A head-to-toe guide on what to wear while gardening - SeniorsMatter

2022-04-23 00:02:32 By : Ms. Marilyn Lee

An online community dedicated to helping senior caregivers.

Spring means it’s time for some horticultural therapy for both you and your loved one. 

The fun thing about gardening attire? You can dress to impress, while keeping the combination of comfort, practicality and functionality as a priority.  

Here’s what to wear from the bottom up to keep you and your loved one comfy, dry and protected from the sun, bugs, and scratchy twigs and branches.

Gardening boots are great, but sometimes it’s nice to give those toes some sunshine and fresh air. That’s when you need comfortable, durable, supportive clogs you can hose off.

Meet OOFOS. Research shows OOFOS reduce load, decrease compressive forces, and support foot mobility when compared to traditional footwear. As a result, every OOFOS style carries the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance. Plus, they’re designed with closed-cell foam, so they’re machine-washable. This design also keeps them odor-free. 

Of course gardening boots are the standard for any gardening work. Try the highly recommended Bogs Sauvie Slip On Boot, which are water-resistant with a cushioned sole to keep feet comfortable. Or, for a knee-high boot, try the equally popular Hunter Original Tall Rain Boot with a latex coating, rubber sole and cinchable buckle at the top. 

Knee-high socks are imperative for gardening, regardless of your choice of footwear. A good pair of gardening socks will protect your feet and legs from bug bites. They can also shield your legs, allowing you to wear shorts or capris on those extra warm days. 

Overalls do not restrict range of motion and they come pre-built with plenty of pockets for small items and tools, which is super handy. Plus, they stay up. We all know how irritating it is to have to constantly have to hike our pants up after bending over to prune a plant. Overalls remove this annoyance altogether. 

Did you know you can get sunburned through your clothing? A typical cotton fabric can transmit 15-20% UVR (UV radiation); this increases to more than 50% if the garment is wet. Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is a measure of how much UV radiation a fabric allows to reach your skin. According to recommendations from the Skin Cancer Foundation, a UPF of 30 to 49 offers very good protection, while UPF 50+ rates as excellent. There are countless options of styles and brands, so here is a filterable list of the best UPF long-sleeve gardening shirts for men, and here’s a similar list for women. 

Knee pads or a kneeling mat are a must if you are going to be kneeling on concrete, rocks or gravel to reach your blooms. 

Consider a garden kneeler (TomCare Garden Kneeler or Truly Garden Kneeler and Seat for your loved one. These remove the problem of kneeling altogether. 

Even though there’s something very special about digging directly into the earth, gardening with gloves has its benefits: no splinters, no thorns and no dirt under your fingernails to scrub out later. We recommend either wrist-length nitrile gloves that are thin enough as to not compromise dexterity or, for more intensive work, elbow-length gloves such as Magid Rose pruning gloves.

Most people know to wear a hat while gardening, but many don’t know that many gardening-specific hats have additional protective features such as wide brims, neck shields and UPF fabric. 

Hats get hot. And hot hats get taken off, which leads to a sunburned, tender scalp. The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat is so lightweight you will actually leave it on—but not so light it will make you chase it in the wind. It has full neck coverage and UPF 50 fabric. 

This Lenikis sun hat has coverage adaptable to any condition. Its 50+ UPF fabric will block 98% of UV rays with a wide brim, and detachable side flaps will keep your face, ears, neck and the back of your head shaded at all times. 

Wrap-around sunglasses are best for gardening, especially for older adults. Gravity doesn’t get the best of them when you bend forward, and they can double as safety glasses when you’re trimming with a hedge cutter or doing heavy pruning. 

Now that you’re all dressed up and ready to garden, make sure you have the right gardening gear for older adults before heading outside. Also, be sure to read up on how horticultural activities are therapeutic to your loved one. But hurry! So many weeds, so little thyme.