Gardening tips?

prairiemoon2 z6 MAMay 21, 2012

For instance, how do you keep yourself in clean gardening gloves? Aside from buying 7 pair for a week's worth of clean gloves or doing laundry every day? (g)

Do you track dirt into your kitchen all the time or do you have a mud room, or a boot scraper?

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terrene(5b MA)

I have a plethora of gardening gloves, but have no idea how to keep fingernails clean other than scrubbing with the nail brush. They almost always have a little dirt under them during peak gardening season.

I do indeed track dirt and debris in the kitchen ALL the time. Lately, I've been keeping a foot-sized container filled with about 3/4 inch of water next to the hose, and I "wash" my boots off in the water before entering the house. Sometimes I rinse them off in a puddle before going inside if it's been raining. I also have a pair of those shoe covers that you can put over your shoes (they looks like a shower cap) if my boots are really dirty and I want to run and out of the house quick.

Gardening is a dirty hobby. :)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:17PM
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I ALWAYS track dirt in,,,right after the house is clean, floors are vacuumed and mopped and I have time to play in the yard!
Why bother with clean gardening gloves? Theyre just gonna get dirty really quick, besides, the plants dont mind :D
I do keep a pair of crocs around that are easy to slip on/off when in and out of the house and only doing light stuff in the garden. That usually works when I remember.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 11:10PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

I garden with my bare hands. I like to feel the bare earth between my fingers for some reason. The nail brush helps get the dirt out from under my fingernails. I track mud in all the time. I try to use sandals that I can slip on and off but sometimes I forget. You have to like getting dirty to do this stuff. You also have to be good at cleaning carpet before your significant other sees the mess you made.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:32AM
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MollyDog(6 PA)

Lemons work wonders on getting fingernails clean looking again.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 3:31AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

I'm not terribly concerned about dirty nails, but if I do want to clean them soaking the fingers in peroxide or white vinegar is very good. Peroxide is probably the best. Gloves are only worn for the tough jobs. My main concern is cracked finger tips which can be kind of painful. The peroxide bath helps.

No, I don't track dirt in the house. I have indoor shoes and outdoor shoes. It's a rule. If I take the trash out, I change shoes. If you come to my house, you take your shoes off. At least I try to encourage that. Some people won't. I take my gardening shoes off outside and clean them before they're brought inside and placed on the boot tray.

I also have my gardening clothes hanging on a rack in a hallway outside my kitchen door. When I'm going outside to work, I change clothes in that hallway. When I come back inside, I change there again. The dirty stuff never comes inside my house. The jeans get washed every month or so whether they're dirty or not. Yes, I do look very homeless when I'm out in the garden. I could care less.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 5:51AM
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I cannot bear wearing gloves when I work outside!!!

I am very good about wearing clogs to garden and kicking them off when I come in for a sammich.
Husband is not so good so I got him some Drywalkers- they work great.

Link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drywalkers slip on

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 7:41AM
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I have a pair of garden boots that I put on when I garden, they are taken off in the garage at the door. I wash my hands outside before I return to the house.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 9:26AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Unless I'm going to end up bleeding, I don't wear gloves either (and it never occurred to me to wash them, I don't think you're supposed to wash leather gloves...?) I can get clean in just a couple minutes by gouging my nails into a bar of soap, the dirt comes right out.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 9:29AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I gardened for over 25 yrs without gloves. It has only been the past 4 years that I've been using gloves and I find I don't want to garden without them now. Kevin reminded me of the reason I started using DH was getting those cracked fingertips from helping me in the garden and nothing cleared them up. So we got him gloves first and it made such a difference his fingers cleared up. And I borrowed his and then had to get my own.

I wish we had a 'back hall' or a mud room of some kind to just leave dirty clothes and shoes in, that would be great.

Those Drywalkers are a riot!

1 Like    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 9:30AM
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terrene(5b MA)

PM2 I read your original question as "keep yourself clean in gardening gloves"! Yes I do wash my gloves - not the leather ones, but the Atlas, Mudd, nitrile, and cotton all are washable.

Wish this house had a mud room too. Those drywalkers could come in handy. I would be taking my boots on and off all day if I took them off every time I come in and out of the house. Got some clogs, but they don't provide enough support to the left foot, which was broken years ago and is arthritic.

