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Homesteading To Do Lists (Month-to-Month)

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Want to learn how to homestead?how to grow food for your family

Homesteading keeps you busy & there are many season tasks

Homesteading will mean something different depending on where you live. It also changes whether or not you keep animals, want to preserve a little or a lot or the size of your homestead. The homestead garden is growing enough to preserve. This can be done with a small urban homestead, or a large carefully designed farm plan.

This post is what our homesteading looks like in a given season.Homestead record keeping

When growing food or homesteading it helps to set monthly goals and write lists of tasks that need to be done.

When you know what your goals are you can create your own lists based from your ambitions that year. I like to create a budget for projects that we want to build that year. Often our homestead desires are bigger than reality. I use this homestead planner and tracker that I created to keep track of spending and planning.

I hope our seasonal flow can inspire you to create your monthly homestead to do lists.

Homesteading monthly to do lists

A note about these monthly homesteading to do lists

For these homesteading to do lists I don’t write everything we harvest, for example we usually have a continuous supply of greens throughout the year, but I will mention the foods that are harvested specifically for those months in our growing zone 5. I talk about the foraging of wild foods as we’re consuming more and more of them as the years go by. I also use Brassica very vaguely rather than mentioning all of them.

Our homesteading currently consists of

We do not have any other livestock as of yet so our homestead to do lists reflect that.

I hope you find this monthly homesteading to do lists useful!

Monthly homestead to do lists January

January

  • January is a great ‘take it easy’ month to rest as well read more about gardening and homesteading.
  • Lots of browsing through seed catalogs.
  • Go over your garden journal notes & see what you need to make improvements of.
  • The off-season is the perfect time for garden planning! Make your sowing, transplanting and succession sowing schedules.

Learn how you can plan your best garden here.

Family Gardening Book

  • Grow some indoor fresh sprouts or microgreens to get your gardening or fresh veggie fix.
  • If you have chickens remember to turn the deep litter bedding  (if you’re using this method).
  • Turn the compost pile or keep in indoor vermicomposting set up (worm composting is great for the cold months).
  • Enjoy home preserved goods from the previous season and remember how hard you worked to achieve this wonderful food.

I always gamble my last frost dates, do you?

Homestead to do lists February

February

  • Seed starting begins! (onions, leeks, celery, herbs with Brassicas towards the end that are going in the greenhouse/hoop tunnels in March).
  • Greenhouse prep, soil amendments or garden bed building if the snow melts .
  • Enjoy the growing daylight hours!
  • Continue with the garden planning.
  • Keep up with the deep litter method for the chicken coop.

Indoor kitchen herbs are perfect for winter restlessness

  • Grow an indoor herb garden to help with the winter blues!
  • Craft. Make art. Enjoy some of the slower time for reading and creating.
  • Sprouts!! They are the perfect nutritious winter food. You can even grow them for your chickens.
  • Ferment. This is a perfect thing to do in the winter months.
  • If the weather permits do a full clean out of the chicken coop and add fresh new bedding.

Monthly homestead to do lists March

March

  • Sow outdoors in greenhouse/hoop tunnels weather pending. Use Heavy weight row cover for frost protection + mini hoop tunnels. Transplant Brassicas, maybe peas & favas under season extenders.
  • Start more seeds inside. This month we start the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, more brassicas (collards, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kohl rabi), lettuce, green onions, cool season herbs like cilantro. If weather is looking decent enough chance an early sowing of peas by starting them inside and transplanting them. (it sounds crazy but I’ve done it before with peas & fava beans).
  • Get any new garden beds prepped or built if weather permits.
  • If no snow let the chickens free range (supervised) and stretch their legs after a long winter cooped up. Let the chickens eat some of the weeds in the garden.
  • Order and bring home baby chicks if we need any this year.

Tips before you buy baby chicks

Celebrate spring Equinox by using home canned food and any wild food

  • Do a full clean out of the chicken coop with fresh new bedding (do this in Feb is it’s warm).
  • If snow falls shovel and brush off snow from raised bed covers and greenhouse.
  • Set up mini hoop tunnels within the unheated greenhouse for early Spring transplanting (Eliot Coleman’s tunnel within a tunnel system).
  • If the end of the month is looking favourable transplant early spring crops.
  • Relieve gardening restlessness by reading more gardening books.
  • Keep an eye on indoor transplants and make sure they’re happy.
  • Stare in wonder at the new seedlings and have gratitude for being able to grow food.

