It’s been one of those seasons it seems this year where high pollen counts have caused havoc for people with allergies and hay fever or asthma sufferers. Many sources cite Australia as now being the ‘hay fever capital of the world’ with over 40 percent of young adults suffering symptoms of a runny nose and itchy eyes. Allergic Rhinitis (hay fever) now affects 1 in 5 Australians and predisposes people to more frequent sinus infections.
Pollen from ryegrass is the main culprit identified in causing hay fever and ryegrass can produce over half a tonne per hectare of pollen that cause allergic responses in susceptible people. Ryegrass is literally everywhere and is found in lawns and turf used in many home gardens, roadside verges, parks, sporting fields and tracks as well as pastures. Pollens from a range of other grasses, weeds and trees also contributes to allergic reactions and in addition, non-pollen causes, such as fungal spores and house dust mites may also cause such reactions. (source Asthma Australia) When it comes to enjoying time in your own backyard and living with an allergy it is often best to look towards a warm-season grass type – one that grows vegetatively – and not cool season grass types that tend to throw a lot more seed. Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo for example, is a turf variety that has been specifically tested for allergens and has no known issues. Unless left unmown or lacking in fertiliser,
Sir Walter DNA Certified produces few – if any – seed heads. Native Australian grasses such as kangaroo grass, wallaby grass, weeping grass, and red grass produce a lot less pollen than many other grasses, but are difficult to establish into viable lawns. Buffalo, Kikuyu, Couch and Zoysia grasses are all warm-season grasses that have runners (stolons) and are usually the best turf-type choices when it comes to home lawns in Australia. Ironically, a thick and healthy lawn is a very effective pollen trap. When airborne pollens land on a well-maintained lawn, the pollen grains fall between the grass’ many, long leaves and find their way into the thatch where the pollen is trapped and eventually breaks down. Some varieties of lawn produce more seed-heads and pollen when under stress, so ensure your lawn is well maintained, well fertilised, mowed regularly, and watered occasionally and thoroughly to minimise stress conditions. Some children, people and even pets have reactions to lawn-types that are far beyond the scope of these pages, so if you find yourself suffering in your backyard, talk to your medical practitioner about the cause.
You might then be able to seek out a local Lawn Solutions Australia Turfgrower to check out their turf-types to see how you react to their many varieties that they would have on show. By installing the right grass variety, you can hopefully enjoy a luscious, green lawn without the allergy symptoms. Lawncare doesn’t need to be difficult and simple hints from Lawn Solutions Australia and their network of member turf growers and Lawn Solutions Centres Australia-wide can help with products to keep your lawn in top condition this summer.