If you’re so opposed to using plastic in the garden that nothing would induce you ever to use it, then this isn’t going to be useful advice. We’ve tried just about every alternative from hideously expensive black painted ones, to lollipop sticks, custom wooden labels and bits of cardboard. We’ve even done the old trick of sticking a cane through the seed packet, but none of them are nearly as permanent and indelible as the plastic label and a permanent marker. Several lots of cardboard and wooden labels have gone mouldy almost as soon as they went into the propagators and so last year’s chillies were a pot luck supper until they fruited and we could finally see what they were.
The problem is that permanent ink is hard to get off – or at least that was the assumption we made until today when it suddenly occurred to me that I had a bottle of surgical spirit in the cupboard. So I gathered up a handful of used labels and after a quick rub with surgical spirit – meths would probably work as well – they came up as good as new. That’s fabulous news because it means we can carry on using them year after year – they stay legible for a season or more, but you can erase the sowing date, or whatever, and use it again.
We’ve had a succession of busy days at the allotment and yesterday the final package of seeds arrived from Kings and so we’ve got everything we need for this season and after the experiences we’ve had this year, we’ll get our full seed order in early in future. Today we finished building the frame for sweet peas and sowed sorrel. More photos tomorrow.