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Get Those Hands Dirty

April 23rd, 2014

When I first started gardening I didn’t like to get my hands dirty.  Granted, I have sensory issues, so there are lots of things I have a hard time doing, gardening without gloves was one of them.  I’m working on this and I garden more and more without gloves.  Unless I’m digging for a long time and using long handled gardening tools I will often not wear gloves.
dirty fingers 1
dirty fingers 2
Getting your hands dirty gives gardening a whole new dimension.  It also gives you a much better feel for your soil – the moisture level, composition, etc. I highly recommend gardening with gloves at least every now and then.

Do you wear gardening gloves?

14 Comments to “Get Those Hands Dirty”
  1. Jennifer Fisk on April 23, 2014 at 6:42 am

    I never use gloves while gardening except for pruning Rugosa Roses.LOL I love the feel of warm soil in my hands.

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  2. Elizabeth on April 23, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Wearing gloves depends on the task for sure, hoeing comes to mind.
    I couldn’t wait to get my bare hands in the dirt for the first time this spring after such a cold and snowy winter. We are in the garden to connect with the earth right? Touch and feel your dirt, it is amazing!

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  3. Robin on April 23, 2014 at 7:31 am

    If I’m going to be using a rake or hoe for more than a few minutes I’ll wear gloves. I used to be embarrassed by my dirt-stained fingers after months of pulling weeds and planting a one acre market farm but couldn’t get used to gloves. Now I don’t mind. I work hard for those stains.

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  4. Nebraska Dave on April 23, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Susy, for the better part of my life, I never used gloves except to keep my hands warm in the winter. Alas, (big sigh) my greatest fear is upon me. I have become citified (gasp). Now I must wear gloves when using garden tools or the blisters start to come almost immediately. My hands have lost their rural toughness.

    However, I do like to get my hands in the dirt. I was just yesterday rooting around in the potato bed looking to see if my potatoes were sprouting with bare hands. The potatoes have the teeniest tiniest sprouts on them. I planted them like three weeks ago but the weather has been really cold and the soil temperature has been hovering around 45 so it may have been just a bit chilly for them to sprout. I guess a little more patience is needed in gardening this year.

    Have a great hands dirty day.

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  5. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on April 23, 2014 at 8:24 am

    I only wear gloves if I know I’m going to be in danger of getting a splinter, other than that, I love the feel of the soil on my hands and in between my fingers.

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  6. Laura @ Raise Your Garden on April 23, 2014 at 8:30 am


    Confession: I always wear gardening gloves, especially if they’re fashionable. They sell such cute ones now! And I don’t like dirty hands.

    Sometimes I even wear the cheap plastic throwaway ones to keep my hands clean. It’s tough, because my hands stain soooo easily, the plant and dirt leave indelible marks on my hands, yuck!

    Plus…I usually have to make dinner after working in the garden and it seems like if I don’t wear gloves, my hands are so icky even after scrubbing and scrubbing.

    Great post!!

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  7. judym on April 23, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I love the feel of the soil running through my hands. Just didn’t seem natural to wear gloves, even when I was a child. I use gloves mainly for the harder chores – hoeing, larger digging projects, etc.

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  8. DebbieB on April 23, 2014 at 9:28 am

    I don’t use gloves most of the time, unless I’m picking off bugs and larvae and slugs, because ew. But for weeding and harvesting, I like to feel what I’m doing. And when I harvest, I like to use my thumbnail (that all-purpose God-given tool) to cleanly and efficiently slice the lettuce leaves and green beans without tugging on the plant.

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  9. amy on April 23, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Cannot bear them in the summer…my hands feel like they are suffocating….but then I lament having dirt stains incrusted in them until fall….but it is a price I am willing to pay. I tend to battle claustrophobia… tight fitting or snug fitting undoes me.

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  10. Misti on April 23, 2014 at 11:38 am

    I don’t typically wear gloves, though I am being more diligent now that I am pregnant as there’s a greater risk of toxoplasmosis via gardening than the litter box…and with five ferals and who knows how many transient cats…well, I try to be better.

    I love feeling the dirt on my hands!

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  11. MN Reid on April 23, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    No gloves here, except for clearing brush. I have dirt under my nails and in the creases of my hands from April till Late October, and am proud of it!

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  12. val on April 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    My preference is to go without gloves, but if you have sensitive skin, gloves are a must. The sun, soil, and even a lot of plants can cause irritation. Having large hands for a woman makes it difficult to find good gloves though!

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  13. bonnie k. on April 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I’m in an epic battle with bermuda grass, honeysuckle, poison ivy, etc. Yes, I wear gloves; I don’t mind dirt, but I hate cracked open fingers and rashes.

    Reply to bonnie k.'s comment

  14. Kate/Massachusetts on April 23, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I am an avid gardener but I am loathe to get my hands dirty! Go figure! I have a large box of disposable “hospital” gloves that I wear under gardening gloves! I am so careful to protect my hands from getting cuts or splinters…the dirt doesn’t bother me, its the blood! :-) I’ve been scratched by the roses in the past and ended up with an infection. Another time a spider bit me and I got a cellulitis which required an ER visit and antibiotics. Still, I love my gardens!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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