Using my gardening gloves

This is a weird post to be doing about using my gardening gloves, but I have to know why other people use them. There are a few reasons.

So maybe we can take a quick look at why people wear them, what do you think?

Using my gardening gloves
The back door gloves

Keeping your hands clean

This would probably seems like the most obvious reason. Your hands can get pretty dirty in the dirt while gardening.

It is one of the main reasons I wear them, but not the most important reason. If I’m honest, dirty hands don’t bother me. I don’t mind getting mud on hands or dirt under my fingernails. That is part of gardening.

However, in Australia, gardening gloves are kind of essential. So essential that I have them everywhere. I have some at my back door, some at the front door, and some in the cupboard outside. There should never be a reason to be outside without them.

Why is using gardening gloves essential in Australia?

Well, I don’t want to freak you out, but there are so many spiders in the garden. We are warned to be careful not to garden without gloves.

In Melbourne, there are none that will kill you, but they can bite you and make you a bit sick or hurt you.

When you are weeding you see them scattering away. Some as big as an inch or so. We get a lot of wolf spiders in our gardens. I try not to let them bother me, but I also don’t want to get bitten so I wear my gloves.

I really don’t like spiders, so I never want the possibility of touching them. They really do creep me out.

Using my gardening gloves
Front door gloves

The reason for this post about gloves

I’ve been watching the YouTube channel Charles Dowding and I have noticed that he seems to garden without them. So it got me thinking and wondering about other places in the world.

Is it safe to garden without using gloves? I would love to know the answer to this question. So please let me know how it is where you live.

The garden cupboard

Using my gardening gloves

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  1. I prefer dirty fingernails to garden gloves, however I do wear cloves when handling rocks and pavers for landscaping and when I help my husband cut wood.

    1. I would too if it wasn’t for the spiders. You are lucky if you don’t have to wear them all the time. Thank you Teresa.

  2. I agree with one or two other people that wearing gloves takes away some dexterity and it can be difficult to do fiddly tasks. It’s not hugely important here, except for when you’re looking after roses or brambles etc. A rose put my mother in hospital for a week with an infection after she scratched herself on the thorns. Also, the point about tetanus, so it’s good to keep soil out of cuts etc. I wear quite thin gloves now, but I do prefer gardening without them.

    1. I wish we had the type of gardens where there were no spiders, but it is a safety thing here really. That is terrible about your mother, who knew that could happen. I have to admit I don’t wear thick gloves, the ones I wear let me move easily in them. Thank you Gemma.

  3. Good evening Leanne from Ireland. I grew up on a farm. I remember gathering potatoes . The only difficulty was if the soil was wet. There were a few earth worms but nothing else. I remember the boys used to throw worms at the girls to frighten us. My grandchildren love running around in the soil and grass. I’m glad in Ireland the soil is safe from hidden creatures or we are a hardy lot. Thanks for the inspiration. I like the comfort of a pair of light gloves when I’m gardening.
    I have read that when working in the soil there are elements in the soil that transfer through our skin bringing healing to mind and body.

    1. We get worms too, I like seeing them. I grew up on a farm too, it was fantastic. You are lucky that you can do that, no gloves if you want. That would be wonderful, but I think I will have to stick with the gloves. Thank you so much Angela.

  4. I don’t mind the dirt, but my skin gets chapped and irritated without them, not to mention the occasional bug bite or scratch.

  5. I’m bad .. I seldom garden with gloves on. Nasty habit I have got into. Plus I wipe my dirty hands on my pants! Bad me … it’s a good habit to get into wearing them. I have been stung a few times or bitten by whatever! If I had my gloves on it wouldnt have happened .. I won’t mention prickles in fingers either! Wear your gloves 🙂

  6. I hate wearing gloves, but I hate poison ivy rashes even more and there’s a lot of sneaky poison ivy in my area.

  7. Gardening inside I never wear them. Especially because it’s bagged soil and house plants. Outside however we do have black widows and thorny bushes and seeds so I never garden outside without them.

    1. You sound like me, potty mix I don’t worry about too much, but outside in the garden gloves are a must, thank you for sharing what you do Ecktor.

  8. I had to start wearing gloves in the last few years, as otherwise the skin around the end of my thumb will crack, split, and bleed, taking weeks to heal.
    I’ve never been bitten on the hand by a spider. Fire ants, yes, many times, but spiders seem to only get me while I sleep on fleshier bits.
    I miss my bare hands plunging into the soil and still do it on occasion, for a short stint, so as to not injure my thumbs.

