There’s always a lot to do around the homestead, no matter what time of year. Whether you're preparing for winter, getting ready for planting season, or just trying to keep things running smoothly, seasonal checklists for the homestead can be a big help.
Here are a few chores to remember throughout each season on the homestead.
Note: I’ll be updating these homestead checklists regularly.
So if you have ideas to add, let me know via your favorite social media platform. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube!
Winter Homestead List
As winter sets in, it's important to prepare your own homestead for the colder months. Here are a few items to add to your Winter Homestead To-Do List.
- Winterize your vehicles and keep emergency supplies in the vehicle in case of a breakdown.
- Check your home, barn, and outbuildings’ insulation. You want to keep warm air in and cold air out. We add plastic to our windows and make homemade draft stoppers for the bottoms of our exterior doors.
- Seal up any cracks or gaps around doors and windows to prevent drafts.
- Check your chimney and vents to ensure they're clear and in good working order.
- Stock herbal remedies and supplies in case you or someone in your family gets sick.
- Prepare for power outages by stocking up on candles, flashlights, and batteries.
- Have plenty of food and water on hand in case you're snowed in for a few days…or weeks.
- Stock up on feed for livestock.
- Learn how to make your own chicken feed.
- Set your garden goals for next year.
- Plan your garden for the year and shop for seeds (or save your seeds) so you're ready for planting season.
- Try one of these 10 new free garden planners.
- Figure out how much to plant to feed your family in the spring.
- Sharpen tools and make any necessary repairs, so you're ready for spring.
- Read canning and preserving books, off grid living books, simple living books, and homesteading books. This will help you to sharpen your self-reliance skills while you're staying warm inside.
- Learn a new bushcraft skill this winter.
- Start seedlings and/or grow vegetables indoors to have plant starts ready in the spring.
- Do a pantry challenge to use up the food you preserved last summer. This is also a great way to save money and improve your financial self-reliance.
- Catch up on your favorite homestead blogs.
Spring Checklist for the Homestead
When the snow starts melting and the days get longer, it's time to start thinking about springtime chores on the homestead. Here are the basics to include in your spring homestead checklists.
- When all danger of frost has passed, plant your garden. For average last frost dates in your planting zone, visit Almanac.com
- Or you can do what we do and start your garden season early with a cold frame garden.
- Clean out chicken coops and change the bedding to prevent disease.
- Plan any new DIY chicken coops or other buildings for your homestead animals like turkeys, goats, rabbits, or quail.
- Order new cold-hardy chicks. Get a combination of meat birds and layers. We’ve had good luck with Western Rustics, Barred Rocks, and White Lomans up here.
- Check fences and gates to make sure they're in good repair.
- Turn compost piles to speed up the decomposition process
- Inspect the roof for any leaks or damage.
- Start the homestead projects you planned in the winter.
- Prepare the soil in your garden beds and start planting. Get started on that permaculture design you were dreaming about in the winter!
- Begin spring cleaning inside the house and getting rid of any clutter.
- Gather supplies you need for birthing and caring for baby animals.
- Set up a rain barrel to collect water for watering your kitchen garden.
- Assess any winter damage from snow and ice.
Summer Homestead Checklist
As the weather gets warmer and the bugs arrive (lol), it's time to start thinking about summertime chores on the homestead.
Get started with these ones.
- Keep an eye on the weather and be prepared for storms and fires. As of April 2021, the fire department no longer services our area. That means we must be fire-smart indoors and outdoors at our off grid homestead.
- Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
- Create a daily/weekly gardening routine. Get your kids gardening too. That way, you’ll enjoy fresh produce all summer long.
- Enjoy the warm weather and spend time together outdoors!
- Give animals extra water and shade as the temperatures start to rise.
- Tackle building projects and home repairs while the weather is good.
- Start canning or preserving any extra produce from your garden.
- Build or repair your root cellar. Don’t have one? Learn how to store vegetables without a root cellar.
- Continue composting to create nutrient-rich soil for your garden.
- Do any pest control measures needed to keep your home and garden free of pests.
- Sell any extra produce from your garden at a farmer's market or roadside stand to make extra money from your homestead.
- Trade supplies or produce with other homesteaders to get what you need.
Fall Checklist for the Homestead
When the weather cools down, and the leaves start to change color, it's time to start thinking about preparing for winter.
Here’s what we start doing in the fall.
- Gather firewood, or buy it. Make sure you have enough to last the winter. Fun fact! We use 10 cords of firewood each winter to heat our home.
- Store any gardening tools and supplies that you won't need until spring.
- Clean out gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams from forming.
- Get your furnace, boiler, generator, or wood-burning cook stove serviced. Fill up your fuel tanks.
- Insulate pipes and exposed plumbing to prevent freezing.
- Check the roof for leaks or damage that needs to be repaired before winter weather sets in.
- Turn extra produce from your garden into preserves so you can enjoy it all winter long. You could also try dehydrating it or even get started pickling.
- Till the garden and add compost or other amendments to prepare for next year's planting.
- Collect seeds from your favorite plants to save for next year.
- Butcher any animals that you won't be able to keep over the winter. Learn how to butcher chickens. Or learn how to process meat rabbits.
- Insulate and repair your chicken coop to keep your flock warm and dry.
Seasons may change, but there's always something to do on the homestead.
With a little planning and preparation, you can make sure your homestead is ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way.
To help you remember everything, add these tasks to your calendar to track what needs to be done each season.