Spring is officially here! If you’re like me, you’re itching to fire up your machinery, haul out your hand tools, and get started on another year of farm projects once spring weather takes hold.
In celebration of spring—and to excite you with all the possibilities of the new season—here are 10 tips and ideas to help you get the most productivity out of the season.
1. Stay flexible.
Spring weather can be unpredictable. One day can be warm and sunny, and the next can bring an ice storm. Staying flexible and tackling whichever projects agree with the weather is a good way to get a lot done.
2. Scout your farm as soon as the snow leaves.
At the end of winter, before trees leaf out and grass starts growing, it’s easy to see the lay of the land and find areas that need attention. The rocks in that overgrown, grassy field will be more apparent. You’ll be able to see deeper into forestland and take stock of your trees.
There’s a lot of value to be gained from scouting your farm during the short transition between winter and spring.
3. Try to avoid rutting the ground.
You might be thinking, the ground is probably maybe sort of dry enough to move heavy farm machines around. Except if the ground isn’t dry, you risk creating ruts, which can increase erosion and make fieldwork difficult. Worse, you can get machines stuck.
If you absolutely have to work in wet weather, follow these tips to reduce the likelihood of rutting the ground.
4. Get your farm equipment ready.
It’s wise to tackle machinery maintenance in late winter or early spring, before equipment is needed for time-sensitive projects. There are many steps to properly prepare an ATV or UTV for another year of work. The same goes for your tractor(s).
5. Keep your tractor busy.
Once the ground is dry and you’ve tackled spring machinery maintenance, put your tractor to good use on spring projects like adding compost to garden beds and cleaning up tree branches blown down during winter storms. It’s best to get these projects out of the way early.
6. Consider painting farm buildings.
Spring is the perfect time to examine farm buildings and determine if they need new paint. Paint seals out moisture and blocks ultraviolet rays, helping wooden buildings last longer. Spring (and summer) are good times of year to paint, so aim to get an early start on your painting game plan.
Read more: Does your farm need a fresh coat of paint?
7. Plan on pruning fruit trees, shrubs & more.
You might know that spring is the ideal time of year to prune fruit trees. But did you know many other plants and trees are suited to spring pruning as well? Make some time to give your plants the pruning attention they need.
8. Tackle fence repairs.
Depending on the severity of the winters you experience, you may find that your farm fencing comes out of winter a little worse for wear. Walk your fence lines first thing in the spring and make any necessary repairs.
9. Prepare row covers for spring plantings.
Row covers protect garden plants from cold weather and extend your growing season. If you have row covers ready for use first thing in the spring, you can plant your garden early and enjoy harvests sooner. So what are you waiting for? Get those row covers ready!
10. Build birdhouses
Spring doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Carve out some time for the enjoyable task of building birdhouses. The local birds will thank you.