    1. I have a friend who was telling me a similar story yesterday. It is hard when it happens that you have to wear them for those reasons. I am allergic to the grasses and my arms get really bad, but not much I can do about that, unfortunately gloves don’t go that high.
      The sleeping part is a bit scary, but I often wonder how many times we get bitten at night.
      I’m glad you can still enjoy it for short periods, it is nice at times. Sometimes I just weed without them, but not for long. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

    2. I saw some serious garden gloves at the shop ages ago now. I made note in case I ever got into pruning some seriously overgrown thorny plants. Perhaps there are some now that didn’t used to exist that could help your allergies. Best of luck!

    3. Maybe, though I have worked out now that if I come inside and give my arms a good scrub with soap and water and then apply an antiseptic cream on it, that does wonders, I’m not scratching for hours anymore. I suppose I could wear long sleeves out there, but it is too hot for that.

  9. Gloves only for painting as in decorating as I really manage to cover myself in paint. Gardening without. I cant feel in gloves and weeding and cutting plants has to be done bare. I even clear nettles with bare hands. Gloves just make me feel too distant from mother nature.

    1. See I am the opposite, I never wear gloves for painting, I find that too hard. I guess it just goes to show we are different. Thank you Judi.

  10. I don’t mind getting dirty so I typically only put on gloves for a little extra protection if I’m doing something that might cause blisters. I’ll also put them on if I’m dealing with a plant with thorns.

    Pennsylvania, USA

    1. I was just reading an article about why you should wear them, and well, I think I will be doing it all the time now, lol, scary stuff in the soil. Protection is good Suzanne, I think it is very good. Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope you liked the outcome of the election, we were watching your state very carefully.

  11. Hi Leanne, interesting thoughts. Myself I love to feel the soil in my hands, yet being careful of any critters, but the feeling of turning around the soil in my hands, makes me feel close to nature and evokes a certain feeling on connectedness.

    1. I like that too, but I don’t like the spiders, so my gloves stay on most of the times, there are some things you just can’t do with them on, but I try to use them as much as possible. Thank you Cornelia.

  12. While there are spiders and bugs where I live It is very safe to garden without gloves. Most of the little critters are tiny and harmless. Even though I don’t need to wear them I prefer to keep my cleanup to a minimum.

    1. Sounds like you are very lucky Cindy, keeping your hands clean is good too. I have seen some big spiders in my garden, so I will be keeping mine on I think. Thank you

  13. Here in sunny Florida, I cannot garden with gloves. When my husband works in the yard (yard–not garden! 😀 ) he always wears gloves and chastises me for not wearing them. But they are too bulky and get in my way so no gloves for me! However–if I had the spiders that you have–that would be an entirely different story!! Yikes, Leanne!!

    1. Florida gets hot right, and humid I imagine Lois. The gloves I wear are pretty good and fairly light weight, I like that, I don’t get too hot with them on, but they don’t keep your hands dry, lol. Yeah, spiders, not good, worse in Sydney where they have funnel web spiders that if you get bitten you can die from. Thank you Lois.

  14. I use gloves because I don’t want to get pricked by thorns and I like to keep my hands clean. Now the truth, I hate to garden!

    1. Haha, too funny Anne, I think I like it, but the hard work I have had to put into it has been so hard. Still a lot more to do, but I am sure it will be worth it in the end, I hope. Thank you.

  15. I always start out with the gloves on, but take them off because my hands feel hot, and I also like the feel of the earth on my fingers! Here in Vermont, I’m more apt to encounter spiders while pruning my roses than digging in the kitchen garden.

    1. That is interesting about the spiders, we have them all through the dirt. Vermont would be beautiful right now wouldn’t it? Thank you Dorothy.

    2. Your fall colours are so amazing, we don’t get anything like that here in Australia, nearly all our trees are evergreen. A friend and I have often dreamed of spending time in that part of the world during autumn. Jealous. We are getting lots of hot days now, summer is definitely here really.

    3. Let’s all hope for the best! There are still places I’d love to see. I’ve never been to Brittany, where my ancestors on my mother’s side of the family were from, and I’d certainly love to go there. There are other places too, but plans will have to wait!

    4. Oh yes, I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland for similar reasons. Still there is so much of Australia that I haven’t seen yet, so I often think I should stick with that. My grandmother used to say that and I thought she was an old fuddy-duddy, look at me now saying the same thing.

  16. More and more I find myself wearing gloves. I, too, don’t mind getting my hands dirty but I’ve pulled out weeds that were so toxic that my hands stung in pain for hours and I’ve rubbed my eyes after touching my herbs and I quickly regretted it. I did however discover that bathing the eye in milk takes away the sting. I’m sure the spiders here would bite as well but it’s the fire ants that I worry about. Nasty little things. How can something so small leave such a painful bite?

    1. I have problems with weeds too, after doing lots of gardening, regardless of the gloves, my arms are sore and itchy. Though I have found a antiseptic cream that helps so much. I think I’m allergic to something, but no idea what. That is good to know about the milk too Mama. Ants are the pits. My compost is full of them and I”m trying to work out why. Thank you.

