November 4th was a big winner for tasks accomplished here at RGM Farms.
Hunter and I worked close to eight hours in the barn, kennel feed storage building, garden, and flower beds.
While Hunter finished shoveling out the barn free from excessive manure build-up I attended my Saturday morning men's group and gathered my thoughts for the day's priorities.
The first task was to set out the tools and flowers near the driveway center garden island. These little gems were the flowers taken from the hang
ing baskets up at CDR Naturals, our health food store. We elected to place them around the perimeter as they are short-stemmed flowers. Be sure to follow our social media sites for flower photos next spring.
Next, we gathered up trash from the barnyard and house as we utilize the dumpster at CDR Naturals. Also on the run up town, we gathered our hose clamps for use as hinges on the hay feeder and some spring latches for securing the door instead of being tied shut with hay bale twine.
While Hunter did the door repair on the hay feeder I got into the mower which we were going to use for leaf mulching. But the mower failed to start and wasting enough time we moved over to cleaning out the raised beds. Removing the old tomato vines, pulling grasses and other vines, winding up hoses, and organizing the storage of the tomato cages really helped the first impressions of the farm as you come driving down the road.
The next big accomplishment for us was to board up the holes that raccoons have been using to steal our cat food every night. We also installed some soffit boards to further deter the little critters. Doing this carpenter work also enabled us to pull out our air compressor and brad nailer kit to get us familiar with them allowing for a much more efficient use of tools. And how much more efficient. Farm chores, an all-inclusive skill set.
Here are a few tips for winter preparation for your homestead.
To prep your flower beds and raised beds for winter in Missouri, follow these steps:
Remove dead or diseased plants. This will help prevent the spread of pests and diseases in the spring.
Cut back perennials. Remove any dead or dying foliage, and cut back the remaining stems to a few inches above the ground. This will help the plants to survive the winter and come back stronger in the spring.
Mulch your beds. A layer of mulch will help to protect your plants' roots from the cold and insulate the soil. Use a thick layer of organic mulch, such as shredded leaves, wood chips, or straw. We are blessed with free mulch from a local processor of wood as they remove bark and create live-edge lumber for wood crafters.
Water your plants deeply. This will help to hydrate the soil and prepare the plants for winter.
Protect tender plants. If you have any tender plants that cannot tolerate frost, you may need to protect them over the winter. You can do this by wrapping them in burlap, covering them with a cloche, or moving them indoors.
Here are some additional tips for preparing your flower beds and raised beds for winter in Missouri:
Amend your soil. Add compost or other organic matter to your soil to improve its drainage and fertility. This will help your plants to be healthier and more resilient in the winter.
Fertilize your plants. Give your plants a light feeding of fertilizer in the fall. This will help them to store nutrients for the winter. We only use organic here at RGM Farms.
Deadhead your flowers. This will encourage the plants to produce new blooms in the spring. This proved to be tedious but well worth the effort.
Clean your garden tools. This will help to prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
By following these tips, you can help your flower beds and raised beds to survive the winter and thrive in the spring. Come join us for hiking the woods and maybe even get in on the continued grounds prep for winter months ahead.