, Port Arthur, Texas


October 18, 2013

Do you wear gloves when you garden or work around the yard?

Gloves greatly reduce chances of injury. Hazardous materials can lurk in the soil, from glass shards and sharp pointed rocks to rusty nails and metal with jagged edges.  Many plants have thorns and sharp needles and pieces of wood or mulch can leave a nasty splinter. Gloves can help prevent blisters and scratches that can become infected.

Gloves also keep your nails clean and once your work is done, make clean-up much easier.

If those aren't enough reasons to put a barrier between your hands and garden soil, consider this: cats and dogs love to use your garden as a bathroom.  Gloves protect you from animal feces as well as fungus , bacteria and other things you don’t want clinging to your hands.

Today's gloves are colorful, stylish and functional. For roses, long gloves with tough leather gauntlets can protect your arms as well as your hands. For digging in the dirt, gloves coated with nitrile or latex on the palms and fingers are flexible but don’t get as water-logged. Always use non – absorbent gloves when working with fertilizer, pesticides or chemicals.

I keep an assortment so I can choose the right one for the task. I love a bargain but find that many of the cheap gloves won't last more than a day or two. Some of the treated gloves will literally dissolve in our Texas heat, fusing together like a lab experiment gone bad. A good pair of leather gloves are a must. They can be hosed off and thrown in the washer.

Whatever gloves you choose, be sure to try them on first. Gloves that are too tight or too loose and bulky limit movement and can be a real annoyance. Gloves that fit well make gardening a pleasure.

Reach Jefferson County Master Gardener Jane McBride at or call the AgriLife Extension at (409) 835-8461.

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