Garden Smart with Simple Stone Labels

Take the guesswork out of gardening with clearly labeled fruits and vegetables.

Quick! Before your garden gets completely unruly and you forget which plant is which, take the time to make some simple plant markers to keep the order. I like using ordinary stones because they’re free, and can be customized however you wish… you can even get the kids involved and let them show off their painting skills (those are cute, blue toddler fingerprints representing blueberries, BTW).

DIY Stone Garden Plant Labels

DIY Stone Garden Plant Labels

Make garden markers using stones to keep your plants labeled easily.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

Let’s talk about ways to label plants in container gardens.

If you’re sowing seeds, you should place special emphasis on labeling what you’ve planted. This is important because it could be a number of days or weeks before the seedling can be identified as one plant vs. another (and the suspense of knowing whether your best performing seedlings are watermelons or pumpkins is real). 

Make your stones stand out from the surface of the soil for visibility. One way to do this is to use a diamond bit on a multi-use tool to bore a hole in the bottom of each rock.

DIY Stone Container Garden Markers

DIY Stone Container Garden Markers

Make stone garden markers using wire and a diamond drill bit.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

Trim a 8” piece of heavy gauge wire and make it a spiral, and then glue the end of the wire into the hole in the stone.

DIY Stone Container Garden Markers

DIY Stone Container Garden Markers

Make stone garden markers using wire and a diamond drill bit.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

Paint the stone using acrylic paints, one for each plant you’re growing. I especially love this approach for a container garden, where the labels serve as a decorative touch.

DIY Stone Container Garden Markers

DIY Stone Container Garden Markers

Make stone garden markers using wire and a diamond drill bit.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

If you're looking for other garden and whimsical labeling ideas, be sure to reference:

An easy way to label plants in larger garden beds.

If you’re transplanting young seedlings into the garden you might not find it necessary to label tomatoes vs. peppers vs. beans (it’s more obvious which is which), but I do find it helpful to label the plants when you’re growing different varieties.

For example, every year, we sample anywhere from 4-8 tomato plants. Even a novice can ID a currant tomato from a beefsteak when they’re dangling on the vine, charting the plants makes it easy to tell the plants apart in the months before the fruit appears. This also applies if you’re planting a wide variety of peppers, squash, or beans wherein the plants themselves can look quite similar.

DIY Stone Garden Plant Labels

DIY Stone Garden Plant Labels

Make garden markers using stones to keep your plants labeled easily.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

My favorite method has been to assign each individual plant a color, paint stones these solid colors – avoiding shades of green and brown because they’ll blend in too much – and scatter a few painted stones around the base of each plant. Using a few stones at each plant instead of just one is helpful because inevitably by mid-late season the stones might have been splashed with mud, partially buried, or disguised by overgrowth. At a glance during the growing season, you can peek to the base of the plant for a glance at the color, and know quickly which plant is which without having to scour for a specific tag or label in the garden bed. And it's a pretty easy way to passively educate the kids on tomato varieties ("Pick me a Roma for dinner, please!").

DIY Stone Garden Plant Labels

DIY Stone Garden Plant Labels

Make garden markers using stones to keep your plants labeled easily.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

It’s pretty genius, right? And artistic skills aren’t even necessary.

Here’s to a beautiful, organized garden and a productive kick-start to the growing season!

Keep Reading

Next Up

Fall Gardening, Planting and Lawn Care Tips

The gardening season isn't over when the weather gets cooler.

Making Good: How to Garden Like a Diplomat

What the rooftop garden at the United Nations Headquarters in NYC can teach you about gardening.

How to Plant a Kid-Friendly Garden

Encourage your kids to embrace their inner gardener this season.

10 Clever Landscaping Ideas and Gardening Trends

Check out cool new ideas seen at the 2016 GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators Conference. 

Ready, Set, Grow! When to Start Your Garden

Does winter weather have you itching to dig in the dirt? Get tips on when you can safely start planting veggies for spring and summer.

Fabulous DIY Ideas for a Fun Fairy Garden

Use natural elements and simple craft materials to unleash your creativity.

5 Smart Money-Saving Landscaping Ideas

Get your gardening fix without breaking the bank.

Top 5 Gardening Mistakes

Get your garden back on track by avoiding these common blunders.

Simple Chic: Make a Japanese Knot Bag

This stylish fabric bag you make yourself is a great carry-along for your next farmers' market trip.

Garden Gifts so Good You Won't Want to Fork Them Over to Mom

Think outside the box with these creative garden-centric Mother's Day gifts for moms, wives, daughters or you!

What We're Loving Now

We're crushing on these trends, recipes and DIYs.

More From the Archives

Browse through our archives to discover "why-didn't-I-think-of-that" projects, cool hacks and  genius DIY ideas.

Read Our Previous Posts

Meet the Team

About the Team

Get to know the crafty, creative writers and editors behind DIY's Made+Remade blog. 

Go Behind the Blog