You're all inventive and intelligent types out there in Blogland. Can you please put your ingenuity to work for a few minutes to help me?
I grow a lot of vegetable plants, both for Al to sell and for us to grow. Apart from trays of beans etc, most of them end up in individual pots and, in some cases, there are several varieties that can't reliably be told apart until they fruit. So I have hundreds of pots to mark. I can either buy the labels or cut up yoghurt pots, that's not a problem - but it's awfully tedious to write down each variety numerous times. We all know how lazy I am and, besides, it's the repetitivenous that really gets to me, as I've a short attention span to boot. I don't mind how many hours I work potting things up, as that's a pleasure, and I don't get bored doing nothing as that is too - it's a boring repetitive task that I can't stand.
The printer ink isn't waterproof, so it's no good typing onto sticky labels. I have, by the way, written on sticky labels and cut them up to stick straight onto the pots, covering with sticky tape and this did work to a point, but the tape tended to peel off and let water in, so wasn't entirely reliable. Last year, I tried typing the labels, laminating the sheets and then cutting them up (this is much cheaper than buying plastic labels as you get dozens per sheet), but the moisture in the compost seeped into the paper and washed off the writing. Cutting up the sheets first and putting them in between the plastic sheets and then laminating them really isn't an option - impossible to keep them in place and far too fiddly to attempt.
So far, I've still got pots in trays and can just mark one or a few per tray. But I have to mark them individually before the end of this month. Buying T-shaped labels and putting the printed label on them isn't an option - for one thing, the ink would still wash off when watered and for another, the labels are too expensive.
Later - Some extra clarification - each pot has to be marked with the name of the variety, or the customers don't like it. That's fair enough, actually nor would I - if I went and bought some plants, I wouldn't think "but I couldn't be bothered to write labels individually" was an excuse not to have them marked. I know this, because I tried marking the pots with the initials of the varieties and printing out information sheets, and they liked the sheets but wanted the full variety name written too.
Ro has a laser printer with waterproof ink but he won't waste it on this use. I'm not buying a printer just for this. That would be silly.
I have 9 varieties of tomato and 5 varieties of pepper (sweet or chilli) and 3 of courgettes. I also have different squashes, but I can deal with them, as I plant nearly all that I grow and Al sells the crop later. So I can keep the varieties apart - but it doesn't actually matter if they do get mixed up.