Allergy-Free Gardening

by Rona Berg

According to the CDC, almost 20 million Americans were diagnosed with hay fever over the past year. Summers spent outdoors in the garden can exacerbate allergies, but who wants to give it up? Not to mention, barbecues, sunbathing and aperitivos on the patio with friends? 

We connected with gardening experts at GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk for tips on planting sneeze-free blooms, and other ways to ease allergy symptoms.

Mow the grass

Although this task may seem like a hay fever sufferer’s worst nightmare, keeping your grass mowed will help prevent grasses from flowering. This will help curb one of the biggest allergy triggers by allowing less pollen to be released into the air. While mowing, pop on a face covering or mask.

Avoid caffeine 

Caffeine is naturally high in histamines, a chemical released by our immune systems when our body perceives something as being harmful, which can worsen hay fever symptoms.

Prevent weeds

Weeds such as creeping thistle, dandelions and ragwort have a bad reputation for causing hay fever symptoms. Because of this, it is best to stay on top of weeding and remove them before they can flower. 

Check the pollen count

Keep an eye on the pollen count and avoid your garden on days where it is exceptionally high. If the temptation of the sunshine is too much to bear, even on high pollen count days, ensure any time outside is spent wearing gloves and change your clothes as soon as you enter your house to limit the spread of pollen. 

Plant low-allergy blooms

Sneeze-free blooms such as conifer, petunias, magnolias and hardy fuschia can all add beauty and color to your garden without causing lots of pollen in the air. When choosing plants for your garden, stick to insect-pollinated flowers where possible, as their pollen is heavy and falls to the ground, whereas wind-pollinated flowers cause much more pollen to float around in the air. 

Sprinkle your garden 

Some plants stop shedding pollen in wet conditions, so sprinkling your garden with a hose or sprinkler can help tamp down some of the pollen ahead of an afternoon of gardening or sunbathing. 

Timing is everything

Pollen count tends to be at its lowest in the afternoon, so ensure you are only venturing out for less extended periods. Longer gardening days should also be limited to cloudier days.

 

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