I know it tracks a lot of dirt in, but c'est la vie. I like clean sink, counters, etc., but admit that vacuuming and dusting are not high on the list of priorities. I'd rather be gardening!!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:03PM
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manifest(USDA 11a, Sunset 24, CA)

I keep several pairs of gloves around, depending on what I'm doing. My favorite all-purpose pair are my Atlas Touch 370 gloves. I ordered a dozen from Amazon because they fit my hands perfectly. I keep 2 working pairs around. If one pair gets wet, I'll go to the other working pair. My hands going into the gloves are always clean, so they only get washed when I feel that the insides of the gloves are starting to get dusty.

I also have Crocs that I wear in the garden. We don't wear shoes in the house, so the Crocs get kicked off before we go inside. I like that they're washable and dry pretty quickly in the sun.

Lastly, I wear loose overalls when I'm working outside. I have a layer underneath them, so if I ever need to run to the store quickly or if I need to go into the house, I simply step out of the overalls and I'm still clean underneath. When I need to go back to do some work, I easily slip my overalls back on.

A few years ago, when Smith & Hawken closed their retail stores and were having a huge sale, I purchased a galvanized garden caddy. It has about 6 compartments that are interchangeable. I keep all my gloves, small hand tools like trowel, cultivator, scissors, pruners, etc. in it. I can carry it around with me if I need all my tools. Or if I don't, I make sure that whatever I'm using always gets put back. There's nothing that makes me crazier than misplacing a tool and wasting time looking around for it.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:59PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I like to use a clean pair of gloves for one day and would love to have a clean pair for every day. And I wonder if it's just good garden practice as far as keeping disease issues in the garden to a minimum. And the gloves usually go into a load with just the other gardening clothes. I only have the nitrile gloves, which I find very flexible and comfortable. I think I just need a few more pair and I'll be all set.

I use the LLBean rubber mocs that easily slip on and off, but DH also does not find they give him enough support and he has to wear a good supportive sneaker.

terrene, during gardening season, it seems that gardening chores always trump household chores, for sure!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 1:01PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

That's a great deal on those gloves, manifest. I just saw them on Amazon. I usually see gloves at the Nursery for about $15. each. Order a 12 pack and have plenty of gloves, great idea. Thanks. I don't always remember to check Amazon.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 1:13PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hi PM2!!!

I try to scrape soap under my nails before I put on my gloves. I have gloves all over the place, in the mailbox, in the bird seed container, wherever, so I can usually stick a pair on quick. I wear boys shoes (they are tougher than girls) and only lace them halfway so I can kick them on or off. And when I shower I put the plug in the tub so my feet can have a soak at the same time!


    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 6:44PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi jak1, nice to see you !! :-)

You have to be one of the more organized people I Although with some of the responses on this thread, I see there are others out there who seem to be in that category too.

I for the life of me, cannot scrape soap under my fingernails. I am sure it works, but I hate that feeling of having it there. That is a good idea to put gloves in all the places where you will be using them. I once thought of installing a mailbox in the farthest part of the yard, just to hold garden tools etc. But I never did. I tried setting up a 'work bench area' and just found myself running back and forth to get something all the time and I'd rather work 'in the bed' rather than at a bench. I do use a rolling seat all the time. Then I tried a rolling cart with all my tools etc and stopped using it for some reason. Now I seem to have settled on buying stainless steel trowels and leaving them out in the garden loose all the time. They never seem to show any signs of wear and it's very convenient. I leave my kneeling pad out there too. The gloves go on top of the boots, so I get them as I'm going out the door and that's what I use the most.

I like your idea of giving your feet a soak in the You're always thinking!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 7:19PM
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I do the soak the feet in the shower thing too. I wear Keen sandals in the garden, at least partly because I can throw them in the washing machine when they get too grubby. I can't seem to keep gloves on my hands in the garden, even if I start out with them. SLo I use Farmer's Friend from Burt's Bees before I go out in the garden and after. My hands stay cleaner and my skin doesn't get too dry. Goatskin gloves will go through the wash just fine, though.

I also wear boy's shoes tied loosely so I can kick them off, but my house tends to have slightly crunchy floors during gardening season since sometimes I forget. Both boot trays and rubber backed rugs are by the doors to remove boots or shoes as we come into the house.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 11:16PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I hate gloves but a few years ago I got a very bad infection and I thought I was going to lose my fingers. I was spreading cow manure.

I started buying boxes of the disposable latex gloves they use in the hospital. I put two of those on and it is like not having anything on my hands. Gloves always got in my way I would lay them down and could not find them until I would plant something and find them buried under a plant.

