Sneeze-Free Gardening: Tips for Gardening With Summer Allergies

In addition to my suggestions below, it is recommended that you see your personal physician regarding other preventative measures and/or medications you can take to make your gardening experience more enjoyable.

In selecting the plants for your garden, lean toward lightly-scented, bird-and-insect pollinated plants versus wind-pollinated plants and use only low-allergy plants in your garden. Bulbs are very good for allergy sufferers.

For a lawn, choose low pollen producing grass that does not need to be mowed often. Keep grass short so it doesn’t seed and since most lawn grasses release their pollen from around 3:00 am to 8:00 am, it is not a good idea to mow the lawn in the morning.

The days when the pollen count is at its lowest are the best days to garden. For example, on cool, rainy or damp days when airborne pollen is low, or early morning while there is still dew on the ground. Chilly and wet is good weather for us, unless you are particularly allergic to mold. On windy days it is best to stay indoors. This is the worst time outdoors for an allergy sufferer as this is when there is the most pollen in the air.

When out gardening wear long sleeves, a breathable hat, goggles (or sun glasses) and gloves. Take frequent breaks to wash your face and hands.

Before gardening in an area next to grass, wet the grass down first with a hose to keep allergens from rising into the air. After gardening wash all clothes and hair and be sure to wash your hair before bed so you don’t get pollen on your pillow. Also, wear the same gardening clothes each time you garden and throw them in the washing machine after use.

Avoid standing under flowering trees and also try to avoid cut grass. When the lawn is being cut, close all windows and use air purifiers. In addition, avoid shady areas on the south side of the house if you have a mold allergy.

If, like me, you bring some plants in to winter indoors at the end of the season, be sure to wash the pollen off of them immediately before bringing them in. Then see if you can leave the mulching to someone else, but if you do use mulch, consider avoiding the mold from bark mulches and use an inorganic source such as rock, pea gravel or crushed mulch and low maintenance ground covers to help control weeds which are wind pollinated plants that produce a lot of powdery,easily inhaled pollen that can trigger a response.

For information about plants rated for allergies and general information about gardening with allergies, visit Here is to your most sneeze free gardening season yet!