Saturday, October 30, 2010

Do you garden with gloves on?

For most of my life I never wore gloves when working with plants.  I grew up in a rural area where we grew most of our own food and where planting, hoeing, weeding, harvesting, preserving, and eating were all just part of the circle of life.  Having dirt on your hands was as natural as breathing.

Then, a few years ago I was gifted several pairs of gardening gloves.  So, I started to wear gloves when gardening.  No more dirt under the fingernails, weed-stained flesh, dry skin, or hands covered in tiny cuts.  My hands had never looked so clean!  It became habit to unthinkingly slip on a pair of gloves as I walked out the back door... until a few days ago.

I was dividing and planting up some seedlings into individual pots.  The gloves just seemed a little too cumbersome when handling the tiny stems and fine roots.  So I took the gloves off.  My potting job became instantly easier.  I could quickly separate the young plants.  I could feel the texture and moisture of the soil.  I was holding new life in my hands.  My connection with the earth was complete!

We definitely had it right, out on the farm.  From now on, I'll be making a conscious decision about when to wear gloves.  I like the feel of the soil, the texture of leaves, and the firmness of stems.  What about you?  Do you cover up when gardening?  ...or do you go bare?


FlowerLady said...

Good morning ~ I am another one who would rather be bare handed. Someone did give me two pair of garden gloves a year or so ago and I started wearing a pair and do love them for certain things, but most of the time they are off.


Robin said...

Although I seem to buy a new pair of gardening gloves every year, I usually go bare. I try to put them on when I start and always end up taking them off...except when I am trimming the roses!

Natti said...

No gloves for me Jim. I love the composition of compost and soil.

Jan said...

I never used to wear garden gloves unless I was pruning thorny plants, but lately I have been wearing them more and more. Like you, I have found them to be cumbersome when planting seeds or rooted cuttings and even planting small transplants. So, now I only wear them when I am not doing "delicate" gardening work, which, of course, means I have dirty hands and fingernails. I look at gardening gloves as a way of protecting my hands, not keeping them clean.

Always Growing

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

I finished my task faster without gloves. I like to feel the earth and plants with my bare hands. But occasionally gloves have it uses against thorny things or itch.

NanaK said...

I wear gloves most of the time in the garden, but I do remove them for seed planting and seedling transplanting. I do like protecting my hands from that ground-in dirt look. Now, if I could figure out how to do the same for my FEET, that would be wonderful.

africanaussie said...

I once got a really really good pair of gardening gloves, and they were magic to work with. Since they are worn out now I am back to feeling the earth with my bare hands. I love to work closely with the earth,but those gloves did keep my hands clean - is there a happy medium?

Gay Gardener said...

I'm with you! I usually don't garden with gloves on, but of course sometimes life dictates the need for it, what with poison ivy and such. Then, it just gets to be slower weeding and gardening.


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