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When you live somewhere that receives snow during the winter, it’s easy to get cabin fever and be eager for spring gardening. Fortunately, you can help drive away those winter blues by planning your garden even if there’s snow on the ground or it’s a blizzard outside. Winter garden planning now gives you a head start on this year’s garden and can help you see beyond the snow and cold and into the green and thriving.

Find Inspiration for Your Winter Garden Planning

Flipping through gardening catalogs and checking your favorite gardening websites is a great way to find inspiration for your warm-weather gardening. Visit any indoor gardening shows your area offers or indoor gardens open year-round for additional inspiration. Once you have some interesting ideas that have you seeing green gardens instead of snowy fields, it’s time to focus on pertinent details from last year’s garden.

Evaluating the Garden’s Success

Even experienced gardeners have issues with their vegetables and flowers occasionally. It’s important to take any gardening missteps or miscalculations as a chance to learn and not view them as failures. Think back to last year’s garden and evaluate what worked well and what needed some more help. If some of your bulbs failed to come up, try to figure out why before planting more. If you found yourself with an oversupply of certain vegetables no one ate, re-examine your selections. When your favorite new plant just didn’t thrive as you hoped, consider relocating it to a better environment.

Find Potential Beneath the Snow

Hopefully, you don’t have to go outside in the snow and cold to view your garden plot but if you do, take notes on size and layout of your usual plot. When there’s nothing growing, you have a better picture of the space and structure of your gardens. Try to remember how your various flowers and vegetables grew in their spots and whether they had enough sunlight, water and shade. Make sure you match your plants to the right type of soil and shade locations to avoid the frustration of struggling or dying flowers and vegetables.

Flower Gardens

If colorful flowerbeds represent your garden of choice, think back to last year’s color combinations and consider if they worked together. Consider rearranging the color palette for greater visual appeal and incorporate plants that provide color year-round.  Having flowers that bloom during different times of the year helps the garden stay vibrant through the changing weather and helps avoid changing out perennials halfway through the season.

When you start planning your garden despite the snow in the air and on the ground, you give yourself ample time to get everything right while daydreaming of warmer days. A little winter garden planning is a great to beat those cold season blues!

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Hop To It And Raise Your Own Rabbits

Once an old-world favorite, rabbit is making a comeback as a protein of choice in the homesteading world due to its high protein content. Whether you want to raise rabbits for meat, for extra cash, or for the fun of it, there are a few things to keep in mind. Use this quick start guide to have a hoppin’ good time raising your own rabbits.

Most farms have the space to raise rabbits in larger colonies, but they must be managed effectively. Remember the old saying: rabbits breed like, well, rabbits! A female rabbit can have three litters a year, with an average of seven babies in each litter. Decide if and when you’ll separate males and females to keep herd size manageable. Otherwise hasenpfeffer will be on your menu for months!

When building a hutch for your rabbits, design with space in mind. Rabbits need plenty of space in their hutch to jump, run, and be comfortable. Estimates vary depending on who you ask, but for the happiest hoppers, shoot for providing ten square feet per adult rabbit. You can save on space and make your rabbits happier by giving them ramps and leveled hutches for exploration. If you have the space, consider creating a simple rabbit run out of wire. Let the rabbits stretch their legs and explore green grass while staying protected from predators.

It goes without saying, but a colony of rabbits is only as healthy as their environment. Encourage your rabbits to do litter training to keep cage cleaning as easy as possible. Always provide fresh hay for comfortable bedding. As an added bonus, female rabbits will use this fresh hay when it’s time to build a nest–no extra work is required on your end. Just make sure the rabbits have enough to stay warm in the winter!

Rabbits have a reputation for being docile, but rabbit breeders know these little creatures can get feisty and competitive, particularly in a group setting. The last thing you want is a fight. Keep the peace by providing ample food and water for your colony in multiple locations.

Raising rabbits is one of the easiest and low maintenance homesteading activities you can do. Provide a better quality of life for the animals and know where the meat on your table comes from by raising it in your backyard.


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