Keep allergies at bay while gardening

The weather is still gardening-approved, but it may be a lot more difficult for you to tend to your flower gardens. As summer is over and fall begins to settle in, now is the worst time for those who suffer from allergies. Sniffling, sneezing and coughing begins to increase when wet leaves cover the ground and serve as prime breeding grounds for mold spores. Additionally, wind-pollinated plants are huge culprits. But don’t let pesky allergies get in the way of your gardening this season.

Dress appropriately
If you are prone to itchy eyes and sneezing, make sure that you are dressing properly when you are taking care of the garden. Gardening gloves and sunglasses are a must because they will protect you from the pollen and mold that are causing the aggravation. Make sure to avoid touching your face or eyes when you are outside, and regularly wash your hands. If you are ultra sensitive to allergens, you may want to wear a dust mask that will also protect your mouth. After gardening, make sure to immediately rinse off in the shower and wash the clothes you were wearing so the pollen doesn’t hang out in your home for long.

Weather
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the best days to tend to your garden are when it’s rainy, cloudy or windless because pollen levels are low.┬áThe best time to garden is right after a light rain because it clears the air of pollen. Not only that, but it can make it much easier to rid your garden of weeds! It’s best to avoid gardening, though, if there is a mild to severe storm in your area. The high winds can pick up more allergens, making it worse for you to be outside.

Good and bad plants for allergies
“Shrubs and flowers with large or colorful flowers are good choices for allergy sufferers, as are most herbs, vegetables, and fruits,” Susan Littlefield of the National Gardening Association told The Wall Street Journal. “Many deciduous trees, as well as most evergreens and grasses, including ornamental grasses, are wind pollinated and potentially allergenic.”

If you have allergies or asthma, some of the best flowers, trees and grasses to choose from include cactus, hibiscus, iris, magnolia, geranium, daisy and cherry tree. You’ll want to avoid cottonwood, maple, oak, Johnson grass, rye grass and ash.