Allergy-Proof Your Yard

You've spent the past few months tending to the flowers and trees in your yard, preparing for the big Fourth of July barbeque this weekend. But you find it hard to enjoy the beauty of it all because your allergies are getting the best of you.

Well, relief may be in sight because there are ways to allergy-proof your yard.

Dr. Jonathan Field, the director of the Pediatric Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Clinic at New York University Medical Center, visits The Early Show to explain how.

The flower and tree pollen season is pretty much over so now there are other contributing factors that are problematic to allergy sufferers, Dr. Field says.

Grass and Weeds – "Weeds and grass are growing rampantly all over the country and that causes big problems for a lot of people," he says. "Weed is just an extra thing that's in your grass that shouldn't be there. If you get rid of it, that's very helpful." And a good way to do so, he says, is by using fertilizer to make your yard more grass than weed.

Time of Day – He says, "The grass pollen count is at its highest during the late afternoon hours (3 and 4 o'clock)."

Weather - He explains, "If it is dry and windy, chances are you're going to be miserable because the pollen will be blowing. On the other hand, a rainy day is an allergy sufferer's dream come true. The rain knocks down the pollen."

Sex of Your Trees – "Pollen is reproductive material. So the females have no pollen," he says pointing out you can pay a horticulturist to give your trees a sex change, "They can do transplants. Sounds a little you unusual, they can change the sex or promote female non-pollen generating plants."

Here are some steps he recommends to allergy-proof your yard:

Keep The Grass Short
Trim the lawn more often to keep it short, about 2 inches, and you'll lop off the tops of those leaves of grass before they produce flowers and pollen. If you have particularly bad allergies, ask someone else to mow because the pollen will be blowing all around and can wreak havoc on your allergies.

Keep Your Skin Protected From Exposure To Pollen
Definitely wear long sleeves and sunglasses while you're gardening to protect your skin. After you're done for the day, take off your clothes at the door and take a shower to get all the pollen off.

Try Over-The-Counter Medicines
If you've been struggling with allergies this year or even years past, it certainly doesn't hurt to go out and pick up an over the counter medicine. There are plenty of options, and now they are non-sedating medicines, so you won't get drowsy.

Get To Know The Trees And Flowers In Your Yard And Learn Of Their Pollen "Potency"
You should know what you have growing in your yard. If you can't identify a tree, shrub, or flower, take a cutting to a local nursery to ID what's growing on your property. Do some research to find out how problematic they are, when it comes to pollen count. There are plenty of options for people who can't tolerate too much pollen.
  • Tatiana Morales

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