How To Create A Low-Allergen Garden

How To Create A Low-Allergen Garden

As the summer months arrive, there’s no better time to go and enjoy your garden, especially to reap the benefits that spending time in nature can bring. But for the UK’s 13 million hay fever sufferers, the spring and summer months can be somewhat of a challenge.

However, there are many ways to enjoy the garden with a little planning. Stock up on all the essential gardening tools, and follow our guide on how to create a low-allergen garden so everyone can enjoy the warm weather, and importantly to experience the wellbeing that fresh air and sunshine that is so important to our mental health.

1. Keep the lawn short.

Keeping the lawn short during the summer months helps to prevent the growth of lawn flowers and means less grass pollen is released into the air.

2. Don’t venture out until midday

Midday/early afternoon gardening is the best option. Pollen levels peak at the beginning of the day, as they rise with the warming air, and again at the end of the day when it’s cooling down. So avoid gardening at these times if you suffer from hay fever. Try and stick to 12 pm-4 pm.

3. Plant low-allergy species

Plant fruit trees or another low-allergy species. These offer spring blossom, summer fruit and beautiful autumn colours. Apple, cherry/plum, rowan and juneberry are best to plant. Aim to avoid wind-pollinated trees, that may cause hay fever flare-ups, such as alder, hazel and birch.

4. Be wary of mould spores

Watch out for mould spores on vegetable beds. Vegetables benefit from well-drained soil, and many choose to grow them in a raised bed. If it’s made of wood, make sure to line the bed with a waterproof membrane to prevent the timbers from rotting and producing mould spores.

Compost bins can act as a source of mould spores, which are even finer than pollen and hold the risk of reaching far into the respiratory system. Keep the bins away from seating areas and ensure you cover them up, and always using gloves when handling them.

5. Create a biodiverse space for wildlife

Many blooms are beneficial to bees and other insects, and generally, what is good for bees is good for us too. Prioritise insect-pollinated plants, many of which are bell, funnel or trumpet-shaped so that insects have to probe inside to reach the pollen.

Ensure you have a diverse range of flowers in the garden. Flowers can have different months for blooming, so considered planting can give your garden a long-lasting visual impact, as well as supporting biodiversity.

6. Be mindful of seating placement

The positioning of your garden seating is important. After all the hard work, effort, and the patience it can take to make your garden a place of comfort, make sure you take time to relax and enjoy the fruits (maybe literally) of your labour.

Ensure you keep any seating well away from the more allergenic pollen sources and any potential mould spores.

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