Gardening isn’t an activity that leads one to think of safety, but it can be a crucial thing to keep in mind, especially for new gardeners. From tools to the environment, there are some things you need to protect yourself from to enjoy gardening.

Dress for Success

While you may have dreams of working your garden in shorts and flip-flops, this might not be the best choice of gardening attire, especially if you need to use power tools. Brush may need to be cleared, you may need to operate a tiller or other equipment such as a mower, and you may find yourself using a sharp blade for anything from cutting weeds or string to whittling a stake for running plants such as beans to climb.

Safety goggles are also a good idea, especially when using power tools and other equipment. Cutting higher up branches and looking up is a perfect example of when keeping your eyes protected is important. If you’re wanting to cut some higher greenery investing in the best pole saw for your needs is a great idea. A good rule of thumb is to always wear goggles when using such equipment, no matter the reason. A flying piece of grass or wood when using a whipper snipper, for example, can do just as much damage to your eyes if you’re using a tool for “just a minute” as they can if you’re spending the day doing heavy work in your yard.

Open-toed shoes are a bad idea in those situations as well; sturdy shoes that completely cover your feet can help prevent minor injuries from thorns and other sharp objects, and they offer some protection if heavy objects fall onto your foot.

Another item of protective clothing to plan on wearing is a pair of long pants. While shorts may be cooler, they offer no protection to your legs from those same pieces of flying debris.

Protect Your Hands

No matter which part of your gardening adventure you’re enjoying, your hands are going to be doing the work, and they will be exposed to the most risk. A pair of gardening gloves will protect you from more than just small cuts and lacerations; gardening can involve using things that can irritate the skin, and sometimes involves poisonous substances.

A good pair of gloves can prevent an irritating rash or allergic reaction to the things you’ll work with and around while gardening.

Protect Your Ears

This tip isn’t for those who are using a spade to move dirt around in a garden space. If you’re using power tools, or you need to fire up the tiller or other equipment, ear protection is a must. While you may think that you’ll “be fine without it for a few minutes,” it doesn’t take much exposure to harmful levels of noise to do permanent damage to your hearing.

Keep the Insects Away

You’re working outdoors, and as a result, any and all insects have a clear shot at you. While some people consider insect bites a minor nuisance, they can bring with them life-threatening problems. Mosquito bites can transmit several different diseases that are fatal to humans, and ticks and other insects can also infect you with things that can lead to severe health problems for years to come.

A good quality insect repellant can protect you from this risk. It’s recommended that you use one that lists DEET as one of its ingredients.

Avoid Sunburn

By working outside, you’re exposed to the sun for long periods. If you’re enjoying your gardening, you may not even notice how much sun you’re getting, and before you know it, you’re suffering from a severe sunburn.

Protective clothing and sunscreen are a must when gardening; overexposure to direct sunlight raises your risk of skin cancer by a significant amount unless you take the necessary precautions.

Gardening is a fun activity, and it’s one that leads to what might be the most significant risk of all; if you start gardening, you may find yourself addicted to it before you know it.

Jessica Meier

Jessica Meier

Garden fairy / mother of 2... also, I like to cook :)

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