Gloves in the garden

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Dr David Bromwich is a professional occupational hygienist based in Brisbane and dabbles with gardening.


We are all familiar with the protection that gardening gloves give against thorns, cuts and blisters, but what about chemicals. Chemical contact can range from saps and plant juices to liquid and granular garden chemicals and fuels. Even organic pesticides may necessitate the use of appropriate gloves.

If you already have dermatitis, then the protective outer cells (stratum corneum) and some of the deeper cells in the skin will give little or no protection and the ability of chemicals to affect the skin or enter the bloodstream and affect other organs is greatly increased.
Should you wear chemical gloves in the garden?

The answer is not simple. Garden gloves made of fabric or leather offer little or no protection against most chemicals and if they are already contaminated, they can act as a ‘poultice of poison’ and increase the toxic exposure. The Material Safety Data Sheet (referred to by industry people as MSDS) with a product often gives poor or misleading information on glove selection.


From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty
Washing up gloves give little or no skin protection  only seconds to a couple of minutes.
Whether you use organic products, fertilisers or chemicals, always wear gloves. Toxicity will vary but allergies can occur with any product.
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Selecting Turf

Paul Plant

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The decision to purchase new turf can often be confusing due to the wide range of turf grass species and cultivars available. Some promise to be the solution for all your garden needs, but this is not always the case. When it comes to selecting the turf grass, we first need to analyse the site, the soil and the light, and also review how much time we are willing to spend looking after it.

Topics looked at are:

  • Watering
  • Fertilising
  • Mowing Frequency
  • Mowing Height
  • Pest Control
  • Weed Control
  • Traffic
  • Site Conditions


From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty
Lawn at South China Botanical Gardens, Guangzhou.
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Garden Calendar
Arno King

While the Northern Territories have received plenty of monsoonal rain, the wet has been very late to arrive in much of Queensland and particularly the south east. After many months of virtually no rainfall and record breaking hot weather, the ground has become dry in many areas and additional watering has been required to keep many plants alive. A number of people had predicted that the wet will be late this year, and they seem
to have been proved correct.

Typically the late summer and early autumn months are some of the wettest of the year and the best time to undertake planting and transplanting. Keep an eye on the rainfall and once the ground is suitably moist, get planting. Planting in late autumn allows the plants to establish during autumn and winter. Then the moisture starts to trail off and the plants must survive spring, one of the driest and more difficult seasons in our climate.

As the weather starts to cool, plants that prefer cooler temperatures can also be planted out or grown from seed and this is certainly one of the busiest periods for planting the vegetable garden.

Information is given for what to do in each of the months:

  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May

Special information is also provided for:

  • Vegetable planting schedule for Feb, Mar, Apr and May
    for subtropics and tropics
  • Annual planting schedule for Feb, Mar, Apr and May


From a 7 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty
Small gardens can be productive  improve the soil and grow your vegetables fast so that they are plump and nutritious.
Netting or bagging fruit is still needed for fruit trees in warm climates.
Himalayan Pinanga gracilis.
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