5 Tools You Need For The Spring Thaw

When spring is just around the corner, you'll want to have a few tools and other items on hand to carry you through the wet "spring thaw."

by J. Keeler Johnson
PHOTO: Daniel Johnson

At long last, spring is coming! Because many farming activities shut down during the winter, it’s always exciting when spring thaw arrives and snow starts melting—you know that your favorite farming projects are just around the corner!

Unfortunately, the spring thaw doesn’t come without a price, and that price is mud. You can’t lose a blanket of snow without creating a lot of water, and this water loves nothing better than to gather in low spots and create mud—lots of mud.

If you’re expecting warm temperatures and thawing ground in the near future, you’ll want to be prepared to handle the situation. At the same time, you’ll also want to get ready for that moment when all the snow and mud goes away and you’re ready to resume your farming projects. Here are some tools, supplies, and other items that you might want to have on hand.

1. Ice Scraper

While it would be nice if snow could melt in a single day and speedily usher in spring, this is rarely the case. Instead, snow has a tendency to melt during the day and then freeze hard at night. An ice scraper will be useful for breaking up icy patches that form in inconvenient places.

2. Yard Cart

For transporting supplies (such as hay bales or animal bedding), snow sleds work great in the winter, while wagons or carts towed by a lawn mower, tractor or ATV are perfect for the summer months. However, when the ground gets soft and muddy, neither is ideal, as snow sleds won’t slide easily and heavy machines can tear up the ground. Having a lightweight, hand-pulled yard cart can save you some wear and tear on your land.

3. Replacement Engine Parts

The wet, warm days of the spring thaw are the perfect time to do some annual maintenance on your slumbering farm machines. During the winter, check the manuals for your ATV, tractor and lawn mower, and order any parts that might need to be replaced, such as spark plugs and oil filters. This way, you’ll have them on hand when you’re ready to prepare your machines for another summer of farm projects.

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4. Gasoline & Other Fuel Supplies

When the weather is right and your machines are ready for action, don’t be caught without gasoline. Depending on the machines that you own, you might want to have a supply of both gasoline and diesel fuel, as well as special gas/oil mixtures for small engines.

5. Rubber Boots

Perhaps nothing is more essential to have on hand during the spring thaw than rubber boots! When the snow starts melting and the ground gets soggy, a good pair of rubber boots will let you splash through muddy patches and wet grass without getting your shoes soaked—which isn’t very fun, believe me!

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