Spring is coming – and it’s often a homesteader’s favorite (and busiest) season. With garden planning and planting, cleaning up fields and orchards, gathering firewood to cure for the summer, spring cleaning – the list goes on and on!
However, the work is far more pleasant with the sun on your back as you toss off the doldrums of winter and embrace the busy seasons ahead.
Because spring is so busy, I do find myself wondering if I’m missing any tasks and I know I’ve often done things late because I forget.
For this reason, I have a pretty comprehensive homestead checklist that I use to make sure everything is done in a timely manner.
Here is what we do around the homestead in the spring:
- Plan your garden: What seeds will you need to plant? What perennials do you need to be sure to make room for?
- Order seeds: I made this video to help determine how much you need to plant based on your fresh eating, preserving, and sharing desires.
- Clean out your planting containers: Although we rarely use it, we put a little bit of bleach in a tub of water and soak our seed starting trays and tools to make sure we start the new season without any bugs or bacteria. We dry them in the warm sunshine before putting them all away.
- Inspect garden tools: We look over all of the garden tools to see what needs to be replaced or fixed before they cause an issue.
- Add mulch and compost to garden
- Deep clean greenhouse: We make sure the greenhouse is also clean and ready for new plants, but we don’t use bleach in there.
- Weed and clean out garden beds: Be sure to watch for perennials that have not come up yet! One year my husband helped me weed my garden and he pulled up all of my perennial leeks! OOPS!
- Start seeds indoors & outdoors based on your zone. We have a handy planting chart for folks in zones 2-4, but they can be found online for any zone with a simple google search. Here is ours: https://commongroundalaska.com/free-alaska-seed-starting-timeline-guide/
- Check fences
- Make sure you have ample seed for new fields
- Replace faulty gate parts
- Check and prep beehives
- Check field for holes
- Prep and inspect irrigation
- Inspect tractor and implements
- Order chicks and needed accessories
- Set up brooder and space for any babies coming to the farm
- Deep clean chicken coop
- Check all fencing
- Clean and inspect food and water containers
- Order new food and water containers as needed
- Buy feed in bulk: We prefer to have all of the feed on hand that we will need for the season since summers are so incredibly busy.
- Clean up all animal shelters and replace bedding
- Put out portable fencing and make a plan for daily/weekly movement
- Check medication stock and update as needed
- Make sure you have all supplies (bottles, nipples, formula) for baby animals
- Add lime and compost as needed
- Check for winter damage
- Prep and inspect irrigation
- Graft spring trees and bushes
- Put any remaining firewood aside and fill the woodshed with new, split wood to dry for the season.
- Once the woodshed is full for next winter, you can add the older, dry stuff to be used first in the fall.
- Put out clothesline: One of the first things we do in the spring!
- Wash windows and drapery
- Put winter gear in storage
- Deep clean bathrooms
- Scrub all floors
- Deep clean fridge (inside & out)
- Clean out cabinets
- Scrub floors & cabinet fronts
- Clean windows
- Check spices for expiration & replace
- Organize canning pantry and move oldest items to the front
- Clean out freezer and put oldest items on top to use soon
- Separate scobies and kefir grains and share!
- Analyze what you used so you know what is needed for this year
- Finalize books for 2023
- Gather and sort receipts for taxes
- FILE TAXES! (Don’t forget)
- Create a summer budget for garden expansions, new outbuildings, etc. (Be sure to include some fun in the budget, too!)
- Clean trash cans
- Go through old clothes and toys to see what can be donated
- Clean cars inside and out
- Freshen the porches
There’s just something about spring cleaning and summer prep that feels so productive and it sure sets us in the mindset for the wonderful days of summer!
One more tip: I like to make many of these chores a family event, and we make them as fun as possible! For instance, when my daughter cleans out the car, I then take her on a road trip for ice cream!
Hope this all is helpful for you! What would you add to the list?
Download a printable homestead checklist here: