What do you wear when working in your garden?

paradisecircus(7b/8a)March 18, 2014

This is OT but still somewhat gardening related. I find that I struggle with proper clothing and protection when working in my yard/flowerbeds. I have a little work stool but tend to kneel or sit in the flowerbed when I'm working. Jeans protect my legs and such but they get saggy and heavy when it's hot. Sneakers get filthy and/or muddy. Flip flops over zero protection and weird foot tan lines. Ha! The only thing that has worked well are cheap racerback tanks from Target. They are modest, long enough that I'm not hanging out for the world to see when I bend over and CHEAP! :)

What do you wear? Tips/tricks for repelling biting insects? Any useful little items you wear/use while working?

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I've ruined a lot of shoes in the beds, and picked up some--I think they're called Crocs. These absorb no moisture, and can be cleaned with a hose. Easy to force a shovel into the ground with them, too.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:45PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Long-sleeve shirts and long pants, year-round. All-cotton. Easier to get used to than you would expect (if all-cotton). Protects from mosquitoes, skin allergens and sun damage.

Straw hat with huge brim, again to protect skin from sun damage.

Athletic shoes and socks that are dedicated to gardening. Do not like dirty toenails.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:13PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Any work clothes that I am already in. If I am chainsawing, then something that I don't care gets stained by flying bar chain oil. high ankled hiking shoes because I am usually working on a slope.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:29PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

As little as possible! And it's got to be cotton. Cotton sweat suit in winter, old jeans in spring, shorts and tank top in summer. Light weight straw hat. Nitrile coated gloves from Costco; six pack for 7 or 8 dollars. Since my Born leather shoes wore out after 15 years I'm still looking for a good replacement. If I could still kneel I'd use knee pads like Bob uses when he does certain types of construction work. Light weight tool apron with pruners, sharp scissors from Costco, trowel, etc. When it's really hot I wear a pillow slip filled with chipped ice around my neck.

My best recent discovery is that dryer sheets really do work to keep mosquitos away. I let one hang out of a pocket and if the mosquitos are bad I stick one under a shoulder strap. Also one is taped by the back door and doggy door to keep the mosquitos and flies from following a body in.

Happy gardening! :-)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:19AM
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Great suggestions all! Thank you!! Crocs especially. My husband is a chef and sometimes I'll see other guys on the line wearing crocs or something like them. I'm not a fan of crocs as a fashion statement but they seem like a great choice for gardening.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Spandex. The pricier, better kind like what people wear for running or yoga, preferably black. It breathes so its the coolest thing I've found, it wicks away sweat, stays dry, doesn't get dirty because dirt and mud rubs right off with a flick of the hand, doesn't rub or chap skin, lasts forever, doesn't snag and you can bend in it. Feels like wearing nothing at all. Once I discovered it, I won't garden in anything else. I've been wearing it for 10 years in the garden. Dri-Fit by Nike is what I get. A t-shirt is what I wear on top but I couldn't be without the Nike pants.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 6:21PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

HMMM. A Texas Ranger in Spandex. I am going to have to cogitate on this one.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 6:34PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Wow -- Spandex is cool? Having never worn Spandex pants I'd never have thunk it. Thanks for the tip. Although I'm not exactly built for Nike pants there are many who are.

I've never worn Crocs either, but am considering trying some on. Just didn't think they'd give enough support so we'll see.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 6:47PM
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I"m in north Louisiana. I know all about the heat, humidity, bugs, stickers, & that bright yellow thing in the sky. I can handle the heat very well. I can only work in the yard early in the morning or late in the evening. Depending on what I am doing, I wear construction gloves (regular gardening gloves don"t stand a chance against the things I have to tackle in my yard). I regularly take them off for my hands to breath & cool. I've ran around barefoot the majority of my life, but I do have the sense to put something on my feet in certain situations. I have a cheap pair of sandals my mother bought for me on vacation a couple of years ago. Honestly, they are too ugly to wear in public, so I toil around the yard in them. I don't have to worry much about weird complexion contrasts on my feet, since I am typically outside during the evening. Where I normally work, it is cast in shadow from either the house or the woods. As far as the rest of the clothing I wear, more than likely it will just be the shirt I slept in the night before.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 6:58PM
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Ain't had no complaints from the neighbors yet. Got one pair going on 10 years old and still look like new. No holes, rips or sags & feel as cool as workin' nekked. Once you try them, you'll never get out there in the heat in anything else. Used to go through the knees & butt in jeans after a couple months & sweat like a pig. Not anymore.

