Garden Garden Supplies Tools

Garden Gloves

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.


I saw a little chart in a woman’s catalog recently that told me how to measure my hand size.

I needed to determine my general hand size since the makers of the Gold Leaf gloves say if you’re a woman with a large hand — order the Gold Leaf glove in the size for men.
According to the chart — I have a large hand —- or I would in general wear a size Large.
Here’s How to Measure for Your General Glove or Hand Size:
First: Measure the circumference of your hand around your knuckles.
Next: Measure the length of your middle finger.
If your Hand measures 6.5″ to 7″ and finger 2.5 to 3″ you wear a Small.
If your Hand measures 7″ to 7.75″ and finger 3″ to 3.5 ” you wear a Medium.
If your Hand measure 7.5 ” to 8.25″ and finger 3.25″ to 3.75 ” you wear a Large.


  • 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.

When you want something Cheap and Practical especially for Summer Use

Nitrile and/or Mud gloves

Nitrile gloves or Mud gloves both have a coating to protect palms and fingertips. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and fit close for maximum dexterity.  They wash easily.

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.

Final Thought

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.


Gold Leaf gloves, Nitrile and Mud gloves are available through Gardeners Supply.

Soft Jersey garden gloves, Nitrile and Mud gloves are available at Amazon.


Organic gardening is easy, efficient, effective —– and it’s a lot healthier.


All content including photos is copyright by All Right Reserved.


  • Great article. Couldn’t garden without my gloves. My favorite are the Atlas brand (rubber coated cotton). They have an Atlas Therma Fit for cooler weather.
    Gold Leaf sounds nice-I hadn’t heard of them. Nice gift idea.
    I have to put chicken wire around my prepared beds to keep the cat out until I get them mulched.

  • Yuck! I am so bad at remembering to wear my gloves. Then I’ll notice that I’ve taken them off and left them down, and by then my hands are filthy. Needless to say, I do not go in for manicures. Although, I’ve often noticed in photos where you picture yourself holding something, Theresa, that you have very nice fingernails. Perhaps this is why. This (wearing gloves) will go on my new year’s resolutions for gardening, along with not abusing my garden forks.

  • Hi Sandra,
    I’m working on a post now that will give you a solution to filthy hands. As I’ve mentioned, my skin holds dirt and when I do get out there without gloves I’m a mess. Usually takes days to get my hands and nails clean. In the past I’ve even resorted to bleach (not a good idea) when I was desperate to get the dirt out because I was going somewhere. (People who don’t garden think you’re not clean. As you probably have found out.) Even that did work 100%.

    One of my readers gave me a solution –(besides gloves) — I’ll tell you about in an upcoming post.

    Thanks for the compliment about nice fingernails. I don’t have “beauty shop” manicures. Never went in for that. Just me and my finger nail file. But I’ve always had moderately long nails since I was 15 and my hands don’t look right when they’re short. (Funny how we see ourselves.)

    Hopefully you have a little basket that goes with you to the garden, Sandra —- as I suggested in a previous post. Put your gloves in there and you’ll always have them with you.

    I seldom am caught without my gloves but it does happen from time to time. They’re a great benefit and save your hands!

  • I will say this Bearfoot Mama — I do think if people want to learn organic gardening, how to do it the easy way, by-pass the hype, and put themselves way ahead —- the information to do that is on TMG. It all depends who is willing to read and listen and who is not. I will be coming out with some thing in the future that I’ll charge for. Hopefully — all who have benefited from TMG over these past 3 years for free — will see the value in obtaining what I have to offer.

    I appreciate what you have said because I make every effort to make sure the information is of value to those who want to garden.

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