Book of Six© Six PPE’s to Always Wear in The Garden


Wearing personal protective equipment is very important in all trades; gardening is no different.  Before I head out into the garden, I always top dress with these six essentials PPEs.

I didn’t always do so, but now I don’t considered myself ready to garden unless I have on the following:

  1. Sunscreen – Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB.  Even in the Winter.
  2. Hat – Mostly to keep the sun out of my eyes and my hair back
  3. Pants – I wear Levis, but what is key is to cover the legs. With this protection, there are less bug bites, branch scratches, and its more comfortable when needing to drop to my knees to weed or plant.
  4. Sturdy shoes or boots.  If ever a shovel is needed, a sturdy shoe is prudent and necessary.
  5. Socks – Keeps the dirt and mulch from getting into my shoes.
  6. Gloves – Once, I reached in to pull just one little weed and it was on top of a fire ant’s nest.  I will probably make that mistake again, but not without gloves.

Happy Gardening!


Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening With Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook  friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum



  1. Carole said

    I totally agree with this list, especially the gloves. I never used to like them until recently when pulling down some poison ivy. I never used to get it. In fact, all of my friends would invite me over to clear it for them because I did NOT get poison ivy. That all changed this year when I did. I didn’t even know what it was, and was quite surprised to find out that now all of the sudden I DO get poison ivy. What a piece of nastiness that is. I’m now much more sympathetic when people say they have it.

  2. Jean said

    Safety googles?

  3. I always forget sunscreen — even after getting a little suspicious lesion burned off. Really, there’s no excuse. All you have to do is find the all-spectrum brand that feels good when you put it on. Feeling good (or not feeling good) on your skin is a top reason why people do (or don’t) wear their sunscreen.

  4. I agree Helen. I like it dry, not greasy. But they all tend to be at some point. The worse is when it gets in your eyes from sweat or rubbing. H.

  5. Carole, bummer about the poison ivy. I can only assume you went after it with abandonment as one would do with no fear of harm. I was kinda the same way, I never had it until one day, I was after a big batch, but had not fear. Now I won’t get near it. H.

    Jean, safety glasses do have their place, but I rarely I have a need. I’m scared of chainsaws, so don’t need to worry about that.

  6. Janet said

    So I take it from this list you are going topless? (except for the hat that is)

  7. Your list is right on. The most important for me is the gloves. I live in Florida and the fire ants can be terrible. I learned early on what their bite felt like so now I always wear gloves. I have a tendency to skip the pants though. It’s just to hot so I go with shorts.

  8. Deirdre said

    I forgo the long pants in the summer, otherwise I wear everything except the sunscreen. I should, but I wear a big hat to keep the sun off my face and neck, and the sun here in the pacific northwest isn’t like sun where you are.

    I’m going to admit something very “ungreen”. I buy big boxes of nitrile gloves at Costco, and wear them for gardening. I don’t have to worry about washing them (cat poo is a problem in my garden). I just toss them. My hands come out of them as soft as if I’d had a paraffin dip.

  9. Hey Deirdre, I didn’t use to wear long pant, but I do now. It gets hot here as well; maybe not as hot has there, and they are hot to wear. But, I’m happier in them. Not as many scratches. Pants don’t protect me from the bruising though. I wish. I get banged up out there. H.

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