This post was edited by TexasRanger10 on Thu, Mar 20, 14 at 1:32

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 7:29PM
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I have only one neighbor who can see me while in the yard. He is over 10acres away at that. The house is too far away from the road for anyone to see me either. I'm so short, a man's medium shirt hangs almost to my knees. My husband & I are looking for property to build a house on. I keep telling him that my standards for the location is that I want the kind of privacy where I can walk outside naked & only the people on the space station can see me. Of course, I'm not insane enough to garden whilst in the nude.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 7:43PM
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Roselee, the reason I went to Crocs is because any footgear containing absorbent material will eventually become. . .how to put it. . . let's just say "fragrant," particularly if they get wet. I was surprised to discover that spading was so easy with them. The back strap keeps them on the foot. They're just so darn pricey.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:00PM
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Whatever I'm wearing at the time is my gardening wardrobe. Not insane enough to walk outside naked. (That means you like to be the same way inside.)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:01PM
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Ancient athletic shoes, baggy old jeans, old knit shirt, gauntlet style gloves, but sometimes regular gloves, wide brimmed hat.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:04PM
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I definitely need more pairs of those gloves with the rubber coating on them. They are perfect for weeding. I had a pair until husband decided to use them to toil on his truck. They got shredded :/

TexasRanger, pleeeease tell me that's you in the photo! :P

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:19PM
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Crocs are a great choice. I've had a pair that I would wear to work at the vet hospital though there weren't real Crocs. You can find look-a-likes at Wal-Mart and Target that hold up surprisingly well. I have given up on finding gloves that work for me in my container garden. I have to garden without gloves because they are too bulky for the delicate plants and containers I garden in.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:22PM
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Lots of mosquito repellant. They are terrible in my backyard and I have been sick from bites in the past.

Old cotton scrub uniform pants, the shirt when it is hot is an old cheap athletic shirt from Target (dri fit or something similar) otherwise an old Tshirt. Long sleeves as much as I can tolerate.
I have old socks saved just for the gardening and my shoes are a pair of trail runners, too worn out for running but just fine for getting muddy.
Wide brimmed hat and lots of SPF 75 sunscreen too.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:32PM
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I think I definitely need a hat with a wide brim. I love big hats and never had a reason to wear one. Now I do!

Husband and I lived on a family plot of lakeside property here in FW for a few years. I loved how secluded it was. I didn't do any gardening while I was there since everything was pretty wild and natural. We kept the grass watered but there wasn't any type of landscaping or anything like that. Lots of yuccas and mesquite trees growing wild. It's the kind of property that you can walk out the back door with a view of Eagle Mountain Lake and nobody around to see you. I may have spent a few mornings enjoying coffee on the back patio in my birthday suit! :D

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:56PM
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Ann_in_Houston(z9 Houston)

paradisecircus, I know Eagle Mountain Lake is big, but you might have lived very near a camp I used to go to in the summer as a kid. It was a singing school camp because our church does not use musical instruments so it helps to be able to sing well. lol. It makes a much more joyful noise that way. The camp was in Azle.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 2:46PM
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Ann- I didn't realize there was a camp like that over there. Sounds like lots of fun! Our property is on the others side of the lake, just north of Lake Worth. I love it out there!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 3:21PM
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I am with Roselee, as little as possible! Shorts, a tank top and usually flip-flops. I rarely wear anything but flip-flops.
A hat in the sun at the community garden.
I stick my hair up in a ponytail and use a big clip to get it off my neck.
Gloves. I go through a lot of gloves.
I`ve tried crocs but hate to wear socks and without socks your feet slide around in the mud that forms in the shoes.

Jim uses those linen dishtowels from the restaurant supply store around his neck.
Looking forward to sweating again.
Tally Ho!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 1:40PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I garden in my nighty a lot, coffee in hand and then I wonder why my bed gets a tad gritty. Time to wash the sheets.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 1:51PM
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I use old worn out towels around my neck & keep dipping them in cold water when they get hot. Forgot that necessary item, I call it heat stroke prevention. On the head is the required ball cap.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 5:39PM
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I have been using long pants (usually sweats) in the yard for the past 2 summers, and they really help with the mosquitoes (for some reason they go after my legs more than my arms).

I haven't found a good shoe type. I don't want to wear boots and sandals do not do the job sometimes. I'll try crocs or something similar also.

I recently started using nitrile gloves also. it feels good to be able to walk into the house with mostly clean hands, even though I know some people like working in bare hands. I don't mind but dirt under the finger nails is something I don't think too much about nowadays, after realizing that I am comfortable with the gloves doing yard work.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 1:05PM
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