Preparing for Spring

(I know this is the wrong time of the year, but I want to get it posted.)
By Shannon Buck – Copyright March 2007
                                                     

Spring is here, even if there is still snow on the ground. I cannot wait to get out there in my yard and garden. As a low-income family, it has taken me years to acquire what we have for our yard. When we lived in low-income housing, we were limited with what we could do with our little patch of lawn.

One thing that I did was to ask our landlord if I could plant a small vegetable garden out by my front door. He actually had one of the bushes taken out so I had a little bigger patch. I brought in a few bags of good soil, and some seeds and seedlings. I spent about $25.00 on my little garden, growing carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and a few herbs. These items made nice little salads, and they saved me a little money in the long run.

I gave each of my girls a few dollars and let them choose some flowers, which we planted under the windows at the front and the back of apartment.

When we moved into the trailer park, we were responsible for keeping our own yards mowed. I purchased a (wo)man powered mower for under $80.00, and it has lasted about 4 years. My stepfather is supposed to be giving us an older gas powered mower this spring, which will make mowing a bit easier.

Here are some tips for the low-income family living in an apartment:
(downstairs apartment)

* Put planters along the outside of your apartment, or along your walkway. You can plant flowers, vegetables, berries or herbs.

* Ask about adding a nice little fence as a border to your yard.

* Add a wreath to the outside of your door. The dollar stores carry metal wreath hangers that do not attach permanently to the doors. They may also have a small wreath, or you can make one from cheap craft flowers.

* Maybe you would rather hang a welcome sign on your door.

(upstairs apartment with a small patio)

* Put a small decorative table in the corner, with a planter of flowers, herbs, berries or vegetables.

* See if you can attach wind chimes to the overhang above your patio.

* Hang a wreath on your door.

* See if you can attach planters to you patio railing. This can be done in such a manner as to have them a bit away from the railing so as not to rot it.

(for both upstairs and downstairs)

* Put a small decorative table and chairs outside your door.

* You may also have room for a small electric grill.
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