Monday, 24 March 2014

Making Your Mark 2



Prompted by Janet over at Plantaliscous, I'm returning earlier than intended with an update on the great marker pen experiment. I had intended to report back after an interval of six months but here we are just after an interval of four months. Well all five labels have overwintered in a huddle next to each other in the same pot. They have certainly seen some rain. It would be interesting to be able to gauge just how much but there's been more than six months worth in a four month period and then some more! I will have to do some research to see if I can get an accurate picture.

I took them out of the control pot yesterday afternoon - I'm even getting into the scientific lingo now. As you can see the pens that have not fared particularly well are the Sharpie fine point permanent marker and the Pilot Super Colour Marker Ultra Fine. The stars to date are the Artline 444XF Paint Marker and the Edding 140s ohp marker. The latter came up as the best and most permanent labelling pen in a one year trial conducted by 'Which? - Gardening' magazine.

As mentioned in my post in November the Pilot pen had been my preferred implement for labelling plants for many a year. I will now be contacting Pilot to enquire whether there have been any changes in its manufacture. Thanks for all your comments on the original post. I had planned to add a couple more pens to the experiment which were mentioned by you but could not find them locally. I will have to seek them out and conduct a separate experiment or maybe even start afresh! Whatever there will be more on this subject later this year.

24 comments:

  1. Disappointed with Sharpie which is the one I use all the time. Funny enough perhaps that's why most of the labels that I used this pen has faded away...

    Edding it will be from now on!

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    1. Relatively early days Edding wise but impressed to date :)

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  2. Pleased the Artline did well, it was my favourite from an aesthetic point of view. Are the black labels more expensive?

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    1. It's certainly the winner when it comes to good looks Jessica. Good question about whether black labels are more expensive. From my limited experience of using them I would say they that they are but will do some research.

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  3. At least none of them have faded completely, I've had that happen before and then I've been in a right old pickle not knowing what's what.

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    1. That's oh so true Jo and has happened to me before now. One or two of them look as if they might not last out long.

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  4. That's interesting in just 4 months, isn't it Anna? I am pleased so far with the Uni Paint marker (from Hobbycraft) I bought instead of the Pen-touch one I had been using for years - it doesn't seem to clog up like the other one did. Another point is that the 6" stick labels (still black) I have begun using are slightly textured on one side, the side I write on, and I think the writing won't rub off as it did in time on smoother labels

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    1. Yes just over 4 months Cathy. If I do a more comprehensive experiment I will have to include a Uni Paint marker. Interesting comment about the surface of the labels.

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  5. This is a really useful post. Labeling is a perennial problem and it is good to know which markers will actually work. I have just bought some black labels so now I know to buy Artline markers. Thank you.

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    1. Glad that you have found it useful Chloris. I've enjoyed putting the post together :)

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  6. Artline is the one for me. I'm using a permanent marker, though that's to mark where to cut on cermanic tiles, not gardening at all - I'm bogged down in tiling at the moment,

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    1. Oh sorry to hear that Rob. Hope that's it is done and dusted by now.

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  7. Hi Anna. I just ordered some black labels from the UK - can't find any even online here - and a marker to go with them, so if it's any good I'll pass the info on too. Thanks for the tips. :D

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    1. Oh thanks Cathy - will be delighted to hear of any more pens that I could include in the experiment.

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  8. Are you going to test how the ink fades or not in sunshine? - Assuming we get some!

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    1. The labels are in a pot where they should be exposed to all the elements Sue whatever is thrown at us :)

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  9. Artline looked promising but faded completely here, so I shall try Stabilo now. Wonder whether these thick pens in gold and silver are any good?

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    1. Interesting to read about how the Artline pen fared with you Annette and wonder how long it took before it faded completely. I'm not sure about thick nibbed gold and silver pens would do. I prefer to use a fine nib for writing on labels.

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  10. What a great idea for a trial! I use Sharpie but will look out for the Edding when I replace it.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Dee. I realised too late that there was an extra fine Sharpie and wish that I had tried that instead of the one I picked. I wonder whether the fade factor would have been just the same.

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  11. V interesting read Anna, though I tend to use pencil instead. It stays around for as long as I need it and simply rubs off if I want to re-use the label :)

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  12. Pencil marks are certainly the easiest to remove which is an important factor if you want to recycle your labels. Thanks for your comment VP :)

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  13. Hi Anna, brilliant - thank you. I've a whole tray of rhodohypoxis whose labels are now illegible after winter - drives me mad. So I've been wondering what to use (other than pencil). Going to buy myself an Edding. Dave

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  14. Hi Anna, that's brilliant. I have loads of trays with illegible labels after our wet winter. Drives me mad and I was wondering what to use other than pencil. Going to buy myself an Edding. Dave

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.