And honestly, he's right for us. We don't have anything growing right now, and the weather will get worse as winter comes and hopefully goes, so our main concern is to keep our animals warm and fed. But during our winter season, I will be doing some things to get us ready for Spring! Can you believe I'm already thinking about Spring? I can't wait! I'm patiently waiting for my first seed catalog, catching up on some homestead reading, and planning out our gardens for next year!
Here's what I'll be doing:
- Animals - Of course, our animals are our #1 concern. They need fresh (thawed) water at all times, a warm place to stay out of the weather, and food. For our girls that free range, we'll have to supply more feed, because fresh greens and insects will be scarce during this time. You can read here about how we prepared for the upcoming winter with our chickens and rabbits.
- Garden - I planned to prepare a fall garden, but those plans fell through as my life just got too busy to get it done. I was able to plant some garlic in our raised bed, and that's exciting, but nothing else. So for our bigger garden, Aaron planted some winter wheat as a cover crop. Cover crops are grown to build up the soil, suppress any weeds that may grow, and to help control pests and diseases. The wheat will continue to grow until it gets too cold, go dormant, and then will be disc into our soil for the Spring.
- Garden Tools/Supplies - This one is a no brainer, but I still wanted to point it out. Sometimes we get bad about leaving a tool outside propped beside the house and completely forget about it. When the garden is done, we go around and collect all the tools and supplies that need to be stored. We currently don't have a garage or shed to keep our things in, so everything goes in our basement. We collect all the tomato cages, hoops, and plastic and make sure they're in good working order for next season. If something needs to be fixed, we'll try to remember to fix it then before storing it away. It's a bummer to get it out for next season to find it's broke, needs fixed, and take more time during planting season to fix it then. For our tools, we make sure that everything is cleaned off, rust-free, and sharp if that's needed for that tool.
- Seed Storage - Whenever we purchase seeds, we typically don't use them all. I try to keep them from year to year. We store ours in Ziploc bags in fridge. I write the date we purchased the seeds on the outside packet so I'll know how old they are. The most important thing I've read is that you want to keep your seeds dry and cool to let them have a better chance at germinating from year to year.
- Planning - Thinking, planning, daydreaming about my garden is just about an everyday thing! I'm working on changing some things around in our garden for next year and possibly growing some new vegetables. I would recommend that you try to stay as organized as you can when planning your garden. It helps when working from year to year. You can read an older post I have here about planting your garden.
Most of the putting away has already been done for this winter, and we're just hunkering down counting the days until Spring. I plan on reading some more topics about different things we can do around our farm, daydreaming about all the fruits/vegetables that I want to grow, and planning my gardens for next year. What are some of the things you'll be doing for upkeep during the winter?