Spring Homestead Checklist
Spring is on the way, and in a few weeks farm life becomes a rush of baby animals, new routines, planting schedules, and building. To keep it all under control, take the time while things are still a little bit slow to do a proper spring assessment and clean up of your homestead.
Here are the top things on our spring cleaning homestead checklist.
Order & Start Seeds
Depending on your growing zone, seed starting dates may vary. Check your zone with the USDA hardiness map here: https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/
Make sure you have seeds ready when it is time to plant! Lay out your garden, figure out what you’ll be growing through the year, and what needs to be started indoors versus direct sown.
Prepare Garden Beds
No-till, till, raised beds — however you garden, make sure you put the work into healthy soil so that you are ready to plant when the time comes.
Prune Fruit Trees
Pruning fruit trees isn’t just for appearances — it helps keep the tree healthy and focuses its energy on fruit production. This is best done in late winter, before overnight temps rise above freezing. It’s also the perfect time to prune out brown tail moth nests.
Deep Clean Animal Stalls
We don’t do deep litter here, but even so springtime means we do a deep clean. Not only is all the bedding removed, we sweep the walls and ceilings of the stall for cobwebs, put down a layer of diatomaceous earth or lime, and make sure to get into every nook and cranny.
Double Check First Aid Kits & Kidding Kits
Make sure your have everything on hand for animal and human emergencies, and for any births you are expecting this year. Replenish your supplies, make sure kits are clearly marked and in easily accessible spots.
Check Fence Chargers, Electric Fencing
Check your fencing for holes in the netting and issues with fence posts and replace where necessary. Check the batteries on your fence chargers using a multimeter, then ensure they’re functioning properly with a voltage test. It’s always best to actually check batteries and voltage, rather than relying on a green light and clicking to assume everything is functional.
Review Condition of Tools and Equipment
If anything needs serious repairs, get that done now before you need the tools. Fill up any liquids/lubrications that your equipment requires, clean off or sharpen garden tools, and again make sure everything is in an easily accessible place.
Properly Store Winter Equipment
Anything that won’t be used all summer can be stored out of the way. Add fuel stabilizer to mechanized equipment.
Repair Any Damaged Permanent Fence Lines
Check all fence posts are stable in the ground, and the fence is still securely attached to posts. Fix any issues where trees may have fallen on fencing and caused damage. Check all gates secure properly.
Set Up for Any New Animals
Make sure you’re ready for whatever is coming! If you have new animals on the docket, make sure their area is prepared so the transition is smooth
Clean Up Yard, Blown Down Trees, Etc
Take the time to rake up debris from the winter, make burn piles and tidy up now before things get too busy.
Make A Plan
Whatever projects you hope to accomplish this summer, now is the time to sit down and plan them out. You may have been spending most of the winter dreaming about summer ideas, but this is the time to get realistic with what you can accomplish in summer months and plan out your busy season and tasks week by week.