Nothing is more satisfying than having finished the job of pruning and shaping your garden. Getting those rose bushes under control, trimming the apple tree, and shaping the holly hedge; it’s all worth doing to keep your garden looking its best and producing. But the chore of pruning can truly be a chore, and a painful one. You need the right gear, including good gloves, and other measures to protect your hands when managing this necessary garden task.
Repetitive Motion Damage
Even what seems like a simple task, like using shears to trim branches, can really cause serious damage to bones, joints, muscles, and connective tissue. Repetitive use—engaging in the same motion over and over again—can cause injuries, pain and strain in the tissues of your fingers, hand, wrist or forearm. The repeated motion of clipping with gardening shears can absolutely cause these injuries.
To protect yourself, you need good tools. Having sharp shears that are the right for the job at hand will mean you can use less force. Another good strategy to avoid repetitive use is to rotate activities: spend ten minutes pruning, do something else for ten minutes, and then go back to pruning. Gloves can also help by supporting the wrist as you prune, and Dig It Apparel is a great place to find just what you need.
Pruning Hurts Fingers and Nails
Try pruning for any amount of time without a good pair of gardening gloves, and you will soon regret it. Gripping tools and branches can irritate your fingertips, even causing blisters after just a short period of time. Your fingernails, if they have any length at all, are likely to break or tear painfully as you work.
A good pair of gloves will provide you with protection from abrasion against the delicate skin of the fingertips. It will also provide a layer between fingers and tools so that your shears rub against the gloves and not your skin, preventing blisters.
To protect your fingernails, look for a pair of gardening gloves that has reinforced tips. The Dig It Handwear® Gloves, for instance, have a unique Pillow-top™ reinforcement inside the tip of each finger. These help to cushion and protect nails from damage and even keep dirt and debris from getting under your nails. They’re stylish and well-fitting too, so you needn’t compromise comfort as with other bulkier styled gloves.
Protecting Hands and Arms
Don’t forget your hands and arms. They also need protection during pruning. The skin there is likely to get scratched by thorns and freshly-cut branches. Sticking your hands and arms into an overgrown bush is also a surefire way to get bug bites too.
Gloves that go a little ways up the arm are great for avoiding scratches, cuts, and bites. The Dig It High 5® Long Cuff Gloves extend five inches farther up the arm than the original short cuff Dig It gloves, and add extra protection. Both types of gloves offer silicone dots on the palms and fingers for grip—dropping a tool can lead to serious injuries. These gloves are also durable, water-resistant, and come with an adjustable wrist so you can tighten it up for greater support.
Before you start pruning this spring, make sure you have the right tools for the job, including high-quality gloves to protect your hands, wrists, and arms.