Just Say No to Hay Fever: The 2-Step Approach

Submitted a year ago
Created by
Henry Homeyer

Step One: Know the Culprit.

Step Two: Get Rid of It.

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August is a month when many people suffer from hay fever. Tiny grains of pollen float through the air, causing nasal irritation, watering eyes, sneezing and more. Many people blame golden rod – in part because that’s what their Grannies told them caused it, and in part because goldenrod is big, dramatic, and it's in bloom right now.

Goldenrod: Not Guilty

But goldenrod is not the culprit. It is insect pollinated and has large grains of pollen not suited for flying through the air – or up your nose.

The culprit is ragweed. There are several types of ragweed blooming now, but you may never have noticed the blossoms as they are small, green and facing downward.  

Ragweed blossoms are not very noticeable. See those little lumps? They're flowers!

Ragweed grows alongside the road or in places with poor soil – places other plants don’t like. I’ve seen ragweed blooming at 12 inches – or up to 6 feet tall. Ragweed blooms from mid-July until September. It is wind-pollinated, so it needs to produce lots of pollen in order to insure pollination and seed set.  I’ve read that a mature ragweed can produce up to a BILLION grains.

Pull it or mow it early, before pollen is formed.

Ragweed sends up a central spike with branches in the upper portion. Many of those branches carry round, green or yellow-green blossoms not even as big as a pea. No wonder you never noticed them. They are relatively easy to pull, so get rid of them if you suffer from hay fever. Of course, mowing the edges of your road will help, but those grains of pollen further down the road may still find you. Gesundheit!

Ragweed is everywhere!

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