If you live in northern Utah, gardening likely causes you to sniffle and sneeze – especially during the summer.
Pollen from grass, trees and weeds is a common allergy trigger, keeping many would-be Utah gardeners inside during planting season. However, seasonal allergies don’t have to stop you from gardening.
If you suffer congestion and itchy, watery eyes when you do yard and garden work, taking a few simple precautions can make it possible for you to create and enjoy a gorgeous landscape.
To avoid suffering allergy symptoms as you work on gardening tasks, aim to be outside when the pollen levels are low. Days without rain, clouds and wind are your best bet.
You can also check online for the current pollen counts in the Salt Lake City area. Several websites track pollen levels and send out alerts when counts are high. Staying inside on those days can keep the gardening-related allergies at bay.
Due to the amount and potency of their airborne pollen grains, some outdoor plants have a high potential for causing allergic symptoms.
For allergy-friendly gardening, experts advise against planting chamomile, jasmine, sunflowers, wisteria, Queen Anne’s Lace, juniper bushes and certain non-flowering grasses, including Bermuda grass and Johnsongrass. Some trees, like white mulberry, oak, ash and cedar, also produce high levels of pollen.
So, what outdoor plants are safe for allergy sufferers?
In general, choose plants that are pollinated by birds and insects, rather than wind, as they don’t produce much airborne pollen.
Safflower, trumpet honeysuckle, crimson clover, hosta, salvia, hibiscus and hydrangea are good options for sneeze-free gardening. You can also plant rose bushes and low-pollen trees like magnolia, poplar and dogwood.
Herbs, vegetables, groundcover plants and fruit-bearing trees are also welcome additions to an allergy-friendly landscape.
Flowers, shrubs and trees aren’t the only outdoor plants that produce pollen – weeds can also trigger allergies. So, to avoid suffering symptoms while gardening, regular weed pulling is a must.
Frequent mowing is another essential gardening task for allergy sufferers. Cutting the grass often keeps it from going to seed, which helps keep pollen levels lower.
If you suffer from allergies, you definitely don’t want to track any pollen inside the house.
So, plan to store all of your gardening supplies outside in the garage or shed. And don’t forget your shoes – keep one pair outside, just for yard work.
And, when you’re done with your gardening for the day, shower and wash your clothing to eliminate any residual pollen.
Want more tips and ideas? Visit Millcreek Gardens, Salt Lake City’s favorite garden center since 1955. Our expert staff can recommend allergy-friendly shrubs, flowers and trees for a gorgeous landscape. Stop in today for answers to all of your Utah gardening questions.