So many of us are working our way toward a more self-sufficient lifestyle. With that in mind we wanted to share some general guidelines of what to plan for on a monthly basis. Whether you’re a gardener, a beekeeper, a forager, or you keep animals, hopefully our monthly guides will help you plan ahead for the month. Depending on your exact climate you may find you need to adjust your schedule plus or minus two weeks or more.
- Skip trimming shrubbery if you notice any nesting. Let those birds have some solitude!
- Plant annuals if you’re safe from frosts and trim back perennials if needed in warmer zones. Better yet, plant NATIVES!
- Continue to transplant tomatoes, peppers, cucurbits and other warm weather crops.
- Tidy up bulb foliage if it begins to die back.
- Allow columbine, foxgloves, and other self-seeders to go to seed and collect some for next year.
- Trim back blooms on roses and day lilies to promote re-blooming.
- Keep shears and trimmers clean and available for deadheading and pruning. Use rubbing alcohol to sterilize and linseed oil to grease joints/keep from rusting.
- Give your (cold) compost a good turn, and start turning it at least once every two weeks to keep it active.
- Set up and clean bird baths.
- Clean Patio Furniture with baking soda and water or castille soap.
- Clean grill.
- Repair/purchase water hoses and fixtures. If appropriate, make sure water barrel systems are in good repair and have no algae buildup.
- Make sure gutters are draining properly by watching them during a heavy rain. If there’s any overflow or tipping, you may need to have them cleaned or repaired.
- If needed, have your air conditioner checked. Clean any debris and trim back plants to allow maximum airflow.
- Start clearing paths to wild berries and keep them accessible until harvests are done.
- Consider weaning goats and sheep if necessary.
- It may not be to late to purchase chicks and other fowl from your local farmers co-op.
- Watch for hummingbirds to return. Be prepared with clean feeders and simple syrup (four parts water to one part sugar).
- Bees – make sure you can locate queens and that they are laying. Check for foul brood, varroa mites, and hive beetles. Is your honey coming in yet? Do you need to feed your bees? Watch for swarming.
- Look into stocking your ponds with fish now that the cold weather is gone.
- Change air filters and adjust thermostat a few degrees to save on electricity.
- Clean ceiling fan blades and shades.
- Invest in a good window/box fan.
- If you don’t already have one, prepare an emergency kit with 3 days worth of supplies and locate your safe place for severe weather.
- Locate and organize your picnic gear – get out there and enjoy the beautiful Spring weather at a moment’s notice!
- Keep an eye on our blog for ideas for REAL spring cleaning advice and cleaning recipes.
- It may not be too late in the season to find a local CSA or raw milk share if it’s legal in your state.
- If you haven’t already done so, start planning those summer vacations or projects!
- Thinking farther into the future? Start stocking up on canning jars, lids, and baskets for holiday gifts.
What projects do you have lined up for this month?