Firstly I should say that I am not a great one for wearing gloves in the garden. I like the feel of soil, leaves, plants and I really do not mind getting my hands dirty. Having said that I hate the results and as the weather gets cooler my hands certainly need protection. I think I was put off wearing gloves by buying cheap, and expensive, badly made gloves that did not fit and were just plain uncomfortable. I’m delighted that so many gardeners, occasional and committed are becoming more discerning and selecting the right tools and equipment for the job. Sometimes you need to pay a little more to get the best; in the case of Showa gloves you get a wonderful piece of gardening kit for a very modest price.
In my previous article I featured the well-established and most popular Showa gloves, the Floreo 370. These are the ones that I wear just about every time I garden. However there are new types of Showa glove; some great innovations that will revolutionise how you think about gardening gloves.
The Showa lightweight grip glove is a really comfortable glove with a seamless liner, so there are no hard ridges and lumps to irritate your hands. The durable latex palm extends over the fingertips giving extra protection and some waterproofing. The latex surface is rough and gives excellent grip but maintains feeling. It’s fantastic when digging, raking, hoeing or cultivating because the tool handle stays firmly in your control without slipping. The soft elasticised back and cuff ensure a perfect fit and I find these gloves much warmer and more comfortable to wear as the weather gets colder. I also like to wear this glove if I’m grubbing out brambles and ash and sycamore seedlings. Although it is not promoted as a thorn proof glove it gives you tremendous grip and hand protection. I’ve usually got a spade in one hand while I’m tugging out a bramble with the other, so these gloves are ideal.
These gloves are washable and you will extend their life and keep them feeling good if you rinse them through in warm water and mild detergent after use. I keep a few pairs on the go so that I always have clean dry ones to wear.
Personally I hate wearing rubber gloves for those wet and messy jobs. I find my hands get very sweaty inside them and they soon become uncomfortable. The better they fit, the worse they are to get off. The Showa waterproof and breathable glove might look rather industrial and utilitarian but it’s a pleasure to wear, and to put on and take off. What’s more it actually wicks moisture away from your hands so they come out as dry as when they went in, or drier.
If this sounds a little far-fetched put your hands in a bowl of warm water, then put on the gloves while your hands are wet. Then plunge your gloved hands into the warm water and keep them there for a minute. Take them out and remove your gloves; your hands will be dry. The first time I tried this I found it quite unbelievable.
These waterproof and breathable gloves are perfect for washing down the conservatory or greenhouse, dredging debris from the pond, power washing the patio, picking soggy vegetables or picking up wet leaves. They are also great for washing the car and for household maintenance jobs such as tiling and plastering.
Sometimes you just want a thin glove to keep your hands clean and dry: something to wear when handling garden chemicals if you use them, handling growing media, handling plant material you would rather not touch. Personally I am allergic to hyacinth bulbs; if I handle them they make me itch unbearably, so I wear gloves. However I want to be able to feel what I’m doing so I need thin ones that fit. The new Showa, (Green-Dex) biodegradable, nitrile, disposable, glove is a really useful piece of kit, beside which it’s a great advance in that it’s biodegradable. The technology accelerates the biodegradation process of nitrile in biologically active landfill.
A lightweight glove, it is comfortable, durable and gives excellent grip. As it is latex free it reduces the risk of allergic reaction which can be problem with gloves of this type. It’s great for delicate gardening jobs, pricking out, weeding out weed seedlings, handling compost, picking soft fruit and of course you can use it around the house for cleaning and decorating. I’ve had lots of toadstools in the garden this year. I know some of them are quite poisonous and I’m not that keen on handling them. These lightweight ones are ideal to slip on to remove those that have collapsed and are past their best.
Even though I am in the garden business I have always had a habit of making do with the gardening kit I have in the garage. However I have eventually learnt what a difference it makes to have the right equipment to do the job. Gardening is so much more pleasurable and it’s so much easier to clean up afterwards. Get the right kit and get more out of gardening!