We recently transplanted over 100 tomato plants into the two hoophouses located on the farm. The problem we are tackling is that identifying the various tomato plants later in the season, once the plants are larger, is difficult with the current system of writing on a small wooden garden sign, similar to a popsicle stick. The solution was to create a laminated garden sign identifying the various tomato plants. We quickly commenced work on a simple design featuring an antique-style tomato and labels for our various tomato varieties. We also added a left or right arrow along the bottom of the garden sign to indicate the direction of the same tomato variety. The garden signs are such a success that we decided to share our creation with a short craft tutorial.
Creating Laminated Garden Signs
In order to create the garden signs, you will first need to download the garden sign template. For a single tomato plant, download the single (no arrows) version. For multiple tomato plants, download the multiple (arrows) version. The garden sign templates are available in both a PDF version and a Word file. The finished garden sign measures approximately 5cm x 9.25 cm - we find it the perfect size for our needs, but feel free to adjust the template to your own needs. Download the garden sign templates here:
Single Tomato Plant (no arrows) - TomatoSigns_NoArrowsBlank.pdf
Single Tomato Plant (no arrows) - TomatoSigns_NoArrowsBlank.docx
Multiple Tomato Plants (arrows) - TomatoSigns_Blank.pdf
Multiple Tomato Plants (arrows) - TomatoSigns_Blank.docx
Download the format that best suits your system - both formats allow text to be added for your specific tomato varieties. Once your garden signs are filled in with your tomato varieties, print the garden signs on suitable paper and cut the signs apart. We printed on a bright red card stock, similar to this product available on Amazon.
The garden signs will be subjected to frequent watering, so we decided to laminate them. We used our Purple Cows Hot and Cold Laminator. Trim the excess laminated sheet from the newly laminated garden signs.
We decided to use a wooden popsicle stick, similar to these, as the base for the sign. Using a staple gun equipped with Arrow T50 one-inch staples, we stapled the laminated garden sign to the wooden stick. We used a cardboard box as a table because the staples poke through the entire garden sign and wooden stick, as shown below. Use a hammer to tap the staple ends down one at a time.
Once the staple ends are tapped down, the garden sign is ready for the garden!
As you can see below, we had single tomato plants as well as multiple tomato plants located in the various rows. We plan to move the garden signs further into the rows once the tomato plants grow and require more room.