Safety first! The best offense is a good defense, especially when it comes to gardening safety. Whether you’re a solo gardener, or the whole family gets in on the home-grown action, it’s important to take proper safety measures in order to fully enjoy the garden life. Protect yourself and your loved ones from garden pests, garden accidents, and regular wear and tear by making sure to include these gardening safety accessories in your garden tool kit.
1. Ear protection
It may seem like overkill at first, but if you use any gas or electric gardening equipment, you’ll want to invest in some ear protection. These usually come in two varieties. One type looks like earplugs you’d use while swimming and fit directly into your ear canal. Other ear protection sits on the outside of your ears and looks like bulky headphones. Both offer decent protection, but I recommend the outer ear variety since they can be shared. Don’t share inner earplugs for obvious (gross) reasons.
2. Gardening gloves
Perhaps the most widely used garden safety accessories are gardening gloves. Coming in a host of sizes, colors, and materials, it’s important to find a pair of gardening gloves that fit you and feel good. I can’t tell you how many pairs of cheap gardening gloves I’ve bought over the years that wind up sitting in the garden shed. I like gardening gloves that have more breathable fabric. What can I say? I’ve got sweaty hands! But you may want to invest in some waterproof gardening gloves depending on your task.
3. Kneeling pad
There’s really nothing quite like the snap, crackle, and pop of your knee joints when you kneel down or attempt to stand up gracefully from your garden (keyword, “attempt”). Do yourself (and your joints) a favor by getting a thick kneeling pad to protect your knees. It might not seem like the top gardening safety priority, but protecting your joints will help ensure you’re able to garden for many years to come.
4. Safety glasses
Unsurprisingly, gardening gloves are one of the most widely adopted gardening safety tools, but I’m here to advocate for safety glasses. Whether you are spraying insecticides in your veggie garden or turning a steaming compost pile, safety glasses are an important accessory to wear. Our eyes are delicate organs with direct access to the outside world. Protect them with well-fitting safety glasses that shield both the front and sides of your peepers.
5. Wide brim hat (and sunscreen)
Ah, the glorious sun. Over 92 million miles away, but still a vital necessity for outdoor gardening. But this ball of fire that helps us grow so many delicious fruits, vegetables, and herbs can also do a lot of harm to our skin. A wide-brim hat and some good ol’ SPF are just the things to promote garden safety while maintaining a healthy complexion. Not only will a hat protect you from the sun’s harmful rays, but it’ll also keep you cool so you can stay in your garden for longer periods. (Note: don’t forget hydration, too, especially on hot days!)
6. Ergonomic hand tools
Hands come in all different shapes and sizes, so it makes sense that we should look for gardening hand tools that have an ergonomic grip on them. This is very important for those using garden tools on a regular basis since the wrong shaped hand tool could cause blisters, cramps, or even worse…carpal tunnel syndrome. As much as I love online shopping (and boy, do I), going to a garden store in person is so important for this very reason. Test out your garden tools, before you buy them to make sure you get ones that fit your palm and fingers just right.
7. Insect repellent
Shoe, fly! Don’t bother me! Insects and other bugs come with the gardening territory. There are even some helpful bugs that I don’t mind hanging around my garden. But mosquitoes and ticks? Take a hike! These two, in particular, are prone to carrying diseases that can infect humans easily. Take precautions, especially if your garden is near a body of water or even a water feature like a birdbath or fountain. Use an insect repellent that works best for you.
What garden safety accessories do you keep close by while gardening? Let me know in the comments!