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SELECT ALLERGY-FRIENDLY PLANTS, TREES, AND GRASSES
If you have outdoor allergies, what’s in your garden or yard can affect the severity of your symptoms. Generally speaking, flowering plants like daisies, sunflowers, and cacti don’t trigger allergy symptoms. Rather it’s the pollen from trees, grasses, and shrubs you need to watch out for. Here’s a quick look at what and what not to plant if you have allergies:1
Apple, Cherry, Fern Pine, Dogwood, English Holly, Magnolia, Pear, Plum, Red Maple
When working in the garden, be sure to wear a hat, glasses, gloves, and a long-sleeve shirt. This will reduce your contact with pollen. When the pollen count is particularly high, consider wearing a NIOSH-approved face mask, which filters at least 95% of airborne particles. Once you’re done working in the yard or garden, immediately shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes. This will help remove any allergens that may be clinging to you.1
TIME IT RIGHT
Avoid daily tinkering in the early morning, when there’s a lot of pollen in the air. Instead, plan to work outside later in the afternoon or evening. Also consider doing the bulk of your gardening on cool or cloudy days, when the pollen count is generally lower.1
Avoid using wood chips or mulch, which can retain moisture and encourage mold to grow. Instead use gravel, oyster shell, or ground covers like vinca or pachysandra. Keep grass cut low—around two inches. This will help prevent pollen from reaching the wind. Watch out for hedges since their branches can collect allergens. If you have hedges, keep them pruned and thin.1