Why Gloves Are A Must-Have When Weeding Your Garden

Gardening can be relaxing, though it requires a lot of work. Some activities, like weeding, digging, or raking leaves, are not exactly fun, but the right tools can make everything easier. For example, putting on a pair of gloves when weeding your garden could save you a lot of trouble later on. These basic accessories protect your hands from chemicals, prickles, debris, bacteria, and bugs. They also provide a better grip, allowing you to pull weeds with less effort.

However, many people prefer not to wear gloves while doing gardening work. A common explanation is that they don't need them as long as they don't use pesticides or other garden chemicals. Some of these substances can penetrate the skin and cause toxicity. There's also a risk of skin irritation, blisters, rashes, or topical allergic reactions, warns Pennsylvania State University. But even if you have an organic garden, you should still wear protective gloves. Not only will they make your work easier, but they could also prevent some nasty infections.

Gardening gloves do more than just protect your hands

Whether you're a novice or seasoned gardener, you probably know that stinging nettle, sandburs, bull thistle, and other prickly weeds can hurt your hands. But that's not the only reason you should wear gloves when weeding your garden. These accessories also act as a barrier between your skin and the pathogens lurking in the soil. According to the University of Queensland, some bacteria and fungi can cause serious infections like tetanus, legionellosis, melioidosis, sporotrichosis, or even sepsis.

For example, Clostridium tetani, a bacterium found in soil and feces, can enter the skin through wounds or cuts and lead to tetanus. This infection requires emergency care (via CDC). Also, beware that spiders and other critters in your garden can cause a host of problems, too. If a black widow bites your hand, you may experience difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, fever, or severe pain, per the Cleveland Clinic. Last but not least, gardening gloves protect your hands from poisonous weeds like the beach apple (manchineel), poison ivy, and jimson weed. Given these risks, you should never try to get rid of weeds with your bare hands. To stay safe, wear a pair of rubber, leather, or neoprene gloves. Leather offers the most protection but has a higher price tag than other fabrics. However, even a pair of cloth gloves is better than nothing. Remember to clean your gardening gloves after each use, and let them air dry to preserve their shape.