed to clarify the issue, in the meantime anyone with aluminum kitchen
> pots & utensils should toss them immediately;

What credible authority recommends that? NIH doesn't.

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/external/faq/alum.htm

Quote:
> I  wouldn't want aluminum in the garden, first because it would be, like
> plastic, an eyesoar, for I like things to look as woodsy-natural as
> possible.

Considering that the earth is 8.1% aluminum, I'd say it would be
entirely fitting to have some aluminum in the garden.

Don

 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by Salty Thum » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 10:04:42




Quote:
> the meantime anyone with aluminum kitchen pots & utensils should toss
> them immediately; & check medications & deodorants for aluminates with
> which we may be dosing ourselves orally or through the skin every day.
> As for aluminum beverage cans, they are coated inside & out --
> everwhere except where the key-hole opening bares the raw aluminum in
> the one place we'd put our mouths. So I avoid those too.

I'd be more worried about the sodium aluminum phosphate they typically use
in fake cheese.  other possibly bad stuff for your brain: monosodium
glutamate (MSG) and aspartme (Nutrasweet)

- Salty

 
 
 

Plant Labels - from used aluminium cans

Post by Salty Thum » Wed, 16 Jul 2003 10:20:02




Quote:


>> Man-made aluminum & aluminates MIGHT have some involvement in the
>> development of alzheimers disease, though years back when Science
>> Digest did a whole issue about it, looked like only about one out of
>> ten researchers thought it much likely.

> Aluminum is an element and strictly speaking, is not something that
> is man-made.

Arguably the stuff that comes to you is man-made (in the same way a wooden
chair is man-made) as it needs to be processed from bauxite and other
struddlishish stuff that I don't recall going by the name Hall-Herholtz
process (or just Hall if you don't like simultaneous discoveries).

Quote:
> [snip]....So while the science
>> proving or disproving a source of explanation for these deposits has
>> failed to clarify the issue, in the meantime anyone with aluminum
>> kitchen pots & utensils should toss them immediately;

> What credible authority recommends that? NIH doesn't.

> http://www.niehs.nih.gov/external/faq/alum.htm

That's all nice and good if you trust the government.  The same government
that said you can't get anthrax in the mail and spent beaucoup bucks
fumigating government offices and didn't get around to giving el cheapo
masks or gloves to postal personnel until later, but I digress.  

I agree it seems unlikely that you'll get aluminum toxicity from cans or
cookware, it's more likely the stuff you eat and is passed as 'safe'.  I'm
a little wishy-washy on the subject, from my little knowledge of chemistry,
the binding energy of aluminum oxide is quite high and anodizing it causes
the protective layer of aluminum oxide to cover the entire surfaces (no
significant gaps), so getting some aluminum out of that should be quite
difficult, but then I'm reminded of the all the corrosion I've seen on
aluminum storm windows and think, why take the chance?

Quote:
>> I  wouldn't want aluminum in the garden, first because it would be,
>> like plastic, an eyesoar, for I like things to look as woodsy-natural
>> as possible.

> Considering that the earth is 8.1% aluminum, I'd say it would be
> entirely fitting to have some aluminum in the garden.

If my garden is already 8.1% aluminum I don't see why it would be necessary
to add more.

-- Salty