  17. Spiders and centipedes and scorpions are among my reasons as well as thorns, spikes and weird stuff found when digging the garden – glass, bits of wire…..

  18. We have black and brown buitton spiders over here in SA. ( Latradectus) Similar to the Red Back.
    There are four or five brown buttons in my shed at the moment!
    I was bitten one time by a long-legged sac spider that was uncomfortable for a while, but nothing serious.
    I have no problem with them and find them fascinating.
    We also have Rain Spiders (Called Huntsmen in Oz, I think?).

    It is unfortunate spiders freak you out. I used to feel similarly but these days after spending s much time in the garden, and learning about them I have no genuine fear of them any more.

    I will wear gloves if I have to prune plants with thorns, especially our bougainvillea. Otherwise I tend to go bare! 🙂

    1. We have huntsmen spiders, they like to come inside. Big ugly hairy spiders, no thank you.
      I am kind of okay with most of the spiders in the garden, mostly, but I don’t like the big ones. Indoors I hate them. Creepy.
      That makes sense with the bougainvillea. I’ve also been using my gloves a lot when turning the compost, so I can get the yucky stuff off the twisty thing I use. Don’t you love the technical terms, lol.
      Thank you Arkenaten.

    2. The Huntsman spiders (Rain Spiders) are harmless, I assure you. I have rescued a couple from parasitoid wasps and one was able to be returned to the garden.
      They are all part of the vital chain of life and as they are such shy, reserved creatures encountering one either in the house or garden is a cause for celebration.
      Even the others members of my previously arachnophobic family gather to say ”hello”.
      This I hope you find uplifting – if you can get over any squeamish feelings?

      ”Yucky Stuff” is highly technical. I’m sure there is a Doctoral Thesis out there somewhere with this exact title.

    3. Yeah, I know the huntsmen spiders are harmless, but seriously they are big and hairy, they belong outside and not in my house. lol.
      I don’t kill spiders like I used to and I like to give them a chance, but not if they invade my space, I know I’m sad, but they are really something I can’t stand.
      Thank you so much Doug, and love what is highly technical, that’s brilliant.

    4. Sorry, I moderate all my comments. I had got into trouble a few years back and missed comments, or people sending nasty things, I find this works for me.
      Thanks for the link, I don’t think I will ever be like, my fear is perhaps irrational, but it isn’t that bad either. I have a friend who just screams when she sees one, but that’s not me. Thank you Doug.

    5. No need to apologise. We do what we have to do. I sympathize. But good grief, why on earth would anyone send you nasty things? It is not as if your bog is hyper political or some such.
      SMH. Some people are decidedly …odd!

    6. When my blog was just photography I would often get some nasty things left in comments, I have even blocked some people because of their comments. It is sad that there are some very nasty people out there. They definitely are odd, sadly.

  19. Interesting. I love spiders but if they were dangerous I would keep my distance. Don’t see many in the garden and if you do they are likely to be in a web waiting for their prey. I can’t weed in gloves, I don’t have the sensitivity and control I need if I do. So my hands get pretty dirty, earth under the fingernails and all. I have been told that you need to be wary of getting tetanus but I have had a jab for that in the past. I also try to keep away from cat poo. I don’t have a cat but there is at least one that likes to use my garden as her toilet. So I wash my hands well when I come in. Even have some “gardener’s” soap that helps. I do have a couple of pairs of gloves though and I do wear them for pruning the roses and would use them for pulling up stinging nettles too.

    Just as well I don’t live in Australia!

    1. We have them in webs, and in the ground, hiding behind things, they are everywhere. Well not literally everywhere, but you see them often. I hate them.
      I think I have always weeded with them, so I keep doing it and am used to them. Then again I often find myself outside and before I know it I am bending over and picking out weeds with no gloves. I will get bitten one day. That is terrible about the cat using your garden. We have a cat, but she isn’t allowed to go out, well not without supervision and she doesn’t like moving too far from the front door.
      Yes, perhaps, though if you got bitten, you would most likely be fine. Thank you RJ

  20. Usually we don‘t need garden gloves expect for saving you from thorns stings. But in recent years a recommendation for wearing gloves came up when digging in the soil to save you from getting infected by the hantavirus. This virus is transported by a certain mouse: bank vole / Myodes glareolus

    1. I hadn’t thought of thorns. I will have to look that up, I’m sure we don’t have that here, or someone would be saying something about it, you would think. Thank you André

  21. regardless of whether it’s safe to wear them or not, I always do simply because I don’t really like getting my hands dirty! Much as I love gardening I am not one of those people who love to feel the earth between their fingers and gloves are essential when you are pulling up nettles and thistles

    1. That is always a personal choice isn’t it and nothing wrong with that. I don’t have a problem with it, OMG you should see me when I am drawing, especially with charcoal. Thank you for that.

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