Using Pinwheels as Garden Markers

Do you want to keep birds and other animals out of your garden? Did you forget which row the carrots are? Here’s how to use dollar store toy pinwheels to solve those problems!

Imagine it. Digging into the warm, moist soil in the Spring and carefully planting your seeds and seedlings. You water them, mulch them, and are ready to relax at the end of a hard gardening day.

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Suddenly, a flock of birds comes around and starts enjoying your green seedlings! They scratch up the dirt a bit and find the yummy seeds you planted so lovingly. In a matter of minutes, your garden is gone.

OR, picture this. You plant several rows of seeds. Carrots, dill, and even some chamomile. Ugh! You forgot to mark the rows again! From the looks if it, the seedlings all appear to be the same as they are growing. What needs to be thinned out when?

Instead of wringing your hands this gardening season over what seeds are where, try making your own DIY garden markers.

Are you wanting to keep birds and other animals out of your garden? Did you forget which row the carrots are? Here's how to use using pinwheels as garden markers to solve those problems!

Garden markers can be dual purpose, from keeping track of what seeds are where, to helping keep birds and other animals out of your fresh produce. Plant markers can be simple, easy and fun to make.

Some ideas to try:

  • Wooden spoons with the spoon end out, seeds planted are written on that end in permanent marker
  • Popsicle sticks, with the seed packet glued to one end
  • ½ inch terra cotta pots, hand painted with the seed pictures
  • Old canning jar lids hung on a string
  • Rock markers with the seeds/vegetables in that row drawn or painted on
  • Wine corks on the end of a wire, with seedling information marked on them.

But, this great idea has won so many over! Thrift store pinwheels as garden markers!

You know, the kind that they sell during the holidays, like Memorial day or the 4th of July? You blow on them, they spin and make a pretty design. They are perfect to use as garden markers!

Not only are they cute in the garden, especially as they spin in the breeze, they are easy to write on. You can use a Sharpie to write each row’s vegetables on one end of the pinwheel.

As a bonus, the shiny spinning wheel will help keep birds out of your garden. They don’t like the movement, or the shiny distraction as they are trying to land to check for seeds. Pinwheels can last several gardening seasons, if you remove them from the garden beds when the plants are well established.

Pinwheels are very cheap to use. They average pinwheel at the dollar store is $1. You can even mark side by side rows on the wheels, if you really want to. Just make sure the seedlings look different, like carrots and green beans.

Are you wanting to keep birds and other animals out of your garden? Did you forget which row the carrots are? Here's how to use using pinwheels as garden markers to solve those problems!

Using the Pinwheels

  • simply write on one edge what you are planting in that garden row. Using a permanent marker is preferable, as it won’t wash off in the rain or with the garden sprinkler.
  • Place the pinwheel approximately 3 inches into the soil, in the row they are marked for.
  • Stagger how they face, so that no matter which direction the wind is coming from, some will  be spinning or catching the sun.
  • Enjoy your new garden feature!
  • When your plants are well established, remove the pinwheels, carefully wash off and store until next season.
  • You can also keep a few in the garden to enjoy as the season progresses, too. They are pretty and relaxing to watch on a Summer day.

We have used the pinwheels in our garden for nearly 4 years now, and they are still growing strong. What are your favorite garden markers? Be sure to pin this for later! 

pinwheels pin image

10 thoughts on “Using Pinwheels as Garden Markers”

  1. Pinwheels to deter birds from eating seeds… brilliant! I’m going to try that. Using them as markers, too, is just icing on the cake. 😉

  2. Great Idea! will have to try that this spring- the trick will be stopping the kids from moving them around.

  3. Pinwheels vibrate as they spin. The vibration helps drive away voles. I’ve used them this way with effect.
    My neighbor told me about it, got some for her grandchildren, stuck them in the ground to show me how it worked. It worked all right…drove them into my neighbors yard.

  4. OK I’m officially in love with this idea! I love pinwheels (but am often told that I’m too old for them…) they’re just so fun and cheerful, so the idea of putting them in the garden is very appealing. But adding useful to the mix, well now I just have to have them. Thanks for sharing and the even better idea!

  5. My kids love pinwheels! What a great idea! I need markers for my garden as well. I’ll have to remember this one, thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop!

  6. Such a fantastic idea! I’m going to try placing these in my garden to try and deter the squirrels and bunnies from eating my veggies!

    Nicole | The Professional Mom Project

  7. i am so trying this! The squirrels (gods bless them) have ruined the tranquility of my garden and decimated the corn and pepper plants! Pinwheels are a great alternative to any chemicals or even planting stuff as a deterrent that I don’t want in the garden!

  8. I haven’t been able to find any pinwheels yet. So while waiting to find some I just tied plastic grocery bags to the stalks of bushes I planted. The bunnies and smaller critters were eating the leaves so it was stunting the growth of the flowering bushes I planted. Now it doesn’t look as nice as pinwheels – it works to drive off the little varmints!!! And the bags do need replacing every 3-4 mo as they break down. I hope to find pinwheels soon as I planted multiple fruit trees and I don’t want the birds or other critters eating the baby fruit! Again the bags work but I’m sure the pinwheels would work better and look nicer!

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