Modern gloves are handy gardening tools

There is a myth that one can tell a gardener by their hands; as they are dry and cracked or there is dirt embedded into the skin.

There is a myth that one can tell a gardener by their hands; as they are dry and cracked or there is dirt embedded into the skin. This might have once been true but gloves have improved making this a thing of the past.

Gloves should fit comfortably, like a second skin. The fingers should be the same length as the ones on the gloves.

If the gloves have seams they should not bite into any part of the hand.

Good fitting gloves need not hinder dexterity while keeping hands protected from the environment.

One choice is to use a form fitting glove with a spandex back and a micro fiber palm. The glove is light weight and the palm breaths which reduces the chance of hot sweaty hands.

For light or fine work choose ones with latex dots. If gloves usually wear out on the finger tips, purchase a pair with reinforced fingers.

Seamless knit nylon gloves will fit like a second skin. Ones that are coated with a compound called Nitrile are very versatile.

The coating is thin enough to allow for maximum dexterity while providing protection from punctures, soil and moisture.

For those that want a slightly thicker coated glove, try a glove that is coated with a combination of foam and latex.

It is still flexible and offers great protection.

Fox gloves are a very popular seamless glove that has made its début on the Opera show. They are made out of suplex nylon and lycra spandex. The result is a breathable, tight knit, flexible fabric that is resistant to moisture.

For those who prefer or need to use natural fabrics try gloves made out of cotton, bamboo and leather.

Baggy cotton gloves are still available but they have their limitations.

New styles of cotton gloves are seamless and shaped for a snugger fit. Look for ones with coated palms that will protect from all types of moisture.

Bamboo gloves are similar to the cotton ones only they have a foam latex coating on the palm. Bamboo is a strong, light weight material that breaths.

Leather gloves are still an excellent choice. The weight and type of leather is reflected in the dexterity of the glove.

oat and Deerskin are thin leathers making them flexible.

Therefore these gloves tend to be lighter and work well for jobs that require fine finger motor skills.

Cow hide is thicker leather and make bulky gloves that take the abuse of rough surfaces.

These gloves can be stiff when they are first purchased but like all leather gloves they will eventually mold your hand.

Leather gloves will protect hands from the cold in the spring and fall but can be warm on hot days.

Manufactures have addressed this problem by using a mesh or cotton backing on gloves allowing the heat to escape.

When purchasing leather gloves make sure they are snug as leather will stretch slightly. Try on a number of gloves and choose the ones that are the most comfortable.

Gloves are no longer ugly and dull.

They are available in a rainbow of colors that serves two purposes. It can brighten the day and they are also easy to find.

For those that hate gloves try “gloves in a bottle”. In theory, the product is absorbed by the skin providing a protective layer between he skin and environment. Protection lasts approximately four hours.

Take a look at the gloves on the market. Using them will protect your hands from the elements.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist that lives near Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at www.igardencanada.com or your_garden@hotmail.com

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