Gardening is not just an engaging and fun activity- it also has many health benefits! Indulging in just a little bit of gardening every day can improve hand strength and dexterity, reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, boost brain health, and help relieve stress. Simply looking at a well-kept garden in full bloom can elevate your spirits!

If you live in an urban setting and feel disconnected from nature, having a garden is sure to do you a lot of good. And if your allergy symptoms are stopping you from growing beautiful plants or indulging in gardening, you've come to the right place!

Here are 5 tips that will help you grow a garden without worrying about sneezing incessantly or feeling stuffy-headed all the time.

Plan It Well

Effective landscaping can help allergy sufferers have the garden of their dreams without having to worry about their allergy symptoms. Whether you choose to do a DIY job on your garden or call in professionals to landscape your yard, be sure to do avoid pollen-producing plants.

If you must have such plants, limit them to the back of the house and away from walkways, doors, and windows so that you don't come into contact with allergens.

Do note that weeds can worsen allergy symptoms. While you cannot eliminate weed completely, you can take steps to control weed growth. Install weed barriers around plants and trees and beneath ground covers. Further, use mulch or gravel as ground cover wherever you see bare dirt areas in your garden.

Weed can also grow between paving stones or concrete slabs, so be sure to fill gaps and cracks with sand or gravel. Spraying weedicides or distilled white vinegar in such areas will also prevent weed growth.

Say No to Grasses

Lawn grasses can be terrible on allergies as they produce a lot of pollen. And if you grow grass on a large area, your allergy symptoms are sure to worsen! This doesn't mean you have to do away with green cover; mowing frequently to minimize flowering can help. You can also consider installing faux grass if you want to have a green cover without wasting precious time mowing grass every other day.

Ornamental grasses are very versatile which makes them popular as landscape plants. However, just like lawn grasses, these too produce pollen. Also, their flowers bloom for longer periods so it's best to steer clear of them.

Choose the Right Plants

  • Choosing the right plants is important if you want to have your apple and eat it too!
  • Opt for native plants over introduced species as the former are better adapted to the climate. Non-indigenous plants that are stressed and struggle to adapt to the climate are known to produce more pollen.
  • If you’re planning to have big trees in your garden, choose female ones as most of the allergy-inducing pollen comes from male trees. Stay away from trees marked as ‘seedless’ or ‘fruitless’ as these trees are bound to produce pollen.
  • Avoid planting monoecious trees like spruce, alder, birch, oak, and pine. These trees have both male and female flowers and can cause allergy symptoms to worsen.
  • When it comes to flowering plants, choose ones that have bright and fragrant flowers. Such flowers are bound to be pollinated by insects rather than the wind. As such, the pollen produced by these plants will be too big to get airborne and cause allergies.

Prepare before Putting on Your Gardening Gloves

You don't have to shy away from gardening just because you're allergic to dust and pollen. Sure you needn't mow the lawn by yourself as mowing can kick pollen into the air and exacerbate your condition! Do hire help to trim the grass regularly, and keep these points in mind before you head out to do other garden chores.

  • If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you should start taking your allergy medicines a week before allergy season starts. Remember to take your medicines regularly.
  • Get gardening chores done when the weather is favorable- pollen counts are higher on dry, windy days and are lower when the weather is cool and humid. Also avoid gardening mid-day and in the mornings.
  • Wear full length pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect your skin from allergens. Cover your hair too; if you have long hair, tie it into a braid or bun before covering it. Wearing a dust mask and a pair of goggles will also help.
  • Refrain from touching your face, especially the eyes when gardening.

Don’t Forget Post-Gardening Cleanup

Allergens like pollen, mold, and dust particles can lodge onto your clothes and skin while gardening. Carrying them inside the house means triggering allergies so it’s best to clean up as soon as possible.

Leave your gardening gloves and shoes outside the house. If possible, remove clothes in the laundry room and bag them up right away. Shower to get rid of allergens and slip into clean clothes.


Now that you’ve read these tips, you know you needn’t dread pollen anymore! Put the information here to good use and your garden will no longer be a source of misery to you.

Happy gardening!

Author's Bio: 

Korie Cantor has been working as a freelance writer for a long time. She has a diverse background in health, mobility and fitness. She loves sharing her opinions on the latest issues affecting women.