23-08-2017

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Alright folks,

Now, this is going to sound a bit old of me but recently I have gained an interest in growing my own veg. Not on a big scale but we’ll see how things go! After planting everything and throwing away the markers, I realised I had no idea what I was growing….

So another project was the first thing that came to my mind. The best part about it all is that it cost me nothing but a bit of spare time and elbow grease.

Tools and Equipment Required

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Thin Plank of Wood – I used a plank from my garden shed that is currently falling to pieces, so ask for permission before you go robbing planks from someone else shed! The wood that I have displayed has already been snapped to size and painted.

Sticks or Bamboo – The labelled marker will be tied to this and then stuck into the ground where needed.

Twine or String – This will be required for tying the marker to the stick. I used twine because I think it looks more rustic and when gardening in general, twine is used often for plants or vegetables to grow up in between posts.

Paint (Displayed on the wood) – I painted my markers white before writing on them. If you don’t have paint lying around and don’t want to spend money on this project then bare wood is fine and still looks rustic, which is the look I was aiming for.

Newspaper – Just something to protect the surface you are painting on.

Paint Brush – I don’t feel I need to explain the purpose of this tool.

Permanent Marker – This will be used for writing on your markers, I used a black marker. Try and used something that is waterproof.

Build Process

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Firstly you want to grab your chosen length of wood and if like me you have selected an old plank from a shed or fence, then you’ve got it easy! Break it up into small pieces like I have done so above. With the wood that I used, I was able to rip it down the grain to get three strips which I could then snap into alternate sizes. the grain was very deep and ripping was simple because it naturally follows the grain which is a bonus. I didn’t want neatly cut strips for my markers, they need to be rustic.

If you have chosen a more structural/ planed length of wood, then you may have to cut it with a saw unfortunately.

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Using your newspaper to protect the surface below, lay all of your pieces of wood on to it and paint it in your chosen colour. If you are keeping yours as a bare wood finish then you may proceed on!

By painting the background, it helps it to stand out a little bit more, makes the writing more visible and in general I think it does look better.

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I have chosen to use sticks as the posts for my markers. Living in the forest, all my trees get battered by the elements and cover the garden in broken sticks and branches. This is a nice way to repurpose them. Some people prefer to use bamboo which you can collect from local gardening stores and sometimes they come free with young trees, so you may already have some lying around the garden.

You’re going to need your twine or string at this point to bind the marker to the stick. I pre-cut the amount I required and cut them to about an arms length. This gave me enough to bind with and a little bit of waste. It’d better to have sightly too much then not enough.

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Now:

  • Make a loop in one end of the twine,
  • Make a cross with your stick and marker, ensuring that the marker is more to one way so that you have plenty of space to write on it, then feed the twine across it diagonally like I have done,
  • Feed the other end of the twine round the back, through the loop and pull it tightly. From this stage, make sure that the twine is under constant tension and everything is tight until you make the final knot at the end otherwise everything will fall apart.

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  • Wrap the twine around diagonally another two times, making it three in total,
  • Wrap the twine around three times diagonally in the opposite direction. At this stage, the marker will want to twist around because of the tension it is under from the twine but when you wrap it around in the opposite direction, it should hold firmly in one position,
  • Before tying it off, wrap the twine around the stick twice underneath the marker and then on top of it like so. This is the final measure to ensure that the marker is very firm to the stick and will come fall of in heavy wind and rain, I call it pinching or sandwiching.
  • Finally loop it through the twine at the back and make a knot. This whole method of binding is very strong and effective.

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This is the end result. It cost me nothing, everything was lying around waiting to be used for a project like this. I think they look amazing! I got my girlfriend to do the writing as I don’t really like my handwriting and she’s more creative with styles of text.

I hope this gives you some inspiration for customising and organising your vegetable patch or your garden in general. Be creative! Until next time – folks.

 

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