Plant allergies or gardening with allergies should never stop us from doing what we love to do. The joy of gardening can be experienced by the allergic sufferer and the non allergic person alike.
With a few helpful gardening tips, prior planning, and a minor lifestyle change, this can still be the perfect hobby.
The benefits of gardening certainly out weigh the minor changes that the allergic person may have to make. It gets us outside and into the sun. It is great exercise that we might not otherwise be getting. We may be tired when we are finished but our mental health always seems to be improved. The whole experience is a great stress-reducer.
Pine Pollen Being Released Into the Air
At the same time of the year that we need to get the ground ready for planting, plants are producing pollen for reproduction. This process is going on from spring to fall and continues until the first frost.
The exact time that pollen production starts depends on your geographic location. The farther north you live, the later the season begins.
Pollen is what the male plant produces for reproduction. It needs to reach the female plant of the same species. This is not necessarily an easy task considering that neither plant can move. Nature accomplishes this in two ways:
Pollen on a Bee
Knowing what the source and cause is for plant allergies allows us to make some changes to adapt. For example, pollen release occurs more in the early mornings and late afternoons. Try to plan gardening chores during the middle of the day.
Since we know that it is the male plants that produce the pollen, we can be more selective in what we choose to plant. Female plants will make it easier on our plant allergies. If you do choose to plants some male species, don't plant a large number of one kind.
Weather conditions can also affect us. Pollen counts in the air seem to be higher during hot, dry and windy days. Cloudy and cooler days without wind are preferred days to work in the garden for the nasal allergy sufferer. Rain washes the pollen out of the air. After a rain is a good time to be outdoors.
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology website provides pollen counts for many parts of the U.S. You can find the count for your area by visiting the National Allergy Bureau on their site. It is noteworthy to point out that pollen counts are expressing information on what was occurring in yesterday's air.
Pollen only produces the allergic symptoms because it gets into our bodies through ports of entry such as the eyes or nose. It is there that we have mast cells that contain histamine. Pollen causes these cells to open up and to release the granules of histamine. As a result, sneezing, runny nose, water eyes and itchiness occur. If you experience allergies in the garden, wearing goggles and a pollen mask can greatly reduce symptoms.
Some more tips for gardening with plant allergies are listed below: