I have suffered with allergies for years. Outdoor allergies had me sitting in my bedroom looking out the window, watching my brother have a great time in the yard like kids are supposed to do. I still feel twinges of jealousy when I think about that lonely, sad little kid stuck in the house during the warmest months of the year when the other children were out playing.
Times have changed
Unfortunately, when I was a child, it was assumed that outdoor allergies were caused not only by pollen, but by the grass itself. As advances have been made in both medical science and agriculture, it has become clear that grass may not be the culprit. While some people may be allergic to the grass blades themselves, if you are like me, it’s the pollen in the air that causes the problem not the grass.
In fact, I’ve learned over the years that a beautifully lush lawn can actually help cut down allergies by trapping the pollen particles in the air. It has been shown that a properly maintained lawn will not only trap, but remove hundreds of millions of these annoying little grains every year. Because I have taken the time to learn how to properly maintain my lawn it traps more pollen than it can ever hope to produce.
Here are the things I have learned that have helped me and may help you as well:
The type of grass seed you plant in your lawn will have an impact on your allergies. Grasses that bloom will produce more pollen grains than those that don’t. Some grasses are separate sexed, meaning that there are male and female grasses. By purchasing and planting only female seeds, you will have a pollen-free lawn.
Keep it Maintained
Grasses produce pollen when they are stressed. Lawns that are under-watered, unkempt and unfertilized will produce more pollen than those that are properly cared for. By fertilizing my lawn and keeping it mowed and watering it well, I have been able to further cut down on the pollen it produces.
Mask and Gloves
I have found allergen reducing masks in my local paint shop, of all places, that allows me to garden without the dreadful allergies that used to come with my pruning and cutting. I’ve also learned to wear gloves to reduce the amount of pollen that comes into contact with my face. Gloves, you’re asking? Think about the number of times a day we touch our faces! When I was gardening without gloves, I was getting pollen spores and grains on my hands and fingers and transferring them right to my face when I came in the house and forgot to wash my hands. Gloves have eliminated this transfer.
By combining these methods I am better able to control my allergies in my own yard. What I grew up thinking I’d never be able to do has become quite a passion of mine. My yard is amazing and I enjoy gardening as a way to relax and unwind.
Thanks to these tips, I have a lawn that my children can enjoy. It’s soft and comfortable and a great place for them to romp and roll. The dogs love to roll around in the grass as much as the kids do! Not only has my lawn given my kids and pets a great place to play, but it has also cut down on my cooling bill in the heat of the summer. Did you know that a lush lawn provides cooling properties to your house interior? It can! Rock landscaping heats interiors by up to 20%.
Whether you grew up with allergies like I did, or develop them later in life, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can’t enjoy your yard. By following these tips you’re guaranteed to not only have a gorgeous lawn, but also find that you suffer far less from outdoor allergies.