winterizing your homestead small farms blog feature

Winterizing Your Homestead: Checklist, Tips, & Tricks

Homesteading is difficult enough in fair weather. It seems like winter always poses new challenges for the farm or homestead. Freezing temperatures result in broken water lines, damaged products, sick animals, and a whole host of other problems that create more work and pain in the pocketbook. Let’s try to do the upfront homework and actually use a checklist this year so that we don’t forget a thing. That way we can all rest easy, snuggled in drinking hot chocolate knowing that everything is set up properly for the winter conditions. September is a great time to prep your winterizing checklist to make sure that everything that you need to winterize on the farm is ready when you need to pull the trigger and get it done when the cold weather sets in.

Download the printable pdf here. 

winterizing your homestead small farms home checklist

Your Home’s Winter Checklist

  • Attic vents are closed to conserve heat 
  • Crawl Space vents are shut to conserve heating energy
  • Rodent control systems are in place
  • Gutters are clean and clear of fall leaves and debris
  • Chimneys are clean and swept and ready for use
  • Insulated covers for outside water hydrants. Ensure hoses are disconnected.
  • Winter heating fuel is well stocked
    • Propane tanks are full
    • Plenty of firewood for the season
    • HVAC System is winterized if needed
  • Evaporative Coolers are drained and winterized properly (if you have one)
  • If you have low R-Value single pane windows plastic covers make a world of difference on insulating value. 
  • Check door and window seals and seams. Replace and fix as needed. 
winterizing your homestead small farms animal checklist

Animal’s Winter Housing Checklist

  • Deep bedding and carbonaceous material are ready to use
    • Boost microbial activity for active decomposition with any AgriGro prebiotic formulation- Ultra, Foliar Blend, Bountiful Harvest
  • Water systems are ready to handle freezing temperatures
  • Depending on winter conditions in your area, keeping extra feed might be a good choice if conditions warrant being snowed in or unsafe travel. 
  • Adequate shelters are provided depending on the animal 
  • Often winter temperatures increase predation on flocks and herds. Additional protective measures might need to be considered putting in place sooner rather than later. 
winterizing your homestead small farms greenhouse checklist

Greenhouse/ Garden 

  • Irrigation lines drained – (blowing air through them might be necessary)
  • Fertilizer injectors (drained and clear of water if freezing is a possibility)
  • Drained filters. (often we forget to empty the water and freezing breaks the unit)
  • Outdoor sinks- loops in the water lines don’t always drain even if the water is off. Double-check to make sure these lines won’t freeze and break.
  • Open Valves on sinks if water is off for the season.
  • Address drainage issues on the sides of the house to ensure water sheds away from the high tunnel/ greenhouse.
  • Check
winterizing your homestead small farms outbuilding checklist

Shop/ Barn/ Outbuildings

*Consult your local resources or other experts for winterization techniques for your unique homestead and location demands*

  • The water system is either shut off or properly insulated with antifreeze components
    • Heat lamps
    • Electric antifreeze tape
  • Attic vents are closed to keep conserve heat 
  • Crawl Space vents are shut to conserve heating energy
  • Rodent control systems are in place
  • Well houses are properly insulated and winterized
winterizing your homestead small farms vehicle checklist

Vehicles and equipment

  • All radiators have proper antifreeze ratios to avoid freezing.
  • Engines that will not be run for several months have the fuel drained or stabilized fuel 
  • Farm vehicles parked in barns or outbuildings have rodent protection to avoid electrical damage
  • If you really want to spoil yourself, consider installing a remote start on your vehicle so that you don’t have to scrape ice as much and get in a warm car.  

winterizing your homestead small farms soil checklist

Winter Soil Prep

  • Fall applications of Ultra or Foliar Blend can significantly help your winter cover crop or break down crop residue so you can catapult into spring.