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How to keep feet clean while gardening?

 
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Location: London, United Kingdom
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Do any of you have any tips for preventing feet (and specifically toenails) from getting clogged with dirt while gardening? I know some of you favour the barefoot life, but it's not for me!

It doesn't seem to matter how many layers of socks I wear inside my wellington boots, I still end up with ground-in dirt from toenail to heel, and it's quite a contortion exercise to clean.
 
steward
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I find that trimming my fingernails and toenails to be as short as they can go works well for preventing things from getting trapped in them.
 
pollinator
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Not aimed specifically at keeping toes clean, but putting copious woodchips down on all paths makes a big difference for spread of mud. I can walk our garden in winter in bare feet and return to the house with my feet essentially clean. Big difference from a few years back when our paths were treacherous mud for much of the year.
 
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Years ago when I did a lot of mechanical work at home, and those thin neoprene mechanics gloves didn't exist, I used a hand cream product that was applied before starting work. It allowed good grip but nothing would stick to it, including enamel paint.

So, similarly, perhaps you could apply a good layer of, say, lanolin cream to your feet and around the nails to make cleaning them a bit easier.

Obviously, wearing long trousers over the boots would stop crap falling into them too.

Alternatively, you could make a pair of short gaiters out of cloth and elastic and drape them over the top of the Wellies - a bigger version of those in the photo.
IMG_2416.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_2416.JPG]
Cloth Gaiters
 
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I like these for gardening:





Source

A lot of people wear these:

 
gardener
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i have heavy, clinging clay mud. I paved my main path (which goes up a steep slope) and the rest of the paths between the beds (which are walled in and theoretically not getting trodden on) are covered with broken crockery, coconut shells, rocks i've taken out of hte beds, etc, which helped a lot. my feet are usually okay but my hands are exactly like you describe, no matter what I do i've always got mud under my nails.
 
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