The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) says more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. And grass and weed pollen are among the most common causes of allergies. However, you do not need to be deterred from having a lawn or grass allergy this summer to enjoy your garden. We have three ways in which you can reduce or eliminate allergens for an allergy-free lawn.
How do you know if you are allergic to grass?
Your doctor may order a blood test or a scratch test to determine if you have a grass allergy. The most common symptoms of lawn allergy are:
- Itchy eyes
- Sniffing and sneezing
- Rashes or itching after contact with your lawn
If you are diagnosed with a grass allergy, you may be taking medication to relieve the symptoms. Allergy symptoms are common in spring and summer, as grasses normally pollinate from April to June.
A two-pronged approach to alleviating allergy to medication and removing allergens from your garden is most effective. We want to help with the latter. Here are three tips on how to put on an allergy-friendly lawn so that you no longer need to sneeze and itch this spring and summer:
1. Install a low-pollen (and allergy-friendly) lawn
If you are just starting out and you have not installed a lawn yet, choose a low-pommel grass for your lawn. Contact a landscape expert for information on the best allergy-free lawn for your area. Depending on the region, among the polleniest grasses, the following are among others:
- Bermuda Grass Hybrids | Common Bermuda grass is a major trigger for allergies, but the latest hybrid versions are bred to produce little to no allergenic pollen.
- St. Augustine Grass | This type of turf is hardy and best suited for coastal and warmer areas, but is not suitable for drought conditions. St. Augustine grass spreads through runners and rarely seeds or flowers.
- Buffalo grass | The Integrated pest control program at the University of California recommends this grass of the warm season for droughts and irrigation zones. The grass variety "UC Verde" produces only female plants and no flowers or pollen.
2. Cut your lawn regularly
Keep your lawn short by cutting it regularly so that it does not flower to form pollen. A good rule of thumb is to keep your lawn two to three inches tall, although a landscape expert knows the ideal length for your grass, depending on the type of lawn.
Depending on the season, regular trim can be done every three days. Monitor the growth of your lawn or leave it to your lawn care provider.
When mowing and gardening, keep in mind that pollen is worse in the morning when the sun is rising. Plan your gardening and mowing activities in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the highest pollen count of the day. Use lawn mower sacks that prevent the blowing of cut grass and flowers or pollen.
3. Search and destroy weeds
Some of the worst allergy sufferers are not your area, but the ones weed that grows with your lawn. If you suffer from allergies, the worst weeds in your garden are:
If you are already sensitive to allergens, avoid herbicides and other harmful chemicals. A more natural approach would be to manually remove or uproot weeds. Keep your allergy-free turf fertilized, strong and healthy to prevent the growth of weeds as they have to compete with your flowering lawn.
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