The first step is to reduce outdoor seasonal “triggers” by identifying the plants and flowers that will cause you discomfort. Get tested to choose the “right” plants, shrubs and flowers that are better for you. By knowing your allergies you can also plan ahead and modify your gardening schedule. This involves having the knowledge regarding peak periods throughout the day to the culprit allergens as well as staying tuned to learn the pollen count in your town or city.
Pollen counts from the previous day are available for main cities via the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) as well as in local newspapers and with the daily weather reports on radio and TV. The Web site for the National Allergy Bureau is www.aaaai.org/nab.
You may need to adjust your planting and/or gardening activities as seasonal symptoms such as itchiness of the eyes, nose and throat, sneezing may be worse on windy, dry, sunny and clear days may be associated with greater airborne pollens as wet, cloudy and windless days can see a reduction in outdoor plant pollens.
Plants with bright, showy flowers are better for people who have allergies. Their pollen is large and because they are pollinated by insects, the pollen is seldom airborne. Plants that cause allergies usually have flowers that are small and insignificant looking and have no color for attracting nectar.
The following trees, shrubs, and plants have been found to be BETTER for people with allergies:
If you are considering adding trees to your landscape, you should AVOID planting the following: