Protect your hands with garden gloves
Gardens and the plants that live in them can be rough on the skin of the hands and arms. A good pair of gardening gloves (or two!) can be a gardener's best friend.
How to Choose the Right Pair of Garden Gloves
Since gardening gloves are available in many different varieties, the first step is to think about what gardening tasks you undertake and what the weather is generally like in your area. Light gardening chores don't require as heavy-duty a glove as do tough jobs like pruning heavy branches or planting shrubs with stickers. Climate comes into play, as well; in cold weather areas, gardening gloves that offer insulation and waterproofing are welcome protection for the hands.
Major types of gardening gloves include:
- Cotton work gloves, which are inexpensive and breathe, but can get wet and do not offer protection from stickers and thorns. Cotton rubber grip garden gloves offer a better grip on slippery items than do plain cotton gloves.
- Leather garden gloves, which are a step up from cotton gloves in protection from thorns, but will still absorb water.
- Rubber gloves, which are great for working in muddy or wet situations and when spraying chemicals, but do not breathe well.
- Spandex/Lyrca composite gloves, such as Foxgloves, which are colorful and snug-fitting; these gloves are also impervious to water and are durable. Bionic gloves, made by the same manufacturer who supplies NFL and MLB players, also fit into this category.
- Nitrile gloves, such as Atlas gardening gloves, which are excellent for tasks that require precision. The thin coating of nitrile on the palm of the gloves is strong and even more puncture-resistant than rubber. The back of the gloves is a flexible, breathable knit material.
- Silicon spray-on gloves, which are sprayed onto hands to create a seal on the skin. This is best for people who don't like the feel of conventional gloves, and cleaning up is very simple.
Where to Buy Gardening Gloves
Good sources for gardening gloves are plant nurseries, hardware stores and home improvement stores, such as Lowes and the Home Depot. In addition, the Internet offers websites where you can find just about any type of gardening glove you could ever want. If you're ordering gardening gloves from an online source, be sure to carefully review the return policy in case the gloves do not fit well.