Starting your own farm means clearing the land, installing a protective agriculture fence, and lots of prepping, plowing, and planting. Keep reading for a few quick tips on how to get started.
Know your soil
Not all dirt is created equally. Before you start clearing a planting plot, test your soil. This will give you an idea of what you’re working with and an opportunity to amend it according to the crop you plan to plant.
Till your plot
Now that you know your soil type, it’s time to work it. If you haven’t already, invest in a PTO-driven tiller. Tilling the soil will ensures that it’s soft enough for planting and can help you identify any issues, such as a heavy concentration of rocks or mole infestation.
Get your fence together
It doesn’t matter if you’re planting crops, have a herd of cattle, or both, you need to protect your property. An agriculture fence, or game fence, is the best way to keep domestic animals in and wild animals out. You may not have to worry about predators if you have a garden, but rest assured there are plenty of critters willing to make a meal out of your hard work.
If you don’t have a great deal of experience farming, you’ll need to get yourself acquainted, with common crop diseases. Blights, leaf curl, powdery mildew, root rot, and a host of other botanical disorders can ruin your crop. Animals are likewise susceptible to illnesses. Tractor Supply’s list of common cattle diseases is a quick two minute read that will get you acquainted with issues you should keep an eye on.
Harvest at the right time
There are few things worse than getting a basket full of fresh garden fare only to realize they have no flavor once they make it to the table. Harvesting too early can lead to bland food; too late and your vegetables may be mushy or bitter. Burpee gives a rundown of the most common garden vegetables including when and how to harvest.
Have the right equipment
Running the farm is hard work and requires lots of tools. You’ll need a variety of gardening implements including a rake and hand trowel. Large farms also require a bevy of homesteading equipment. Check out our September blog post 5 Essential Pieces of Homesteading Equipment for more on this.