Hello, Spring! And hello, allergies!
The joy of the end of winter and the coming into spring can be a mix of emotions if you suffer hay fever. And in Spring, it’s grass’ turn to start spitting out pollen into the air.
If, like about 18% of our nation(1), you or a family member suffers from pollen allergies, then you’re going to need to know which grasses are the most allergy-friendly, and which lawns can even help reduce the amount of pollen in the air...
Grasses That Produce Pollen & Trigger Hay Fever
Grasses are Australian’s most common outdoor airborne allergen. The worst offender? Ryegrass. Ryegrass pollen is one of the major causes of hay fever in NSW(2&3). It produces the most pollen creating over half a tonne of pollen per hectare(4).
Ryegrass can be found in many homes, roadside verges, parks, sports fields and pastures.
Hay Fever Friendly Grasses
Thankfully, there are a variety of other options for hay-fever-suffering grass-lovers!
Grasses that have runners (stolons) produce less seed and pollen, and are friendlier to these allergies. They will usually be warm season grasses and are great choices for Australian homes, and when cared for properly, produce very few seeds, if any at all. They include:
- Buffalo (like Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo – When tested, Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo produced no known causes contributing to hay fever allergies).
- Kikuyu (like Eureka Kikuyu).
- Couch (like Nullarbor Couch).
- Zoysia (like Platinum Zoysia and Sir Grange Zoysia).
When Lawns Help Reduce Hay Fever
Believe it or not, a full, healthy lawn can even help reduce triggers in the air by trapping and breaking down pollen particles and other pollutants that fall on it. Keep up your lawn maintenance and it will reward you for it!
When Lawns Can Unexpectedly Trigger Hay Fever
Some grasses can produce more seeds and pollen when under stress and so send out these allergens into the air. A well-maintained lawn: fertilised and watered well and regularly mowed, will keep it happy.
Hay fever is not pleasant, just ask anyone who gets it. For suffers everywhere, when you're thinking about new turf, add this to your consideration list!
Sources, with thanks:
(1) Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy
(3) ABC Health
(4) Lawn Solutions Australia