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Team Gloves, or No Gloves?

By ShadyGreenThumb
November 22, 2015

Is wearing gloves a necessity during your day in the garden? Or do you get right to work sans protection, to feel the earth in real time?

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Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
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Shannon
Nov 21, 2015 6:12 PM CST
I have a hard time not using gloves I Love the Atlas ones Lovey dubby Mostly because if I happen to have to pull ANY
grass I get itchy Sad and my hands get real red . I do go bare hand with my seedlings in the house No Grass Smiling Hilarious!
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 21, 2015 6:37 PM CST
I occasionally get into the dirt without gloves, but mostly if I'm seriously going to get anything done, the gloves must go on! It's a mental thing with me, putting on the gloves means 'time to get to work'. I love those nitrile gloves, too. I get the mesh part wet in the hot weather and it helps to keep me a little cooler.

Another glove phenomenon: in our school garden, the kids really get into it with the gloves on. (we MUST have them wear gloves, since if someone gets injured, bitten or has an allergic attack we risk loss of the whole garden project). But, it's truly magic what putting on a pair of gloves does for a child who has never had their hands in the dirt before. Even the girly-girls get right in there and dig, pick, scout for bugs and generally are so much more engaged. Gloves bridge a gap for the kids, I think.
Elaine

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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
Nov 21, 2015 6:41 PM CST
I use gloves for any work, as I hate grass cuts, stickers, dirty fingernails, and the feel of dirt.
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Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
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Claudia
Nov 21, 2015 7:02 PM CST
I was a Team No Gloves for years. But after we moved out to rural area where all sorts of critters from cats to deer can pass thru our yard, I decided I needed to start wearing gloves. So Team Gloves for me! I have at some point been infected with toxoplasmosis. It is not active now. But I still do have that occasional slip up and pull up a weed I spot while walking by.
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Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
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gchrismer
Nov 21, 2015 8:29 PM CST
Good point about gloves = work.....yes, it does help my brain that way. Also garden pants and shoes and hat. Oh, sometimes bug spray and don't forget sunscreen! Have had skin cancers removed more than I wish to admit. But I mostly blame that on growing up by ocean. I still have to be careful now, though. Glare
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Nov 21, 2015 8:45 PM CST
Gloves for me (Atlas). I keep them everywhere, even in our camper (yes, I tidy up campgrounds...just a snip here and there, pulling invasives, etc.) I used to go bare handed but I find I don't have the inclination to keep up with the nail cleaning, cuticle care, and scrubbing - and was more often then not quite appalled at the state of my hands while working with business clients (at a keyboard where hands are front and center). I do love the feel of dirt, so completely agree with team no glove. Perhaps now that I'm retired I'll ditch the gloves, although I do also 'get' the notion that once the gloves are on, we're off to it.
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Nov 21, 2015 8:47 PM CST
Gloves for me (Atlas). I keep them everywhere, even in our camper (yes, I tidy up campgrounds...just a snip here and there, pulling invasives, etc.) I used to go bare handed but I find I don't have the inclination to keep up with the nail cleaning, cuticle care, and scrubbing - and was more often then not quite appalled at the state of my hands while working with business clients (at a keyboard where hands are front and center). I do love the feel of dirt, so completely agree with team no glove. Perhaps now that I'm retired I'll ditch the gloves, although I do also 'get' the notion that once the gloves are on, we're off to it.

As a side note, my husband was bitten by some spider while working in the woodshed which swelled his hand up like a baseball mitt. When we went to the doc for treatment, he was offered the obviously simple advise to put gloves on when working with firewood. Duh.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Nov 21, 2015 8:56 PM CST
Team gloves.

Some plants can cause skin problems, if they, or their sap, come into contact with bare skin. Think of oleander and euphorbia sap, for example. I also have a sensitivity to daylily foliage (and the juices from cut foliage or disintegrating blooms); my sister and I are the only ones I personally know who have it, but it's real, and the resulting rash can be as bad as the ones from exposure to poison ivy or poison oak.

As for fingers in the bare dirt.... uh, no. There are lots of bacteria in that dirt, and not all of them are nice; some of them, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, are opportunistic pathogens. Then there is, as someone else pointed out, the possibility of toxoplasmosis. Anyone with compromised immunity, or who is missing any lymph nodes (due to sentinel node biopsy for cancer), is at risk for health problems if they "play" around with bare soil.

So, disposable vinyl gloves for me!
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Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
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Cem9165
Nov 22, 2015 6:53 AM CST
Beautifully stated @Polymerous! I'm team gloves!
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Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
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canadanna
Nov 22, 2015 9:33 AM CST
I have a hard time keeping my finger nails and cuticles clean if I don't wear gloves. I usually slather my nails with a thick hand lotion and then put on the gloves if I plan on playing with any soil. I also am never sure what pathogens/insects are lurking.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 22, 2015 7:07 PM CST

Plants Admin

I always wear gloves in the garden. For one thing, I grow too many roses to take chances. For another, even the most innocent-looking plants can be hazardous. The worst splinter I ever had was from an Iris leaf, and the worst rash I ever had was from Sweet Alyssum. I wear Atlas thermal gloves year-round.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Nov 22, 2015 8:11 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:
Another glove phenomenon: in our school garden, the kids really get into it with the gloves on. (we MUST have them wear gloves, since if someone gets injured, bitten or has an allergic attack we risk loss of the whole garden project). But, it's truly magic what putting on a pair of gloves does for a child who has never had their hands in the dirt before. Even the girly-girls get right in there and dig, pick, scout for bugs and generally are so much more engaged. Gloves bridge a gap for the kids, I think.


Elaine, that is seriously the best argument for gloves that I have ever seen!! Not so much the "injured, bitten or has an allergic attack" thing, although I certainly understand why that would be necessary. But just the part about getting them to delve into the dirt when they otherwise wouldn't. Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up
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Name: Alex
Warren, VT- Green Mtns. (Zone 4b)
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ARoseblush
Nov 28, 2015 8:52 AM CST
Always 'team gloves' for me. I have half dozen pair of the Atlas gloves. Love them. Too much bedrock, and too many wild critters in the mountains to fool around with jagged cuts, or bacteria in the soil. When the gloves go on, I go to work. It's a no-brainer for me! Thumbs up

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