Spring will be here before you know it! And, if you don’t use your winter downtime to prep your homestead for spring, you will regret it.
Spring is a very busy season for homesteaders, so it is wise to take advantage of the slower months leading up to it to get some things done.
Use the list below to help prep your homestead for spring.
1. Perform Basic Maintenance
Before spring, you want to do a thorough check of your homestead to see what needs to be repaired.
This is an ideal time to check your fences to see which ones need mending.
You should also check all the buildings, such as coops, to see if there was any damage done by winter weather or storms.
Remove any debris that has fallen on your land.
Use this time to complete any repairs to make sure your homestead is ready for the spring.
[Related Read: Month-by-Month Winter Homestead To-Do List]
2. Make Spring Plans
One of the most enjoyable ways to prep your homestead for the spring is to dream and plan.
Take time to evaluate what worked this past year and what didn’t. Think carefully about what you want to do differently this year.
Make plans for garden beds, seeds, rotations, and livestock.
Use this plan to help you prepare for the spring by ordering the necessary supplies and listing things you’ll need to do to make your dream spring come to fruition.
3. Trim and Prune
Once the hard frosts are over, get outside and start trimming your shrubbery.
Late winter is the ideal time to prune fruit trees in your orchard.
Once you have removed dead or diseased branches, you can then apply safe sprays to protect the trees from the forthcoming pests.
4. Clean Homestead Buildings
Once the weather warms up, let your animals out to pasture.
While they are out, use this time to clean out your homestead buildings (i.e., barns and chicken coops).
You want to give these buildings a deep cleaning.
While you are at it, go ahead and clean the feed storage containers and water vessels in these buildings.
It’s better to do it before your busy season arrives.
5. Inspect Equipment
Even the highest quality equipment sometimes runs into issues, but you can extend the life of your homesteading equipment if you inspect regularly and perform maintenance as required.
For example, use the months before spring to get the oil changed in your homestead vehicles.
If there is something on your tractor that needs fixing or replacing, do it now rather than when you need it.
Go through all your tools and give them a good cleaning.
If you have the time after cleaning, organize your tools so they will be easily accessible come spring.
6. Get Ready for New Animals
Spring brings new life!
Use the remaining weeks before those little ones arrive to get ready for them.
Start preparing your homestead for your new animals (such as building a chicken coop or extending a fence line).
Place orders from hatcheries.
Clean the water and feed vessels you’ll use for the newest critters on your homestead.
Get your birthing supplies together and ready.
7. Clear Out Your Food Storage
Typically, homesteaders stock their pantries and freezers to provide enough food for the winter.
Now that winter is coming to an end, it is time to make space for this year’s provisions.
Go through your food storage and remove anything that has expired.
Make a list of what you have that is still good so you can make preparations for what you don’t need to plant or can.
Many homesteaders must de-winterize, such as removing layers from chicken coops or covers from garden beds.
It’s also time to harvest the remaining winter vegetables, so you are ready for spring planting.
Store your winter tools and gear out of the way.
9. Start Garden Chores
Before you begin spring planting, there are plenty of garden chores that must be completed.
- Order seeds.
- Plan when to start seeds on your calendar.
- Start seeds indoors.
- Add compost to the soil.
- Weed your gardens.
- Build garden beds.
10. Begin Stockpiling Spring Needs
Now is the time to stockpile your spring needs.
For example, stock up on mulch, sawdust, woodchips, hay bales, and other bedding materials.
Stock up on feed.
Bonus Spring Prep Ideas
While the previous 10 items are things homesteaders need to do each year to prepare their homestead for spring, there are some things you should do towards the beginning of your homesteading journey.
For example, if you haven’t already started a compost pile, now is the time to do so.
If you already have a compost pile, consider expanding it or branching into a new type of composting, such as vermiculture (aka worm farming).
If you don’t already have a rain barrel on your property, use the months before spring to build one before April showers arrive.
If you already have a rain barrel, clean it out.
With the extra time you have before the busy spring arrives, consider completing one of these 17 Winter Homesteading Projects.
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