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Why I Now Wear Gardening Gloves

Updated on July 16, 2012

no glove no garden

Do you wear gloves while gardening? When I first started gardening beyond my own backyard I always had a least one pair of gardening gloves with me. I carry a second pair because in my travels from garden to garden, somehow I always lost at least one glove, usually the right one. As I am right handed and possibly extremely so this loss was quickly noticed and I would pull out the other pair, always keeping the lone left one. Over the years I acquired a considerable collection of lone left gloves.


The, about five years back, I stop wearing the gloves, I had them and they were in my garden kit but I simply did not put them on, unless I was working on a new site, especially one that had never been a garden.


Why, I did not know what I might find so the gloves provided some protection. As I designed and worked in garden after garden, I must have lost sight of that. I enjoy the feel of the soil, the touch of plants and even an ant running across the back of my hand awakens my connection to what I am doing.


I forgot that soil ,while miraculous stuff, is still soil and even when organic it can have things living in it that you do not want to introduce to an open cut. It is very easy to get a small cut, nick or scrape while lost in the moment and these can be infected.


I was recently reminded of what can happen when gardening unprotected. This year, for the first time, in about four years, I decided to grow my own cucumbers. I like cucumbers and they make a great sandwich, but the ones from the supermarket, just do not cut it.


I have planted them for others over that time but did not harvest them. It was about six days ago when I noticed a slight warmth on my left wrist, there was no obvious injury so I basically ignored it. Then two days ago, I noticed a similar sensation on my right wrist, however, this time there was a bit of red and some small bumps, a rash was my thought.


The first step was to compare the wrists, both had a similar look and feel, not severe but present. So what had I been doing?


Talking this over with my wife, always a great idea, she said cucumbers you have been picking cucumbers and indeed, the cucumber harvest was underway. I had also been tying up the vines and on both incidents came into contact wit the cucumber leaves.


Now, intellectually, I knew that a rash was possible from handling cucumber leaves, but that never translated into wearing gloves. Well, that has changed. The gloves, four pairs of them are in the garden shed, right beside the cucumber bed. A fifth pair is in the kitchen, in the garden gadget drawer, or junk drawer as my wife prefers to call it.


From now on I will be wearing gloves when gardening the rash is a mild reminder of why I need to wear them, it could have been worse.

cucumber on vine

Bob Ewing photo
Bob Ewing photo

sandwich

Your basic cucumber sandwich, black pepper and a touch of mayo with sliced and peeled cukes, Bob Ewing photo
Your basic cucumber sandwich, black pepper and a touch of mayo with sliced and peeled cukes, Bob Ewing photo

Do you wear gloves while gardening?

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  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick

    A great tip, thanks.

  • akeejaho profile image

    akeejaho 5 years ago from Some where in this beautiful world!

    I wear gloves in the garden because usually, after washing all those scrumptious veggies, we begin to prepare them for dinner or canning in the kitchen. After working outside in the soil, it takes a long time to get the stains off the fingers and hands, and since we love to entertain, it really is a turn off for people to see stains on the hands of those who have prepared the food.

    But for those who insist on working without gloves, here is a trick to keep soil from building up under the nails. Get a bar of soap, (I use Ivory) and scrape your nails across the bar so the soap builds up under the nail tips. That way, the dirt can't collect! Neat, Huh? Course you will still get stains, but the nails will be clean!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick

    I have not heard that, where are you located, what country?

  • profile image

    Countess 5 years ago

    Gloves? A friend told me that I must wear gloves for many reasons but in particular because of little worm eggs that get into your digestive tract. Is this true??

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    A very good reason to wear gloves when gardening, thanks for dropping by.

  • CennyWenny profile image

    CennyWenny 6 years ago from Washington

    I never wear gloves when I garden, I find I have a harder time working with my hands. However, this year I have a baby and I will definitely wear gloves because even though I wash my hands I'd still be afraid of what he could get in his mouth when he chews on my hands, which he does frequently now that he's teething.

  • Tuesdays child profile image

    Tuesdays child 6 years ago from In the garden

    Your welcome!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Good information thanks for the input.

  • Tuesdays child profile image

    Tuesdays child 6 years ago from In the garden

    Be sure to get your tetanus booster every 10 years also. The tetanus bacteria can live in the soil for decades and is a common one in any area that has ever been used by bovine or in compost made with bovine bi-products!

  • laughing loon profile image

    Lynda -Bailey 7 years ago from South Los Angeles

    I love the feel of freshly composted and screened soil that has been warmed in the sun. I love roses and every year when I cut them back I make (what I call) my required blood sacrifice due to the thorns. Gloves make the process a little less injurious. Overall I keep them handy but do not always wear them. I buy my gloves by the bunch and they are ambidexterous, so I don't end up with a bunch of left gloves. I hated that problem with my ear rings. Two ears, one ear ring.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    I like the feel of the soil and the plants and gloves limit this but I am not fond of rashes, so...

  • Dolores Monet profile image

    Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

    Bob, I am an avid gardener but never wear gloves. I know you should and your story highlights this. I have some prickly pear cactus and often wind up with those nasty little thorns in my hands, and swear that I'll wear gloves next time. Maybe I will.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome, thanks for dropping by.

  • The Good Cook profile image

    The Good Cook 8 years ago

    I always forget to put them until my hands get sore! Thanks for the reminder.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    Very good information. I never thought of the dangers of this before.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    It is dangerous to assume Nature is benign. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Catherine R profile image

    Catherine R 8 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

    This reminded me that a while ago I read something about the discovery of penicillin. The very first person to be treated with penicillin was a man who had scratched his face on a rose bush. The scratch had turned so septic that he had lost an eye before treatment began. The poor guy started to get better but the penicillin ran out and he ended up dying anyway (that's why you need to finish a course of antibiotics). But just goes to show that the garden can be a dangerous place!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    good reason, thanks for dropping by.

  • jiberish profile image

    jiberish 8 years ago from florida

    I wear gloves to protect my $35 manicure. :)

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome and thank you for dropping by.

  • myawn profile image

    myawn 8 years ago from Florida

    I wear gloves because I have very sensitive skin and break out really easy. Thanks for info about the cukes.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you both for dropping by, no glove, no garden

  • Lgali profile image

    Lgali 8 years ago

    very good hub nice info thanks

  • Jess Killmenow profile image

    Jess Killmenow 8 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

    gotta have garden gloves if you want to have useable hands

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Insect bites are another reason for gloves.Thanks for dropping by.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Cucumber leaves can cause a mild rash.

    It can be hard to find a good fitting and affordable garden glove, look for a hub on the subject.

    Thank you both for dropping by.

  • denoonan profile image

    denoonan 8 years ago from Boston MetroWest

    I've been wearing leather gloves ever since I got stung while deadheading marigolds with my bare hand. I don't wear them while planting, though, except to hold the trowel handle when digging the hole.

  • profile image

    Nelle Hoxie 8 years ago

    I always wear gloves to garden and I grow cucumbers. Is there something I should know about cucumber leaves?

  • Storytellersrus profile image

    Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

    Bob, this is a great reminder. I pulled pine cones from beneath my bristol cone, as I mentioned in a previous hub of yours. The gloves were ill fitting and leather and began to rub against my little finger, creating a rip in the skin. SO I took off the gloves. What resulted was a hand pierced with pine cone pricklings. So... how do you find gloves that fit correctly?