Nothing compares to the satisfaction of growing a mature plant from a seed. Seeing these tangible results encourages gardeners to continue working in their garden. Whether it’s a flowerbed or vegetable garden, though, it’s important for green thumbs to protect their hands when gardening. While gardening has a low risk of injury when compared to other outdoor activities, hand injuries are relatively common among gardeners, as are some other ailments. So, how can gardeners protect themselves exactly?

Wear Heavy-Duty Gloves

All gardeners should wear a pair of heavy-duty gloves. It’s an essential gardening accessory that protects the hands from injury. While wearing gloves, gardeners can grab rose bushes and other thorny plants without fear of getting poked. Furthermore, gloves protect against illness-causing bacteria and viruses, which often reside in compost and organic fertilizer.

Handle Gardening Tools With Caution

More than one-quarter of a million people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries involving gardening tools, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). While gardening tools can cause a variety of injuries, lacerations are the most common. Grabbing a pair of shears or clippers by the blade, for example, may severely cut the gardener’s hand. Wearing gloves can help, but gardeners should use caution when handling tools to avoid getting cut or otherwise injured.

Don’t Bend Back

Working in a garden often requires bending down to plant seeds in the soil, prune branches and lay fertilizer. As a result, many gardeners suffer from low back pain. It may begin as minor discomfort in the lumbar region. If the gardener contains to bend his or her back, however, it can lead to severe, debilitating back pain. To protect against this type of injury, gardeners should lower their entire body down to the plant’s level to access it instead of bending their back.

Beware of Insects

A healthy garden is a magnet for insects, some of which are dangerous. Venomous spiders like the brown recluse and black widow prefer dark areas, such as the space beneath a water bucket or gardening tool. If a gardener accidentally grabs a bucket or tool with a spider on it, the bite could send him or her to the hospital. Snakes are also common in the garden because of the increased presence of rodents. Plants attract rodents, and rodents attract snakes, some of which are venomous as well.


The threat of injury shouldn’t prevent green thumbs from working in their garden. With the right planning, gardeners can keep their hands safe and protected from injury.