Are your allergies keeping you from enjoying time working in your garden? It’s no secret that North Texas is full of allergy-causing pollen in the springtime, causing sniffling, sneezing, coughing, headaches and itching, burning, watery or dry eyes.
This spring allergy season is expected to be no better than recent years. In fact, this year’s allergy season started earlier and is expected to last longer than past years.
Don’t let allergies prevent you from spending time in your garden. Here are some allergy-friendly gardening tips to help reduce your symptoms of spring allergies and limit your exposure to allergens.
Keep grass cut short. Keeping your lawn trimmed can help reduce your suffering this spring. Just be sure to wear a mask and protective eyewear to limit your pollen exposure when you’re out mowing the lawn.
Pull the weeds. Keep your yard and flower beds free of the weeds that can aggravate your allergies.
Plant an allergy-friendly garden. Some plants are better for allergy sufferers than others. For example, azalea, begonia, orchid, periwinkle, bulbs, palm, and pine are all easy on allergy-prone eyes and noses. Avoid chrysanthemum, dahlia, sunflowers, lilac, juniper and Bermuda and Rye grasses.
Garden on rainy, cloudy or windless days or in the evening. Pollen counts are typically down on days when the wind is calm and the sun is tucked behind the clouds. Unless you’re sensitive to wet mold spores, these are the days that may be best for you to get out in your garden. Pollen counts are also down in the evening, so leave your gardening for an early evening or even after-dinner activity.
Don’t touch your eyes or nose. When you’re in the garden, avoid touching your eyes or nose, as your hands most likely have pollen on them.
Wash up afterwards. When you’re done gardening for the day, leave your shoes outside, remove the clothes you wore to garden in and hop in the shower to wash off any pollen that may be in your hair or on your body.
If you suffer from itchy, burning, watery or dry eyes, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to ensure your symptoms are not related to another more serious eye condition. In addition to the tips above, keeping your contact lenses or eyeglasses clean and washing your hands frequently are important eye health tips that can help reduce your suffering this allergy season.