If you are allergic to pollen and plants, take steps to make your gardening days more pleasant.
Start by choosing plants that are low pollen producers, including colorful blooms like roses, impatiens, and petunias. Avoid plants with small, off-white to greenish flowers. They tend to cause more allergies. Use nonallergenic elements in your garden, such as sand, rocks, and water. Don’t plant hedges, as they are good places for pollen, dust, and mold to collect.
Gardening and Yard Work
- Wear a hat, gloves, glasses and paper mask when working in your garden. Skip the early morning hours; pollen levels are usually highest between 5am and 10 am.
- Avoid working outdoors on warm breezy days. Rainy, cool days are better.
- If you are allergic to mold, don’t rake leaves, mulch or hay.
- Weeds produce the most pollen, so pull them early and often.
Wear long pants, sleeves, socks, and gloves, even on hot days. This can protect your skin from poison ivy, scrapes and thorny plants. Don’t forget the insect spray for mosquitoes and bees.
Clean Up and Wash Off
- When you are done for the day, clean up thoroughly.
- Rinse off your gardening tools after use.
- Wash your hands and your gloves.
- If possible take off gardening clothes in the garage or basement, to avoid pollen into the house. Wash them separately.
- Shower and wash your hair after yard work
With proper preparation and protection, you can limit your allergic reactions and enjoy a green and flower-filled garden.