Spring is officially in the air, and for many of us, that means evenings spent outside in our yards. Unfortunately, the arrival of spring also signals the arrival of another less pleasant time of year– allergy season. Some of us suffer more than others, but most of us will experience at least a few symptoms as spring plants burst into bloom. Are you wondering how you can minimize your allergy attacks while still enjoying the yard you’ve worked so hard to create? Read on for a few tips on crafting the perfect allergy-friendly yard.
Did you know that your grass could be one of your yard’s worst sources of pollen? It’s easy to forget since it’s underfoot, but if your yard has the most common variety of Bermuda grass, it’s producing lots of pollen. This pollen gets exposed to pants legs, shoes, and bare feet, and then it gets tracked inside your house where it makes allergies even worse. Research alternative grass varieties– some good choices are hybrid Bermuda grass, which is different than the common type, and Buffalo grass.
Instead of allergy-irritating varieties like pines, choose trees such as crape myrtles, dogwoods, pears, and magnolias. All of these trees are considered good choices for the allergic gardener, and their flowers will produce a beautiful backyard without the sneezes. Bonus: most of them require little maintenance once they are planted!
When it comes to pollen production, not all flowers are created equal. If you want to enjoy the colors of spring without the allergies, there are several varieties that will help you do that. Look for bulb plants, such as tulips, as these are pollinated by insects rather than by the wind and thus produce far less airborne pollen. Other flowers like foxgloves and snapdragons are unusually shaped, which makes it much harder for the pollen to get out and into the air.
You want the flowers you’ve planted to bloom, but many times your yard becomes home to uninvited visitors in the form of weeds. You’ll be much better off if you cut off those flowering weeds at the source. Not only are these plants unwanted, but they also produce high levels of pollen. A related tip is to keep your lawn mowed short, before the grass begins to flower. If you wait and allow it to grow tall before cutting it, your mowing will probably be followed by an allergy attack because you’ll be stirring up lots of pollen. Keep it short to prevent this.
It really is a shame that the prettiest season is accompanied by the horrors of allergic reactions but there are definitely ways to enjoy the great outdoors without taking medications for a few months. Turn your backyard into your sanctuary so that you can enjoy the trees, flowers, and fresh air with all the sniffles, sneezes, and coughing.