Protecting Your Most Precious Gardening Asset – Your Hands
There are many reasons that most gardeners wear gloves– not only do they want to keep their hands and nails clean, or keep their nails from breaking, but thicker gloves can also give you added protection from thorn sticks, rashes caused by certain plants, and bug bites. The main reason that I wear gloves is due to the nasty fungus called Gardener’s Rot that can grow on your skin from submerging your fingers in the soil. I’ve had it plenty of times so can tell you from experience it is not pretty. The skin around your nails splits and turns brown. Then it gets hard, and dies like a callous. It doesn’t really hurt, but if you are a woman, and want to keep your hands soft and attractive, this is something that you will want to avoid having to deal with.
My favorite gloves are Atlas Fit. After trying countless brands, this is the brand that I have come to rely on due to their superb fit. As a female gardener, it is hard to find a glove that is form fitting, and I really need the formed fit for enhanced dexterity and usability in my fingertips. If the glove is too baggy, which most other brands tend to be, then I lose the ability the perform fine work, such as constructing drip irrigation systems, or pulling weeds by their root. I have tried the gloves that they sell at all of my local suppliers, and none of them match the quality or the fit of Atlas Fit. The other advantage of Atlas Fit is that they do come in Small size– I can’t always find a Small size in the other brands, as they tend to cater to their larger customer base of men.
Atlas Fit comes in 4 sizes (small, medium, large, extra large), and are a cloth glove that have been double dipped in rubber– there is a rubber coating on the palm, the palm side of the fingers, and the fingertips. They also come in 3 styles for gardening– their regular gloves are the 300 series, the thermal series have thicker cloth and thicker rubber for keeping your hands warm on a cold day, and the Nitrile Grip series are a much thinner glove on the material side and the rubber side for finer work when better dexterity is needed, or if it is a very hot day. The Nitrile series also has another size option– extra small, which is perfect size for a child or a very petite woman. I use the 300 series on a daily basis and they hold up under the pressure. I love the fact that you can wash and dry them with the rest of your laundry– they don’t need special care. I would suggest drying them on medium heat, though, as the rubber tends to degrade if the dryer is too hot.
My favorite local irrigation parts store used to carry Atlas Fit and I was perfectly content, but then one day their bulk supplier switched to Bellingham Blue 3000. The store clerks didn’t know why the supplier switched, and I wondered if Atlas was bought out by Bellingham, as they had the same packaging but with a different name. I have not been able to find any information on this.
I needed gloves that day, so I resigned myself to the Bellingham Blue, but was very disappointed with the results. If they did buy out Atlas, then they completely changed the glove in the process. The small size was loose on my hand; the fingers were too long, and because of the baggy fingertips, I lost the dexterity I needed. I panicked, wondering if I was going to be stuck gardening for the rest of my life with an inferior product.
Thankfully I was able to find Atlas Fit gloves for sale on Amazon. I put in a bulk order, and have been since enjoying my endless supply of Atlas Fit!