Why you need gardening gloves

Using gardening gloves does not only protect your nails from getting dirty, but also saves your hands from being pierced when working in thorny gardens. PHOTO by Rachel Mabala

What you need to know:

Every line of work has its protective gear and if not worn, you might get some side effects. For gardening, Eseri Watsemwa writes about why you need gloves.

Jennifer Naula thought her garden was too small to cause her any harm. She worked tirelessly to keep her flower bed, pots and lawn blooming in all seasons; all this with bare hands. Two years down the road, her once beautiful and youthful hands have taken the form of a builder’s- with hard palms that have splinters and a pale dermatitis allergy as the dermatologist later confirmed. She noticed she needed a pair of gloves way too late.

Ideally, we were molded from soil and have no problem touching the earth and using it in any way with our bare hands plus breaking plants, pruning and applying the mulch bare handed. However, there is need to dress the fingers while gardening. Experts discuss some reasons why you need a pair of gloves while gardening.

Why you need gloves
Gloria Kavuma, a designer ,notes that while working in extremely harsh weather conditions with very wet soil, gloves protect your hands from the mud and keep them clean and dry. They also keep hands warm in cold weather.

Prevent nail breakage
“Save your finger nails from breaking and keep nails clean as well. One of the greatest physical assets a lady has is the fingernails. Save those finger nails from breaking as a result of digging them in the earth, forcing them to break branches and sowing seeds with hard coats,” Kavuma advises.

Prevent cuts
Notably, gloves will save you from very painful splinters and infected cuts. “Most people dread them with the excuse that they are heavy and sweaty -yes they are quite uncomfortable but one gets used to working in them over time because it pays,” explains Stellah Mukhwana, a compound and interior designer with Glorious Designs.

Protect hands from cuts
Mukhwana notes, “Hands are worth taking care of; a good pair of gloves will not only protect you from cuts, particles and pricks from thorns but also keep your hands in shape. However she advises, “Buy fitting gloves. Gloves that are ill fitting are uncomfortable but can also be dangerous. If you are using powerful tools with gloves that don’t fit, they can easily get pulled along with your working tools and leave you unprotected. Also, small or tight gloves limit movement and should not be anywhere near your fingers”.

Prevent contact with soil-borne and bacterial infections
“Wearing gloves saves you from directly getting into contact with animal waste and deadly chemicals. Gardening with open wounds or cuts exposes you to bacterial infections through contact with waste,” highlights Edward Muhindo, a gardener at Discoveries Designs.

He adds, “These could easily attack your bare hands especially when wounded. Try to avoid these as they may take long to heal and bring your chores to a standstill. Additionally, they check contact with poisonous or deadly plants that may cause rashes and skin allergies”.

Glove types
There are a number of glove types on the market. Kavuma says their style is highly dependent on the weather, season, kind of garden work and the gardener’s choice. However, she advises that one chooses fitting gloves and a glove type that suits its purpose.

Leather Gloves
Like the name suggests, leather gloves are made of leather material. Muhindo says besides being stylish, they are ideal for working with sharp plants. “A number of garden owners will opt for leather gloves that are long enough to cover their arms as well. This saves them from cuts,” he adds.

Latex or Rubber gloves
Rubber gloves are the most used gloves for gardening, probably because they are cost friendly. They are used for different purposes. They are elastic, flexible and usually have a good fitting. Gardeners prefer using these while dealing with chores that involve water.

Cotton Gloves
These are basically worn for simple garden work like trimming, picking flowers or even cutting out branches and stems. They are purposed to protect hands from thorn pricks.

Nitrile Gloves
“Nitrile gloves derive their name from their coating. They are coated with a strong ruby material known as nitrile. Most gardeners use them for handling hard objects such as garden tools,” says Muhindo, stating that they are very flexible and provide adequate comfort.