We blog on homesteading, farm life and all that is necessary to live a self sustaining lifestyle on a small diversfied farm. Many new homesteaders struggle with all the cycles and to dos each season brings. And, many new farmers/homesteaders soon realize that due to lack of preparation in January and February, March through June comes way too fast and then summer basically sweeps you away in the torrent of to dos that is too long to successfully accomplish.
So, bottom line with homesteading right is to be cognizent of each season and what you do in EACH MONTH to prepare for the season ahead. If you do NOT do this correctly, everything else is basically a set of cascading failures. One of the primary lessons old timers understood that modern society has forgotten, is the intrinsic connection between human and season/to dos and weather. Truth!
This blog today is one to help you step through what to get done in January and February so you are adaquately prepared for March through June and therefore effectively prepared for the amazing growing season of June through September.
First, here are what we have been doing in January and February.
- We installed solar power on our outbuildings to make all our barns truly off the grid for both power and water
- We hatched out 37 chicks in our sportsman incubator in January that are growing very well in our garage
- We have started about 3 dozen different garden starts under our grow lights and heat lamps
- We gave prepared the garden which is now ready to accept the earliest of early garden plants such as onions, greens, peas, etc.
- We have stripped all the animal pens and have been turning our manure/compost pile all winter to get ready to spread it on our pastures before we seed our fields later this spring
- We are ready with our medical kit ready for all the birthing soon to take place on the farm later this month and the beginning of next for baby goats known as kids and also lambs
Here are the other items you want to have accomplished in January and February
- In January in the lower half of the US, you plant your bulbs and also apply lime sulfur spray to the rose bushes
- In February you can start your onion sets, english peas, spinach and irish potatoes outside
- You will want to add 1 to 1.5 pounds of 6-12-12 or 10-10-10 fertilizer into 100 square feet of soil before planting, or in our case, add our composted manure
- At the end of the month you can plant trees
- Set up your cold frames to harden off cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts
- If lawn Ph is below 6.0 then spread lime on the lawn
- Prune roses
- Fertilize bulbs as soon as 1 inch of green shoot has risen, using 8-8-8 granular fertilizer
- Fertlize rose bushes
- Pull out wild onions and wild garlic in your lawn that is showing up at this time
- In March you can plant carrots, peas – english or snap, radishes, spinach and turnips outside
- Set out transplants of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and onions
- Plant 2 year old asparagus roots
- Sow borage, caraway, cilantro, leaf lettuce and mustard 2-3 weeks before last frost
For us we are anxiously awaiting all our babies that will arrive over the coming weeks that keeps our spirits lifted as we await such a busy spring, yet are at the same time, prepared in advance.
Here are some photos to show you our progress:
I hope you have a wonderful time starting your spring journey now. We encourage everyone, even those in the cities, to get back to the land and closer to nature by growing some of your own food. This can even be done in apartments and on balconies.
Have a great week and God Bless! L. Davis