Monthly homestead to do lists April

April

  • Sow cool season crops direct sow outside: carrots, parsnips, lettuce, arugula, radishes, green onions, spinach and orach, beets, turnips, swiss chard, mustard greens and bok choi.
  • Transplant kale, swiss chard, collards, broccoli, cilantro. Plant early and main-crop potatoes.
  • Look after baby chicks, adjust the old flock with the new.
  • Start transplants of peppers & tomatoes, basil.
  • Build a front garden gate & trellis over entrance. Build trellis to join up with the fence for scarlet runner beans.
  • Add more mulch to the garlic & other garden beds.

Scarlet runner beans

  • Be thankful & eat the wild free food as our spring detox greens (wild nettle, dandelions..)  Forage for: wild nettles, dandelion greens, dandelion flowers (make tempura, wine?), dandelion root, lambs quarters. Dehydrate wild nettle, dandelion roots for tea.
  • Plant new potatoes & storage potatoes.
  • Get the outdoor composting pile going again.

Mulching with clay soil

Mulching your garden helps to reduce weeds & build soil

  • Call around tree service companies and ask for wood chips to use in paths as mulch. Mulch all pathways with wood chips.
  • Suppress weeds before they grow with cardboard or garden mulch.
  • Harden off early spring crops and transplant them under protection of polytunnel or hoop houses.
  • Mid-end of the month start winter and summer squash, melons, basil and beans (the latter apparently doesn’t transplant well but I’ve never had a problem).

Monthly homestead to do lists May

May

  • Start indoors: Squash, pumpkins, melons, more basil.
  • Foraging: more nettle (dehydrate for tea, beer?), dandelions, elder flower (dehydrate), lambs quarters.
  • Do a second sowing of greens after May heat wave for June (many usually bolt by now).
  • Freeze arugula cubes. Dry lemon balm & mint for tea. Freeze cilantro cubes.
  • Direct seed rutabagas, parsnips for fall crops.
  • Add onto the chicken coop run if needed or fix fencing.
  • Fix or upkeep any outdoor homesteading buildings.

Be thankful for the sunshine and plants growing again

  • Harden off transplants.
  • Move the warm season crops mid-month or earlier with hoop tunnel or frost protection. Add compost or seasoil under each plant.
  • Transplant the remaining brassicas and add compost under each plant. Sow lettuce and radishes around brassicas as a bumper crop until plants get larger.
  • Continue succession sowing the ‘come and cut again’ greens after the May heat wave for June (many usually bolt by now).
  • Harvest early spring crops. Pull up any overwintered veggies and replace with transplants.

Enjoy spring garlic as an early harvest

Do you know your last spring frost?

  • Our last frost is May 20th although it’s often end of April. Early May I always expect a frost and have heavy weight row cover if needed.
  • Keep an eye for bolting plants and pests like cabbage worms or aphids. Constant vigilance is the best gardening technique!
  • Sow flowers for companion planting and to attract beneficial insects and bees.
  • Thin out plants so they have space to grow and use thinnings in a salad or stir fry.
  • Keep up with bi-weekly weeding.
  • Direct seed any warm season crops if not growing transplants (bean, corn etc). Only seed bolt resistant lettuce varieties.

Spring vegetables to eat in season

June

  • Direct seed carrots, beets, turnips from bolted lettuce & greens.
  • Transplant remaining warm season crops if not done in May.
  • Harvest garlic scapes. Freeze basil into pesto cubes for freezer. Pick & freeze peas on a constant basis.
  • Lots of garden harvests, eat lots of the greens that will bolt with the summer heat. Enjoy some of the first root veggies.
  • Keep sowing lettuce, radishes and arugula in shadier areas of the garden for the rainy season.
  • Start fall/winter garden transplants (more kale, cabbages, kohl rabi, broccoli).
  • Prune the tomato and pepper suckers.
  • Keep mulching the potato plants with straw and/or soil.

The best gardening practices are constant vigilance

  • Keep up with bi-weekly weeding and daily watering.
  • Replace the spring crops with summer or fall crops. Add compost before planting to keep soil nutrients available.
  • It’s important to keep boosting tomato and pepper plants every two weeks. Same with corn or heavy feeding brassicas.
  • Watch out for pests and practice organic pest management. Companion plant to attract beneficial insects. Hand pick or kill many bugs (yay for organic gardening).

There’s nothing better than fresh garden herbs & backyard eggs!

  • Be mindful and pinch off any basil flowers to increase yields. Cilantro will have bolted by now so pull up and replace with something like green onions.
  • Harvest peas every couple of days (the more you pick the more you’ll get). Pull up vines end of June or let them go to seed for dry peas.
  • Enjoy as many garden salads as you can as it will soon be too hot to grow most salad greens through the summer. See which greens you can grow during the summer. 
  • Add any bitter bolted greens/pea vines etc to the compost pile or give to the chickens.

