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Gardening With Allergies

21 tips for flower lovers everywhere.

21 Tips for Gardening With Allergies continued...

13. Native shrubs, trees, and flowers are well-adapted to your region. They will thrive in your yard without much attention. But if that plant was grown from a cutting, it's likely male -- and will produce pollen. If it was grown from seed, there's a 50-50 change it's female.

14. Healthy female shrubs draw songbirds, even hummingbirds. Check your local nursery for berry-producing female shrubs. (Male shrubs provide no fruit.)

15. The pollen from some trees -- like olive and ash trees -- is more potent compared to other trees. It doesn't take much to produce a big allergic reaction. You probably don't want these in your yard.

16. Birches, alders, and oaks have both male and female organs on the same tree. (They're called monoecious plants.) But they still shed lots of pollen in springtime.

17. In times of stress and drought, a tree will produce more pollen than usual. In heavily populated areas -- with high pollution and carbon dioxide levels in the air -- many trees are releasing pollen more than once a season.

Essentials about your lawn...

18. A healthy green lawn is a very effective pollen trap. The grass traps the sticky pollen, which washes down into the roots and soil when watered.

19. Bermuda grass produces highly allergenic pollen. When the grass is stressed, it produces more pollen. Keeping it well fertilized and watered keeps pollen under control.

20. Buffalo grass is drought tolerant, and the female version produces no pollen. Ask a landscaper about using buffalo grass.

21. Dandelions are insect-pollinated, so they're not considered an allergy problem. But let your yard go "natural," with lots of dandelions and whatever else appears, and you'll really have something to sneeze at.

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Reviewed on April 16, 2008

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