While Punxutawney Phil may have declared an early spring, many of us are still in the thick of winter.
Here in Franklin, Tennessee, we’ve had a long, grey winter, and I’m sure our northern friends can agree that you are SO ready for the arrival of sunshine, warmth, and springtime blooms.
While the spring growing season is not quite here, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the next few weeks to begin prepping your homestead for the spring season.
Here are 9 tips for preparing your farm or homestead for spring—that you can begin doing today!
Prep your homestead:
Take care of general homestead maintenance.
Early spring is a great time to take care of general homestead repair. Have a fence in need of maintenance? Looking to lay a brick pathway to your shed? As the weather warms, now is the time to take care of those tasks before your to-do list becomes too full with spring planting tasks.
Spring clean your home’s interior.
Embrace the spring cleaning momentum by scheduling time to do a deep clean of your home’s interior; repurpose or donate any items you no longer use or need.
Late winter and early spring is the ideal time to take care of these time-consuming indoor tasks—once spring rolls around, you’ll want to be outside in your garden, anyways!
Prep your tools:
Get your tools and supplies in order for the spring growing season.
Clean your tools.
Clean your tools with a wire brush or steel wool to remove any residual dirt that’s been caked on them from the last growing season. Leaving old dirt on your tools raises the risk of spreading soil-borne diseases to your plants. For easier cleaning, disassemble tools that have multiple parts to them—that way you can get in every crook and cranny.
After a good wire scrubbing, time to disinfect those tools. A 30 minute soak in a cleaning cocktail of 10% bleach to 90% water should do the job. Rinse with clean water afterward.
It’s wise to establish a regular routine of cleaning and disinfecting your tools throughout the growing season; this helps keep you from inadvertently passing diseases between your plants.
Sharpen your blades.
Sharpen the blades on your shears, spades, and shovels. The National Gardening Association provides instructions for how to sharpen your blades here.
Rusted tools? Don’t throw them away! Here’s a great video showing you how to easily remove rust from your gardening tools.
Clean your shed or tool space.
If you keep these tools in a shed or other dedicated area, use this time to do some spring cleaning in this space, arranging your tools so that they’re easily found when you need them. If organizing a space is your love language, now is your time to shine!
Prep your garden:
Remove invasive plants, including weeds.
Plants like kudzu, ivy, and mint can take over your garden if you’re not careful. Trust me, I speak from experience… mint ran wild in our garden!
This goes for any weeds—get those buggers out of your garden, making sure that you remove weeds at their root to ensure they don’t grow back.
Prune berry canes.
Early spring is also the time to tip-prune your berry canes, whether that’s blackberries or raspberries. This allows the canes to grow more branches, creating a bigger berry harvest. Use sharp shears to cut back your canes to around 2 feet.
You can also use this time prune any deadwood from your berry canes.
By taking care of these garden chores now, you’ll have an easier go of it as it’s easier to pull up plants BEFORE everything starts blooming and growing. Moisture helps too, as it makes the ground softer.
These, of course, are all late winter/early spring chores—once the last frost passes through, it will be time to prep your soil, build your beds, and start planting!
- How to Test Your Garden Soil
- 3 Tips for Planting Spring Veggies
- Attract Pollinators to Your Garden with these 12 Common Plants for Bee Foraging
Prep with a full day of learning:
Learn the ins-and-outs of homestead living at our spring Sustainable Farm Conference.
We invite you to join us at Stoney Creek Farm on Saturday, March 28, 2020 for our spring Sustainable Farm Conference.
Our conference is a jam-packed day of hands-on learning and networking with other folks who are pursuing a sustainable lifestyle just like you.
After attending this conference, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to pursue your sustainable living dreams. Whether you’re looking to rely on your farm for income or want to learn how to live more sustainably, this conference is for you.
I invite you to read Christina’s powerful story after attending our conference.