Gorgeous edible landscaping in a permaculture organic garden

July

  • Direct seed fall broccoli, cauliflower & cabbages into the outdoor seed beds.
  • Wild foraging: BERRIES!! yea! It’s wild berry season. Freeze, make jam, make pies! Dehydrate raspberry leaves for tea.
  • Preserve zucchini and dehydrate lots of kale chips for the winter months.
  • Make jam and other fruit preserves.
  • Pick & freeze snap/string beans on a constant basis (every couple of days, the more you pick, the more you get!).
  • Harvest & dry Calendula flowers for Calendula cream.
  • Pull up pea vines if you didn’t do it in June. Plant a quick-growing fall crop like lettuce or turnips.
  • If your location has very few bees or other pollinators you might need to hand pollinate certain crops like squash or tomatoes.

This is the time of the year to watch for pests & disease

  • Transplant fall brassicas. If it’s hot or you have lots of pests grow them under a tunnel of lightweight row cover to keep out cabbage moths and provide some shade from the sun. Add compost and any soil amendments into the fall garden beds so new crops have lots of nutrients to grow.
  • Keep mulching maincrop potatoes with soil or straw. Harvest early potatoes.
  • Harvest lots and lots of veggies.  Preserve the extra harvests or share them with friends, family members or neighbours.

Any crops that are ready to harvest mid-season I plant fast growing fall crops 

  • Sow the rest of the fall root crops.
  • Harvest garlic when the tops have yellowed and have died down. Stop watering 3 weeks prior and also remove any mulch to help keep bulbs dry.
  • Amend garlic bed with compost and decomposed manure and transplant or direct seed Fall/Winter garden low tunnel crops.
  • Reduce watering at the end of the month to create heat stress for the tomato and pepper plants to encourage fruit ripening.
  • Continue to hoe and weed on a regular basis to prevent weeds!

Monthly homestead to do lists August

August

  • Transplant or direct seed fall and winter gardening crops.
  • Keep harvesting, dehydrating, canning. Freeze herbs into cubes or dehydrate.
  • Stop watering dry beans so they can dry on the plant. Harvest and shell for dry storage. Keep freezing string beans.
  • Keep an eye out for powdery mildew on squash and reduce watering.
  • Harvest & dry garden culinary, medicinal & tea herbs.
  • Direct seed lots of kale, swiss chard, lettuce, radishes, for fall garden.

Watch for crops that might need help ripening before frosts

Stop watering onions many warm season crops to ripen faster

  • Keep up with the weeding, this is the worst time of the year for it!
  • Make wild foraged Elderberry wine or plum wine. Dehydrate or freeze the berries to make elderberry syrup for cold and flu season.
  • Harvest & cure onions, garlic, some of the small squash (kuri, spaghetti, buttercup).
  • Tomato canning (tomato sauce, or yummy salsa) if they are ripe. Hot sauce with the peppers or fermentation. Make jam and other fruit preserves.
  • Eat fresh melons and other fruit.

Monthly homestead to do lists September

September

  • Direct seed fast growing fall greens after Sept heat wave (spinach, tat soi, bok choi, arugula, mache..) plus more radishes.
  • Harvest Echinacea root to make Echinacea tincture (after a frost, leave 30% to grow back).
  • Harvest all the summer & winter squash, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and any frost sensitive vegetable. If a hard frost threatens cover fall greens with heavy weight row cover.
  • Keep dehydrating greens, herbs..
  • Direct sow fall crops in the greenhouse.
  • Keep up with home canning, freezing and other food preservation.
  • Cure winter long storage squash carefully and keep aside jack o lanterns for Halloween carving.

Fall is my favorite time of the year to enjoy the bounty of the season

  • Harvest maincrop/storage potatoes.
  • Sow fall cover crops.
  • Harvest and cure winter squash.
  • Add any old vegetable vines from beans, squash etc to the compost pile.
  • Succession plant arugula, radishes and spinach mid-Sept onwards.
  • Transplant cold hardy greenhouse plants where heat loving plants were.
  • Sow cover crops mid- to end of the month.
  • Keep weeding and hoeing.

Monthly homestead to do lists October

October

  • Protect plants as needed from frost with heavy weight row covers.
  • Direct seed in cold frames.
  • Sow overwintering crops in cold frames or low tunnels.
  • Mulch the root crops. Harvest some of them to store in sand in a root cellar.
  • If a hard frost threatens cover fall greens with heavy weight row cover. If snow threatens harvest anything left in the garden that isn’t being mulched or shovel snow off the winter season extenders.

Root cellars are great for winter food storage!

Fall means harvesting & preparing next seasons beds

  • Prepare garlic bed and plant garlic. Mulch the garlic bed with leaves.
  • Sow cover crops, overwintering fava beans and amend beds as necessary.
  • Harvest rutabagas & turnips and other root veggies.
  • Cover garden beds with a healthy layer of leaves to decompose over the winter and add nutrition to the soil.
  • Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner from lots of homegrown veggies (our Thanksgiving is in Oct as we’re in Canada 🙂 )
  • Add any needed protection to the perennial plants.
  • General garden and fall clean up and tasks before the snow arrives.

