Spring is the second busiest time of year at 15 Acre Homestead. It is when all the maintenance projects happen. Completing my annual spring homestead chores allow the rest of my homesteading year to run more smoothly and efficiently.
It is a time when all the repairs that need to be done are accomplished. All of the maintenance issues get addressed. I take the time to do all of the things that I just can’t squeeze in during the rest of the year.
Fortunately for us, living in central Florida, our spring season starts about the middle of February and goes through the end of April. We do plant during this time, but we do not do a large amount of gardening until about August. This allows us almost 3 full months to do what needs to be done.
I have compiled a list of my annual spring homestead chores on my homestead. Many of these are general tasks that could very easily serve as reminders for projects you may need to accomplish also.
My Annual Spring Homestead Chores
Chicken Coop Overhaul
One of the first projects I take on is a complete overhaul of the chicken coop and run. The duck pen falls in here to.
I replace all the bedding, check the walls and roof for damage or any areas needing maintenance. All of the nesting boxes get a thorough scrubbing and replaced if needed. The cobwebs get swept away along with any yucky spiders too! I will repaint the exterior if needed, at this time also.
Once the inside is spiffy I rake out the run. If the ground in the run is completely compacted and hard, we tend to take the tiller inside and turn the ground just once. This is loved by the chickens because they can pick at the loose ground for bugs and other creepy crawlies.
The ducks are much easier as their house is much smaller! One quick clean, a good scrubbing of their small pond and water dish, and they are pretty much good to go.
The next areas I routinely check are animal pens. They may be pig pens, goat pens, or rabbit hutches depending on what animals we have at the time. We currently have 5 pens of pigs and one pen of sheep, so they get done now.
I go through each pen and make sure they are clean. I also check any fencing, electric wiring, and gates for possible issues. This is when I may paint, or seal wood, or repair latches and locks also. Depending on the animals in the pen, holes may need to be filled in, or feeders and waterers may need to be replaced also. We seem to do a lot of replacing and often in our pig pens!
The manure in the pig pens gets shoveled out pretty much weekly so their pens are fairly easy this time of year.
I make a list of any changes I need to make or additions I need to add to my planner. Things I list are things like new fencing or hog panels needed, pipes that need replacing because of leaks or trees that need to be trimmed up above the pens. Later, I will assign these new projects a due date so they can be planned for. This fits in with my overall homestead plan for the year.
Buildings and Structures
This involves checking the sheds, potting areas, greenhouses, carports and other building or structures that we have on the homestead. We also keep up with my moms home and a guest house that we currently use as a store/storage/ workshop.
I check for leaking or damaged roofs and/or windows and whether the structure needs pressure washed or painted. I include any bat houses and bird feeders in this category also. Even the gardening surrounding the structures are checked for weeds, damage, and the like. The things I can fix and accomplish immediately gets done right then.
As with the previous tasks, I will add any notes of things that I would like to add or change to my projects list for the upcoming weeks. I also plan out any major things like having to seal a leaking roof to my planner so they are scheduled and not forgotten later.
Maintenance on the house may include cleaning gutters and downspouts, replacing porch boards, cleaning exterior windows and doors and checking the screens, pressure washing, painting, and any small repairs that need to be done immediately. I try to keep up with the exterior of the house by looking for signs of dampness and wear.
The air conditioning is checked as well as the hot water tank, and the filter on my refrigerator’s ice maker is replaced. I also do a safety check on my gas stove and gas line. All major appliances get their check.
Any major projects are added to my project list for later. And again, the simple stuff we do immediately! Outta sight outta mind.
General Property Maintenance
When inspecting the property I make sure all the barbed wire and wire strand fencing is tight and undamaged. I check all the turnbuckles and any electric fencing at this time for needed repairs. I also check any gates to make sure they are swinging properly and freely. Usually, because of the Florida summer sun, the gates get painted at this time of year.
Any low hanging branches and dead limbs are removed from the trees. Hurricane season comes fast here and damaged and dead limbs can be pretty destructive here. There are usually a lot of bonfires that happen in the spring on the homestead.
All of the dusk to dawn lights and solar lights are also checked for burned out bulbs and replaced as needed.
Garden and Potting Areas
Spring is when the first fertilizing of the year happens. It is also when I propagate many new plants. I add compost and other goodies to my future garden beds, lay plastic over beds as needed, and weed and mulch my flower gardens.
My herb garden and my kitchen garden are really the only two gardens in full swing this time of the year so a lot of attention is paid to their upkeep during the spring. I add new herbs, cut and preserve the existing herbs, and grow veggies like tomatoes, lettuce, radishes, peppers, and carrots during this time.
I also reorganize and clean my greenhouse at this time along with making necessary repairs.
Equipment and Tools
Spring seems like the best time for me to overhaul all the tools and equipment on the homestead. This is one of the most important annual spring maintenance chores here on the homestead.
During this time I have all the gardening tools cleaned and sharpened, replace any old fuel in the mowers, weed-eaters, chainsaws and other power equipment, check all belts and spark plugs, and check any hand tools like shovels and spades for repairs needed.
This is also when we overhaul the larger equipment like the zero-turn. We also make sure all the generators are in running order before hurricane season. There is nothing worse than losing power and the generator doesn’t start! Been there, trust me.
I also make sure from this point on that all the gas cans are filled, and the 2 cycle oil is on hand for the yard equipment. I have an ongoing “to buy” list. On it I list things like new hose sprayers, 2 cycle oil, and whatnots that I see we are gonna need soon before the busy season in fall starts.
Seasonal and Business Planning
This is the most important task of my annual spring homestead chores. It involves planning for not only the growing season but for my business as well. This is when I plan my late summer and fall gardens and make my seed order list. I also plan any new beds that need to be prepared. The big projects also get planned at this time. The big projects are usually the ideas I came across when I did the walkthroughs I mentioned above.
Most of my business planning also happens during the spring season. I plan any new products I want to launch. And I plan any future events that I would like to host in the upcoming months. Anything to do with the homestead business basically gets planned in the Spring.
A Better Prepared Future
Even though my annual spring homestead chores seem like a lot of work, the effort is well worth it. With all the maintenance that is taken care of in the spring, it lessens the burden of unexpected maintenance problems throughout the rest of the year. I can enter the summer season prepared, and I can concentrate on planting which takes most of my time during the summer.
This maintenance session we can call it means there are no surprise water leaks in the sheds, no running out of gas in the equipment. Any damage becomes repaired before it becomes major and costs a lot more. Homesteading is stressful. It is the nature of the lifestyle. But by doing these routine tasks and staying on top of those spring chores you can eliminate a lot of stress down the road.
Take some time to write out an annual spring homestead chore list that works for you. You can make it in the form of a checklist or just a written list in a planner. Keep notes as you perform each chore as to what other tasks or chores may need to be done on future dates. You will be better prepared to go into the next season, you will feel less stressed, and it should make your homestead journey that much more rewarding. Also, make sure to keep up with yearly maintenance on your homestead too!
Do you plan annually or by season? What tasks do you include? Please share your comments in the box below.
Related Links: How I Plan my Homestead Goals