Every line of work has protective gear that is an indispensable part of the job. Just as you wear an apron while cooking to protect your clothes from stains, or mittens to protect your hands from heat while working the oven, gardening gloves are required to keep your hands safe from infections, dirt, and cuts while working in the garden. Many people prefer working in the soil and leaves with their bare hands, but although this might feel easy, it will cause harm to your nails and palms in the long run.
Whether you are pruning flower bushes or de-weeding your lawn, wearing gardening gloves makes every activity much safer. A good pair of gardening gloves provides comfort and safety, keeping your hands dry and warm in wet and cold weather both during the fall and spring. This is the time your garden needs the highest attention.
Benefits of Good Gardening Gloves
The best gardening gloves serve multiple purposes. People often believe wearing gloves is a girly thing and tough men don’t need any protective gear while working in the garden. But if you got pricked all over your arms because of your rose bushes or got bitten by a bug, you would feel differently.
Keeping Hands and Nails Clean
The basic purpose of gardening gloves is to keep your hands clean, especially your nails. Dirt getting under your nails is difficult to clean and any tiny, unremoved particles can cause itching, pricking, or in more serious cases, infections. Using gloves can also prevent nail breakage which everyone knows is extremely painful. Working with bare hands can cause calloused fingers and palms. Gloves keep your hands dry in wet soil and also warm in cold weather.
Staying Away from Allergies and Skin Problems
If you are working in pools of water, it is best to keep your hands covered, and not risk attracting any bacterial infection. Poisonous plants or weeds can be really harmful to skin and even have allergic reactions in some people.
Protection from Bugs and Pests
Wearing gloves helps you avoid contact with animal or insect waste, pests, bugs, and plant sap. Many soil-borne infections are a result of polluted soil coming in contact with skin. Contact dermatitis can be prevented and gloves can also save your hands from bug bites.
There are numerous dangers lurking in the garden ranging from insect or snake bites and poisonous plants to hazardous chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, and sharp leaves and thorns. Gardening gloves can keep your hands safe from most of these injuries, if not all.
Different Types of Materials
Gardening gloves are available in many sizes, in different materials, with different design patterns, and for different purposes. Choosing the right glove that meets your requirements goes a long way in keeping your fingers away from danger. Understanding the various types of gloves available on the market will help you make an informed choice and gain the most out of your protective pair.
Cotton gloves are the most commonly available and can be used for all general gardening tasks. These are light, easy to wash and dry, and fit well, making them a popular choice. They are also quite affordable. They can keep your hands dirt-free but will not provide protection against chemicals or thorns. They can also become wet and clammy.
If you are going to be doing heavy duty activities like sawing or pruning, you need gloves that are of a thicker material and durable as well. Leather gloves or goatskin gloves are a good option if you are working in thorny bushes or even in the mud. They don’t fit snugly and cannot keep the moisture away but you won’t get pricked for sure.
Best for muddy work and pond tasks, rubber or latex gloves keep your hands dry. Your hands won’t get cold either (although you might feel a little sweaty). Rubber gloves are often used for indoor work too, so if you are going to be gardening, make sure you buy the rubber gloves meant for outdoor work. Rose gloves are generally made from leather. They are a bit expensive but are strong and durable.
These gloves are made of a synthetic rubber material. Nitrile gloves help avoid contact with harmful chemicals in the soil or bruises of any sort. However, they cannot protect your hands from thorns. These offer a high level of dexterity.
Gloves come in various sizes (kids and adults). There are also different gloves for men and women, in which the size and shape differ.
How to Measure
Always try on a pair before buying. Wear them on your hands, close your fist, open it and try picking something up with your fingers. Only a snug fit, yet one that is not too tight to obstruct your functioning is the correct size for you. People who have really small hands and are unable to find the right size can also try kids’ gloves.
If trying the gloves is not an option, you can measure the length of your hand from the wrist or from the forearm to the knuckles and fingertips and buy gloves accordingly. Even if you, unfortunately, get the wrong size, do not use the gloves. Working in wrong size gloves can cause accidents or injuries.
Different gloves have different prices. These depend on the material they are made of, the features and comfort they provide, and the brand. Remember that gardening gloves protect your hands from many infections and injuries so they must be durable and of a good quality. So, do not compromise on cheaper varieties as these will not last long and won’t give the required protection either.
Choosing the Best Gardening Gloves for You
The Right Size
It is important to wear the right size gloves while working because a bad fit will be uncomfortable, not let you use your fingers easily, and can cause accidents.
Look for gloves that have Velcro on the wrist. These fit well and do not allow any dirt or other particles to enter the gloves.
Almost all gloves are designed to be comfortable, but some have extra features you may need depending on the activity you will be doing. Look for gloves that have grip dots for better grip. Some gloves have padded palms as a design feature. Any additional feature will give you more comfort, better grip, better protection, and coverage. Some gloves have gel tips which are meant to avoid blisters while some have a coating inside that moisturizes your hands as you work. Certain gloves are also lined with wool or fleece for use in winters.
The length of the gloves depends on what purpose you will be wearing them for. Most people prefer wrist-length gloves but if you are going to be working in muddy water or thorny plants, it is better to use gloves that extend up to the arms so as to keep you from getting pricked.
The Right Purpose
Some gardening gloves are just meant to keep your hands clean while some are completely chemical-proof. Make sure that the gloves you wear are appropriate for the task you are doing. Certain gloves come with artificial claws at the fingertips. These can be worn for some hand digging.
Good gloves are flexible and allow you to use your hands just as you would if you weren’t wearing any gloves. They fold easily and do not cause any discomfort while opening and closing fingers or fist, picking up seeds or flowers, and pinching mud.
Invest in gloves that are easily washable. This will save time and you will have clean gloves ready for use whenever you need them.
Gardening gloves are an investment, so make sure you invest in high quality, long lasting gloves. It is important to avoid wearing low-quality gloves which can tear easily and lose their fit. The gloves you choose must last you many seasons.
Taking Care of Your Gloves
Gardening gloves must be washed and dried after every use. They can be rinsed under a hose or put into the washing machine, depending on the material they are made of. Use leather wax to clean leather gloves. Always store gloves flat in a dry place and where you can find them quickly. Peg the opening of the gloves while storing to avoid any insect getting into them. Check the gloves properly before you wear them, and ensure you always have an extra pair in case one gets damaged or too dirty.
Consider all your gardening tasks and the tools you use before investing in a pair of gloves. Moreover, there is no point in having a good pair of gloves that are left hanging on the clothesline. Gardening gloves are meant to make your work safer, quicker, and easier. This can only happen if you match the right type of gloves to your tasks and wear them regularly. Look for gloves that are thin but sturdy and can perform all the functions of a high-priced pair without making you shell out a lot of money.