Garden gloves are one of the best gifts you could give yourself or another gardener. Most experienced gardeners will welcome another pair of the gloves. And for the novice — being given a pair of gloves — there will be no excuse not to start out right.
If you’ve gardened long — you know that soil dries your skin out and causes cracking — especially around your fingernails. Many folks (I’m one) — have skin that absorbs the dirt and find it difficult to remove. Garden gloves prevent all that and keep your hands looking presentable.
But that’s far from the only reason to wear gloves. Here’s 9 more reasons.
- One of the things you never know about your soil is who or what was there before. And what did they leave behind? Pieces of glass, nails, old tools, cans and other things that are much worse. I’ve found them all and was glad to be wearing my gloves when I did.
- Any kind of wildlife or rodents — even dogs and cats — can carry obscure parasites in their feces that you can gather under your nails and ingest by accident.
Years ago I saw a dog leaving a deposit at the edge of one of my borders. The fresh pile was loaded with white worms. It could just have easily been in my garden — since the garden was not fenced. Fortunately I saw it and got it up. Those worms or even tape worm segments can stay in your soil. Invisible to your eye. They can be transferred to you and become active if the are ingested accidentally.
Cats (yours and those passing through) love to use flower beds as their bathroom because they’re so easy to dig. I was working in my borders one day without gloves and dug up some of their mess with my bare hands. Talk about gross! I now wear gloves when working in my borders.
- I feel the soil in my current garden which is 15 years old (and fenced) is healthy. For the most part creatures are kept out, but soil can still have living things that you wouldn’t want to get into a cut or scrape. Gloves can help keep cuts or openings (even in the form of a rash or eczema) free from infection.
- If you live in fire ant country — gloves are your first line of defense against being stung unexpectedly by a fire ant that manages to cross your hands.
- When working with plants that attract a lot of bees and wasps, it’s good to have gloves on for the unexpected encounter with a wasp or bee. Most of these creatures are very gently and not aggressive – but if you touch them by accident with your bare skin you can get stung.
- It’s easy to encounter Poison Ivy roots in the soil when you’re digging. You might not see them, but it can still cause the same reaction as getting mixed up with the leaves of Poison Ivy. (Ask me how I know. 😉 ) Gloves are a great preventative.
- When cutting miscanthus (a variety of ornamental grass that is very sharp) and pruning bushes with thorns gloves prevent punctures and cuts.
- The leaves of squash, cukes and some other plants can cause a rash on most skins. Gloves really help.
- If you’re working with shovels, pitch forks, etc. gloves will protect your hands from blisters.
Gloves to Avoid
I would recommend avoiding the leather gloves in garden and farm center stores. Most of those are really industrial gloves renamed as garden gloves. The leather is stiff and after they get wet they’re even harder and more uncomfortable.
What I Recommend when you want something really nice and long lasting – Gold Leaf Gardening Gloves
I especially love any of the Gold Leaf Gardening Gloves from England which are being introduced to North America by Gardeners Supply. They are designed just for gardeners using soft supple deer skin leather. They’re even endorsed by and embossed with the seal of Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society.
When you first put these gloves on the fit is tight —- but the leather stretches around your hand after you’ve worn if for a while becoming very comfortable. The snugness is necessary and important because it gives you much more sensitivity when gardening by allowing you to feel more. This allows much better control for jobs like picking small weeds.
All the Gold Leaf Gardening Gloves stay nice and soft even after washing them. These are the gloves you buy when you want something really nice that will be extremely comfortable and last a lot longer than the cheapies.
- The Gold Leaf Soft Touch Glove is the one preferred by most professional gardeners and the one used by gardeners at Buckingham Palace. This glove has no lining. The palm is soft supple leather. The back is Lycra, nylon and foam with a VELCRO® brand closure on cuff. This glove fits like a second skin and gives you lots of dexterity. So pulling little weeds with these gloves on won’t be a problem.
- The Gold Leaf Dry Touch Glove is the one I want. It’s a general purpose glove that’s lined and will keep my hands warmer. At the same time it gives me the flexibility I need in a garden glove. I’ll wear this glove working in the garden when the cool days start in October and wear it most likely through May. It’s also water repellant.
- For a heavy duty winter glove The Gold Leaf Winter Touch is the one. Has reinforced palms and the thinsulate lining keeps hands warm and totally dry.
- For a gauntlet style glove for cutting bushes with thorns or briars —the Gold Leaf Tough Touch.
When you want something Cheap and Practical especially for Summer Use
Nitrile and/or Mud gloves
Having two pairs is better than one. That way when you finally wear out the fingers you’ll have another pair on hand.
Soft Jersey garden gloves
These are the least expensive gloves. They’re comfortable and the feel nice. Especially good for potting and working in dry soil.
Soft Jersey gloves offer no protection against moisture and the finger tips wear out more quickly than other gloves.
Choose bright colors for any glove you buy. When you lay it down in the garden, the bright color will allow to find it again quickly.
Garden gloves are one of the best gifts you can give yourself or another gardener. Why not order now while it’s on your mind.
Soft Jersey garden gloves, Nitrile and Mud gloves are available at Amazon.
Organic gardening is easy, efficient, effective —– and it’s a lot healthier.
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