Prior to the 21st century, about half of American families lived on farms. There was limited technology to help with house or farm chores, so families tended to their homes, crops, and food supplies year round. They prepped for winter in the fall, but the winter months were in mind year round. Only one percent of the U.S. population was living on farms in 2000.
Our way of life may have changed, but prepping for winter is still important. Here are 14 tips to help you prepare your garden and home for the winter months ahead.
Preparing Your Garden:
- Rake your leaves and add them to your compost pile, or shred them for your garden.
- Set up protection for shrubs or young trees that need safekeeping from ice/snow.
- Remove and compost all dead plants.
- Cut any perennials back, weed, and fertilize.
- Move tools into a shed or storage. Perform a general garden clean up
- Put up thermal curtains and use 3M plastic film over windows to keep out the cold.
- If you use an alternative heat source like a wood or pellet stove, make sure you have stored enough wood!
- Clean, remove dust, and perform maintenance on heaters.
- Make sure your roof is sound for the impending wet weather and heavy snow. Check for leaks or wet spots on your ceiling for clues to where you may need to perform repairs.
- If you use a fireplace, clean out the fireplace and call out a chimney sweep to clean out the chimney.
- Take steps to prevent frozen pipes by insulating exposed pipes and turning off exterior water lines when they are not being used.
- Replace any brittle or missing weather stripping around doors, and close up cracks near windows.
- Clean gutters and ensure they will stand up to weather changes.
- Clean your solar panels to keep the systems functional. Check with your solar panel manufacturer’s recommendation if you own your panels.
If you keep your solar panels clean, the snowy ground can act as a mirror and give your solar panels a higher output. Often your solar panels will have a small boost due to the reflection of the snow. Ahhhh, the power of Mother Nature! What other tips do you have to share to prep your home for winter? Please comment below to share!
Featured image by Anne Marie Peterson/Flickr