It’s been an odd year. The winter weather that we were supposed to get in January and February never came. Now it’s March, and I’ve yet to see a storm that leaves any decent amount a precipitation. We welcomed in March with a HUGE windstorm (seriously – I think all the beautiful topsoil in my garden is now in the next county) and about 5 big snowflakes. I’m a little worried about summer, but regardless of how I feel about the weather or lack thereof, warmer weather is right around the corner and we’ve got lots of spring chores. In addition to our yearly spring chores, we have several big projects planned. You’d think after living in the country my entire life I’d automatically remember what needs to be done each year. But, invariably there is always something that slips through the cracks and later I think why didn’t I remember that! This year, I decided to write down a few necessary spring chores and while they might seem mundane, they’re very important to keeping our home organized – well as organized as possible – the rest of the year.
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Spring is a good time to inspect your home and fix any issues that may have come up during winter. It’s also a good time to walk the exterior of your home and make sure there’s no mouse sized holes. We have heat tape on our pipes under the house as an extra security measure against freezing in the winter, so we always make sure and unplug that too. One of our big home maintenance chores this year is refinishing our deck. We got the carpet up last fall (yup you heard me – someone before us put carpet on the deck) but didn’t get to re-finish it before it got to cold.
Since we usually run our stove into late May we usually clean it after May. Spring it’s also a good time to evaluate your wood stores. Did you cut to little? Did you run short on oak but ended up long on pine? Take a few notes now before you head up to the woods to start cutting for next year.
Spring is the time to clean out those coops and pens. It’s also a good time to evaluate your animal situation. Did you lose some hens over the winter? Are you planning to add another type of animal to your homestead? If so, are you prepared for them? This year we will be getting meat chickens and so we are planning on adding a separate chicken coop and run for them.
This is one that goes almost without saying, as I think by the time spring gets here we’re ALWAYS ready to get out in the garden. Spring is a good time to look at any successes and failures from the year before – especially before you go planting willy-nilly. It’s also a good time to go through your garden tools and make necessary repairs. And if you’re like us, you move your whole garden! Moving your garden is always easier in the fall, but sometimes things come up and it just doesn’t happen. If you are moving or starting a new garden this spring, Danielle over at The Rustic Elk has some great tips for prepping those beds! I also highly recommend the book Weedless Gardening by Lee Reich. I picked up a copy a while back and it is full of a lot of useful information.
Plant fruit trees and shrubs
Early spring is one of the best times to plant those fruit trees and shrubs. To give them the best start, make sure you do it after the ground thaws but before it gets to hot.
Check Your Food Supply:
Early to mid spring is a great time to take a look at your food stores. Did you can enough green beans? Go a little over board on peaches? How’s your meat situation looking? Make notes, then plan accordingly. We decided to raise meat birds this year because we are highly doubtful either of us will draw a mule deer tag. Over the past few years the population has declined a little so tags are harder to draw successfully. We also don’t rely on harvesting 2 elk every year. The past couple years we’ve supplemented with a hog each year but there’s only so much pork and wild game you can eat before you get a little burnt out.
After you’ve evaluated your pantry, get those seeds started. You should have a pretty good idea on what you’re going to need to plant more of and you may not need to plant at all. Are you gonna plant something new? A little research beforehand prevents wasted time money and resources later. Starting seeds is a simple process and contrary to popular belief you don’t need fancy supplies or to invest a lot of money to start seeds indoors. If you’d like to start seeds this year but don’t have the extra money to spend on grow lights and heating mats, Angi from A Return to Simplicity created this fantastic guide.
The last of our big spring projects includes moving a shed and the new meat bird pen to our property. What are your must do spring chores? Do you have any big plans for this spring?