It’s about that time of year when the cold weather starts to creep into our lives. We may have just finished harvesting all of the vegetables from our garden, but now it is time to start thinking about getting your homestead ready for winter. This can be a daunting task if you are not prepared in advance. Here are some simple tips on how to get your homestead prepared for winter, so you don’t have any surprises come January.
1) Mulch All Your Garden Beds:
You most likely have some perennials in your garden, and these need mulching, as well as general weeds and grasses around them, cleared out before they go dormant for the season. Get a perfect layer of your mulching material on all of your beds and keep the weeds at bay when spring comes back, giving you time to plant without much hassle.
2) Get Your Compost Piles In Order:
If you’ve been composting all year long, then your compost piles are probably built up by now. It’s a great idea to get things in order this time of year before it gets too cold to get in there and move items around. Get your piles built up the right way, making sure you have the proper mix of carbon and nitrogen in the stack to get things cooking.
3) Check Animals Housing:
This is an excellent time to check all of your animal’s housing to ensure that everything is in order. Make sure there are no leaks, and their water sources aren’t frozen. If you have horses, check your fencing and stalls for wear and tear or other needed repairs before the first snowfall hits.
4) Fix Irrigation And Drain Water Lines:
Get all of your irrigation and water lines cleaned up and working for those cold winter nights when you want to sit inside with a nice warm cup of tea. Also, if you have any drainage issues around your garden, make sure to get them fixed as well.
5) Clean Up Your Perennials:
Any perennials that will not be kept over the winter should be cleared out. You can make them into some lovely compost for next year or give it to a friend who would appreciate the free compost.
6) Fix What Bothered You On Your Homestead:
This is your chance to get all of those little things that have been bugging you on your homestead fixed. Whether it’s improving your irrigation lines or getting your fences in order, now is the time to do it, so you are ready for next year.
7) Improve Your Workflows On The Farm:
Take a step back and look at all of your success on your farm with an eye for improvement. Think about what works well and what could be tweaked just a bit to make it work better. This will help you have a more streamlined homestead come next planting season.
8) Fix Fencing:
You wouldn’t leave your house unlocked all year round, so why would you leave your fences open? Ensure to take care of any fence issues that could arise if they are not already taken care of.
Check out how we use pallet fencing here.
9) Winter Homesteading Activities And Crafts:
This is an excellent time of year to craft and build, as the weather outside can be pretty nasty. Check out this article here for inspiration.
10) Split And Stack Your Firewood:
For Next Year: If you have been slowly building up wood for the winter, now is a great time to get it split and stacked so you can easily access it next year. This may seem like an easy task at first, but getting wood split when it’s freezing out isn’t much fun…trust me!
11) Make Your Homesteading To-Do List:
Once you have everything in order, it’s a good idea to make a list of all the things you need to do when winter is over. These would be things like getting air conditioners out, checking the lawnmower, etc. Then sit back and relax, knowing that when spring rolls around, you are all set for your next planting season!
12) Think About New Projects And Plans For Next Year:
Take some time to think about what you would like to improve on your homestead next year even if you cannot implement all of the changes; just thinking about what could be improved sets you up for success the following year!
13) Check animal waters:
Check your animal’s water sources and make sure they are in working condition. This means if you use electric water buckets plug them in to make sure they are still working. If any buckets made you frustrated last year, go ahead and buy ones you know will make barn chores easier, especially in the dead of winter.
14) Clean out your animals housing:
This may be an excellent time to give the barn and shed a good cleaning. Even if you don’t do this in the fall, now is a great time to get started. If you follow the deep cleaning method, it’s good to start fresh and let it build up all winter.
As much as I love my shavings in the summer and fall because of the light clean-up, I know the deep litter method works the best in our barn. It’s just not fun to clean up come spring.
15) Prepare for power outages:
This includes keeping extra food in the freezer, an emergency kit, and stocking up on candles! If you have a generator, make sure you can access it and know how to use it! ( Yes, I’m sharing from experience!)
16) Check your pantry:
Make sure you have plenty of grains, rice, beans, oatmeal, etc. You never know when the power could go out. It’s always best to be over-prepared than under-prepared. If you are a canner, make sure you have tomato paste on hand!
More Tips for Mela Planning:
- This Week’s $60 Grocery Trip & Meal Menu
- 50 Cheap Frugal Snack Ideas for Your Family
- Top 20 Easy Recipes for Moms on a Budget
- How to Make Tomato Sauce Without Peeling the Tomatoes
- My Weekly Grocery Shopping Trip- Snacks this week
17) Stock up on Feed & Hay for Animals:
This is a great time to stock up on the feed, hay, and any other animal supplies you may need for the winter. Before we had to have hay in winter, stocking up on animal feed wasn’t a big deal. However, if you don’t find hay before winter you may have to pay a lot more at a feed store or not find any.
Check out how to cut back on hay expenses here.
18) Trim Hooves:
This is the time to give everyone a trim. We will trim our pig and goat hooves right before winter. Then again in the spring.
19) Overall Health Check on animals:
This is the time to give your animals a once over. We worm our animals in the fall and spring. For our goats, this means time to prepare for the kidding season. Of course, we do everything ourselves on the homestead, but this would be a good time for a once-a-year health check if you have a vet.
20) Enjoy The New Things You Have Done On Your Homestead
Finally, take some time to sit back and enjoy all of the hard work you have put in over the past few weeks. It is a rewarding feeling knowing you can relax and let your homestead run on autopilot for a bit!
If you follow these 20 steps over the winter months, come springtime, your homestead will be ready to go, and you won’t have any vast issues popping up when you are prepared to start planting your crops. Instead, your homestead will function like a well-oiled machine and be more productive than ever! Okay, well, we know things never go 100% smooth on the homestead, but it will be a little easier.
Now it’s your turn; what does your winter look like? What tips do you have for getting things in order on the homestead for winter? Let us know in the comments below!