November fall garden crops

November

  • Relax. Seriously. It’s been a long haul by now, and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labour on those first snow falls. Home canned fruit, tea, green bean casseroles…squash..yum
  • Make notes in a garden journal from this past gardening season, what worked, what didn’t, what needs to be improved, pests, etc
  • Keep snow off of season extenders and keep harvesting cold hardy greens from the low tunnels etc.

Kale is very cold hardy and can be grown year round

  • Harvest all the cabbages & broccoli before the first heavy snow fall. The kale & brussel sprouts can stay.
  • Enjoy winter squash meals, starting by using the thin-skinned ones first.
  • Allow chickens to free range in the garden to do weed and garden clean up.
  • Get the chicken coop ready for the deep litter mulch method. Add a heated waterer so the chickens water doesn’t freeze.

Winter greenhouse for Canadian Gardening

December

This is the time of the year to enjoy slow living

  • Garden Plan, enjoy our preserved harvests for meals.
  • Eat lots and lots of squash, start to eat some of the long storage squash as they would of gotten sweeter by now.
  • If it warms up vent tunnels and cold frames.
  • Write a garden journal and set intentions & goals for the next year.
  • Keep snow off of the unheated greenhouse.

Organize your homestead with monthly to do lists #homestead #homesteading #selfsufficiency

I hope these monthly homesteading to do lists

helped you stay a little organized this season!

Thank you for Sharing!

Disclaimer

Family Food Garden is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Comments

  1. I just retired this past year and move to another state. I want to get back to my gardening on a much smaller scale. I’m in the process of building some beds, cold frame, potting bench, etc. I’ve started some veggies and herbs but still a lot of work to look forward to. One step at a time …. Luv and appreciate your site. Keep the info coming and thanks for your time and effort.

    • You’re right! We currently don’t have a woodstove; I do mention at the beginning of this article that the homesteading lists reflect what we’re currently doing. We’re actually moving to a new acreage end of the summer and it has a woodstove so I’ll be changing this list a little 🙂

  2. I am currently living in a small apartment with my little family, but this is our dream. Thank you for this list as it gives me more ideas of what we can be doing now to prepare for our future homestead.

    • You’re welcome Kadee. There’s lots of things urban homesteaders can do to prepare before moving to an acreage. Preserving food is definitely at the top of the list; you can purchase large boxes of fruit or veggies from farmers market to practice for now. Best of luck following your homesteading dreams!

  3. Thanks for the helpful list. We moved onto 9 acres in western NC last November and it always helps to have reminders of what one can be doing (and when!). Just curious, you mentioned ‘beer’ in the context of harvesting nettle from the wild. We’ve used nettle for a lot of things, and I brew beer — but I am still failing to find the correlation here. What in the world is ‘nettle beer’?

  4. Love that I stumbled across this list! It’s amazing and very timely for our lives. We just bought our first house on 3.5 acres with a huge dairy barn and lots of room to grow. This is my dream but I lack practical aplication lol. We want to provide good food to our family and friends and live a more subsistance lifestyle. Thank you thank you thank you!

    • Your new acreage sounds amazing and how exciting to start homesteading! Best of luck with everything & you’re very welcome.

      We just moved to a new acreage this past August and will be building up the land so I’ll be writing and documenting the progress 🙂

  5. Great ideas! I however have to move the things to do around to different months ad I live in Tasmania. The fall is just starting here now in March. Can you explain the deep mulch bedding for your chicken coop please?

  6. My husband and I loved to 10 acres early this year and left most of the adult children in the city. I had no idea until about a week ago that homesteading was a thing. I only knew that my goal is to get back to the basics. Work from home, garden, use glass containers, make my own jam etc. I came across your pin and am so happy that I did. I will be following you for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  7. As much work is coming… I cannot WAIT for March to arrive! I’m already sick of this cold winter weather. It’s just no fun, and I miss my garden already… but I’m sure I’m far from the only one! This list just incites excitement!

  8. We live on 2.5 acres in a tiny town in the NW and have been working to build our little homestead. I have a homestead blog (TheHappyEggBlog.com) and have been working to gain more and more knowledge about homesteading, gardening and raising chickens. I’m saving this post for this year and many years to come! Thanks!

  9. This is a great list! Thank you so much. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, especially during the first couple of years. I’ll refer to this from now on. 🙂

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Many of the links to products on this site are affiliate links. These are products that I've used or recommend based from homesteading experience. I do make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) from these sales.Family Food Garden is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
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