Friday, January 11, 2008

Garden Gloves

A few days ago Stuart, from Gardening Tips 'n' Ideas posted of his experience with a deadly spider while weeding. He said, "I'm not one for wearing garden gloves as I still haven't found a pair that enables me to feel my way through the dirt plus protect my hands at the same time. But, after weeding out some dead summer annuals yesterday, I'm reconsidering my stance on this protective gear."

There were others who commented on his post about not liking gardening gloves and I could identify with their sentiments. I have always disliked wearing traditional gardening gloves for many reasons. One being because I like to feel the dirt, that is, I like to feel it without getting dirty. Another reason is that there is usually too much bulk at the finger tips and it makes handling delicate new plants more difficult when transplanting.

On the other hand, I am terrified of having some creepy crawly thing bite me while I garden. I've been bitten by a spider before and even though it wasn't life threatening by any stretch, it still required a doctors visit, medication and was very uncomfortable, with considerable swelling and pain.

Many years ago, I found that a better alternative for me was surgical gloves. They weren't perfect, but far better than any garden glove I'd tried before. The problem with them was they were too thin and when weeding and planting I still got some dirt under my fingernails. I had to change them often and they caused my hands to sweat and my nails to get soft and tear.

Then last year I discovered the perfect glove.

They are wonderful! Far superior to traditional garden gloves and regular surgical gloves. They are thicker than regular surgical gloves and do not tear easily, in fact I can use the same pair several times. I usually clean the dirt off and turn them inside out when I take them off and reuse the same gloves. They are really tough. My hands still sweat some, but not as bad as when using other surgical gloves. They can readily be purchased at Walmart, and the best thing is that they are a pretty color of purple. I love them!

One day at the end of October, I stopped by Garden Thyme, which is a wonderful nursery here in Noblesville that is located at an old two room schoolhouse that the nursery owner, Kim Porter, is saving up her garden profits to restore. I talked for a few minutes with Kim about the nursery and I noticed that she too was wearing the same purple gloves. She said she loved them and they were her garden gloves of choice too. Like me she turns them inside out to reuse them.
So, for those who dislike traditional garden gloves, you should give these a try. Sorry Stuart, I don't think they are available in any other color. real men wear purple gardening gloves?


Anonymous said...

" real men wear purple gardening gloves?" - only those that are secure in their masculinity! Lol.

I would be interested in trying them Robin. Who is the manufacturer? We don't have Walmart here in Oz but they may distribute through another chain.

BTW - great post and cheers for adding another option.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Good answer, Stuart. The manufacturer is Kimberly-Clark and the product is called SAFESKIN Purple Nitrile Exam Gloves.

Kerri said...

Thanks Robin for this recommendation. I tried surgical gloves this past year, and liked them better than the thicker gloves, but had the same complaints you mentioned. These pretty purple gloves look like a great alternative. I'll be looking in Walmart for them.
I sure would like to see Stuart in a pair :)
Oh, a big pat on the back for joining the board of your HOA and trying to get that outrageously ridiculous rule changed. Your rant was a good one and completely say the least! Good luck with that.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

I do not like wearing gloves while gardening for the same reasons you stated in your post Robin. Fortunately there are no biting creepy crawlies where I live so I can garden safely without gloves. Glad you found these gloves that work very well for you. Safe gardening for both you and Stuart!

Thanks for sharing this info, I'm sure it will be a great help to many a garden blogger with dangerous pests in the garden.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have tried the surgical glove and hate them due to the sweaty hand syndrome. I normally use typical garden gloves only when doing heavy duty chores, like planting bushes or moving rocks and bricks.

I might give these purple jobs a try. I can at least see where I put them when I take them off.

Entangled said...

I too dislike wearing gloves, but after I saw a black widow spider in the woods here I rarely go without them now. I have a pair of nitrile coated knit gloves - you know those kind where just the fingertips and palms are covered? These are much thinner than the ones you usually see. The knit liner helps with the sweating problem, but of course adds another layer between you and the dirt. I got mine free with a seed order last year, but I'll be looking for another pair this year.

Sheila said...

I love your blog..especially your pictures. About the gloves...I used to hate to wear them also. But one spring I was cleaning out leaves along a wall & accidently grabbed a baby snake!!! Boy--did I dance a jig! I HATE SNAKES!!!Thankfully I had my gloves on & have worn them ever since. I looked for the gloves at my Super Walmart today but wasn't sure they were the right ones. Are they with the kitchen gloves?

A lover of the purple gloves will be great. :)

Sheila in So. Central Indiana

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Hi,Sheila, thank you for visiting my blog. The gloves are in the pharmacy area with the bandages.

Mary said...

Thanks, Robin. My hands are very small so I haven't found a pair of gloves I'm comfortable with and don't even use them unless I'm deadheading roses.

I'll try these!

Kylee Baumle said...

Romie is always yelling at me, "Where are your gloves??" when we're out working together in the garden. I hate wearing them, too, for the same reasons you do.

But it was like that when we in the dental profession were required to start wearing gloves, too. I hated it. Loss of tactile sense, I said. Well, we got used to it and now I can't imagine not wearing them. I suppose it could be the same with garden gloves.

I'll have to check Walmart for these! Thanks for the suggestion!

Gin said...

What a great idea! I plan to get some of these as a good alternative to the heavy gloves I usually wear.

Thanks for the info!


vonlafin said...

Thanks for the tip. I also use the regular surgical gloves, and they always tear out at the finger tips. I do like pulling weeds with no gloves though, so you can feel them release from the soil, and you know yo are getting them roots and all. I don't get that with gloves.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I like wearing garden gloves & always curse myself when I start working outside without them. I use only thin 1s that allow fine weeding. I can't remember what they're called, but most garden centers carry them. They're a combo of fabric on the hand part & latex on the fingers. They last fairly well, but need to be replaced at least annually.

Unknown said...

Hello Robin,
last year I bought a large box of SAFESKIN Purple Nitrile Exam Gloves from Ebay. Use them in the garden and when I go hiking. We have Poison Ivy in many parts of Ontario. When I made contact or touched the plant, the gloves are very carefully disposed of.
cheers from Canada

Connie said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Robin. I have not been a good glove wearer, and my hands show it! I am these make your hand sweat?

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

I'll need to add these gloves to my collection. I have avoided plastic/rubber gloves because it's just too uncomfortable in the heat, but for small jobs, these sound great.

So far my absolute favorite gloves are the Foxgloves. I have four pair so I can just toss them into the laundry halfway through the day if I want! They are cotton, so they breathe. But they are thin and fit snugly, so you can get a grip on small weeds. They are the glove that convinced me to stop digging in the dirt with my bare fingernails!

--Robin (Bumblebee)

Tessa said...

Nice purple color! I usually hate wearing gloves too, but we have black widows and snakes and probably more that I wouldn't want to find bare handed! I'm wondering, however, if these gloves would really be enough to stop a bite? They are thin, so I'm wondering if a spider might be able to bite right through it?

Happy almost spring,