Homesteaders are particularly fond of spring. During this time, there is an abundance of growth, life and energy. From the plants in your garden to the animals on your farm, everything seems to be so alive come springtime. And with that comes the opportunity to take advantage of such positive energy. That means there are lots of spring homesteading tasks that should be on your to-do list right now.
Plant Your Seeds
One of the most common spring homesteading tasks is to start growing seeds. Most homesteaders prefer to start with seeds rather than buying seedlings for their garden. Of course, you have the luxury of choosing your poison but do note that planting seeds is more recommended. For one, seeds are cheaper than seedlings. Plus, the plants have more time to grow if you start with seeds.
Most vegetables and herbs take weeks to germinate thus planting in springtime is perfect. Start planning your garden in winter and take note of the number of weeks before each plant should be placed outdoors. Plant them in small pots or seed starter trays and take care of them indoors until it’s time to take them out.
Build Raised Beds
You probably have enough raised beds already but just in case you need more or some needs to be replaced, this is the time to build them. You’ll be doing more building projects other than raised beds so you better be ready with your supply of wood.
Turn Up the Incubator
If you’re thinking about building a hatchery on your homestead, you may want to start small at first. A huge one requires the incubator to be running all year round. If you’re not ready for that, build a small one and crank up your incubator for just a few months.
The best time to incubate eggs is from March until the summer months. Therefore, one of the spring homesteading tasks you should be doing is gathering the eggs from the coop to prepare them for hatching. It takes three weeks for eggs to incubate so consider that when pulling out the eggs.
Make Poultry Tractors
Woodworking and other building projects are popular spring homesteading tasks and one project you need done are poultry tractors. Once the chicks come out of the brooder, they’ll need a place to graze as freely as they can.
During springtime, build tractors with a wide enough space to let all the birds to do some free ranging. Not all your eggs will successfully hatch into chicks but when computing for the size of your tractor, you should consider the possible number of birds.
Milk Goats and Cows
There are few things that say homesteading more than milking animals, particularly dairy cows and Nubian goats. Camels, yaks and water buffaloes also produce milk though there’s some doubt that you have some in your homestead so we’ll stick with goats and cows and maybe sheep and horses to some extent.
Springtime usually means the baby animals are coming so you should be getting your milking supplies in tiptop shape. Most homesteaders use their hands and a simple pail for their milking needs. Make sure both are pretty clean and the pails have no holes. You’ll also want a milking stand.
For large-scale milk production, milking machines are needed. If you happen to have one, make sure they’re properly maintained.
Another one of the many spring homesteading tasks you should fit into your schedule is to give your place a thorough cleaning. You know that it’s time to do so when you start smelling something not so nice to the senses.
The coops, stalls, pens, sheds, and other parts of your homestead where you keep your animals will smell pretty nasty as the weather heats up. Clean them up by mucking out the areas. Clear all the debris and give them a good rinsing. Replace the bedding with fresh materials.
It’s also in your best if your spring homesteading tasks include cleaning up your greenhouse, yard or garden. Get rid of fruits that have fallen and started to decay. Remove vines that are drying up. Do the necessary cleaning to prepare for the coming planting season.
Replenish Your Compost
Speaking of planting season, you’ll need compost to make sure your plants grow well. Turn your compost pile then add more materials such as kitchen scraps.
Keep the Homestead In Tiptop Shape
As homesteaders, you try to do things all on your own. This includes one of the most common spring homesteading tasks, which is doing house repairs. Spring is the perfect time to do so because you’re not too busy with homestead stuff just yet. Remember, after spring, you’ll have your heads full with your garden and flock of animals, among other things. So take the opportunity to do some of the stuff you’ve been putting off.
Take a look around your homestead and take note of all the repairs necessary. Check your whole house, first. Are there damaged parts of the roof or wall, especially after all that snow? How about the coops and barn? Maybe they need repairs, too. The wooden fence may be falling apart because of termites. Do what’s necessary to address the problem.
Do Some Repair and Maintenance Work
Aside from doing repairs on your homestead, you may also need to fix some of your equipment. You need all your equipment to be working properly when things get busy in the homestead. It would be a disaster if you’re truck or tractor suddenly bogged down just when you need it.
Since winter has passed, this is the perfect opportunity to check on your heaters. If you use an electric heater, check if it needs repairs so it’s good to go come next cold season. Most homesteads depend on wood stoves for heat. They should be kept clean when not in use. Take out all the ash to make sure it doesn’t catch fire.
It may seem too early for some but gathering firewood should be one of your spring homesteading tasks. You’ll need lots of firewood for your wood stove to keep the home warm when it’s winter nice again. It doesn’t hurt if you start gathering them now since you’ll be pretty busy with other things later on.
You should be getting busy with all the spring homesteading tasks in front of you. Don’t wait until it’s too late to start doing these chores. There are, in fact, a ton more things outside this short list that you can do during springtime to keep your homestead running smoothly.
Comment below what other spring homesteading tasks you are doing that we haven’t discussed here yet. Check out The Gentleman Pirate for more posts like this. There are lots of important pieces of information there that could help you with your homestead.
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