I have a mud room so I have my latex gloves and garden clogs they go on and off in that room. When I come in I head to the bathroom for a shower. Dirty cloths come off and go in the hamper.

All breaks are taken outside. I have my drinks and snacks in a fridge outside and cell phone on my belt. I live outside in the summer so I made it convenient to relax and snack outside. So I put in a mini outdoor kitchen.

I have a marble tile entrance hallway and hardwood floors throughout with area rugs so guest do not have to take off their shoes. The area rugs are easy to clean and hardwood is a blessing I think. lol

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 1:02AM
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Gardening can actually increase the value of your property. It is also an eco-friendly hobby. If you can't do it alone, you can ask someone to help you. Your entire crop depends on the preparation you do in the spring, so it's better to start today. Learn more: Gardening.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:54PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

I wear deer skin gloves in late fall - winter or early spring. The rest of the year, I wear disposble latex gloves. I can's stand the feel of soil in the palm of my hands. If the gloves break after a while, at least the palms are not deep in the soil.

SInce we do not wear shoes in the house, I do not track dirt inside. I wear old tennis shoes or boots in the garden then remove them inside my side door. The tile floor in this area is easy to clean. The rest of the house has hardwood floor. In winter I do wear socks and slippers inside the house.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:48PM
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When I wear gloves, I wear yellow dishwashing gloves, you can weed in them and dirt doesn't collect on them and my hands stay dry when I'm watering and weeding at the same time which I often do. Also, they don't get cactus glochids in them when I'm working around those which is why I started wearing them in the first place but they make excellent garden gloves for everything and its almost like not wearing gloves compared to the bulkier cloth or leather kinds which I can't weed in. I would find myself taking them on and off. I buy the cheap ones at the Dollar Store and throw them out when they get holes or torn.

I wear flip flops in the garden, kick them off at the door before I come in the house and walk barefoot inside. I have sand and gravel so otherwise I'd be tracking in sand. Mud is never an issue.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:41PM
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I weed and water without gloves usually. I wear nitrile gloves when planting, potting etc and throw them away when they get holes in them.

I wear flip flops or old tennis shoes when I garden. Tennis shoes is the better choice because snakes have a harder time biting through them. I take them off at the door.

aaechenelf you must be german. Are you?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 1:20AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I never wear gloves in my garden.

I do wear them at work for certain things. Handling a lot of pots really tears up your fingers! Also wear them when it is cold out and when I weed certain areas (lot of nursery property...weeds can get big before they get pulled).

Atlas are my favorite. They last forever! I rarely wash them unfortunately. Have baked them on the delivery truck dash board though, LOL. Usually I wash my work shoes (washable, closed-toe hiking sandals) out when needed...your nose will tell you when. ;-D

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:27PM
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Campanula UK Z8

I have those green nitrile rubber things - they last a few weeks for each pair (there are many, many left hand gloves around the house - always the right hand which wears out). I never wore gloves until I started working as a pro gardener - having hands in soil for hours at a time soon showed me the necessity of some protection when my hands started to look and feel like cheese-graters. As for boots, I live in my Meindls - I wear them all day, every day, inside and out - I don't care about tracking mud as we have doormats and no carpet - just wood and rubber flooring - a brush and mop and job's done..

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 3:58PM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

I never used to wear gloves but a few years ago someone suggested the Atlas nitrile gloves and now I wear them religiously. I have two pair - one I keep in the garage along with the rest of my gardening supplies. The other stays in my car throughout the summer. That way, if I'm going somewhere and I spot a weed, I can just slip the gloves on, pull it and throw the gloves back in the car.

I never wear shoes in the house so tracking in dirt isn't that big a problem. I garden in my sneakers. At the end of the season, I usually replace them.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 5:48PM
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Guys according to some research getting your hands dirty in the garden can increase your serotonin levels ��" contact with soil and a specific soil bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of serotonin in our brain according to research. Serotonin is a happy chemical, a natural anti-depressant and strengthens the immune system.

Here is a link that might be useful: Why Gardening Makes You Happy

    Bookmark   December 20, 2014 at 5:31AM
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I never wore gloves while gardening until I got a cut and an infection. The dirt under the nails is another issue altogether. I wear fabric gloves now but they don't keep the dirt out. My solution is to wear a pair of the thin plastic gloves under the garden gloves. It's fussy but keeps your hands clean.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2015 at 4:33PM
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