- Make sure irrigation systems are installed and working properly. Young plants do not have well-developed root systems yet and need consistent and through watering with good drainage.
- Review your plants to determine which ones are still thriving relative to your local temperature and which ones are getting stressed as temperatures rise. Some plants such as lettuces will begin to turn bitter as temperatures increase. If you have non-hybrid plants, and especially heirloom plants, be sure to allow a few of the plants to seed out and collect their seed or allow them to disburse naturally on the wind for the next cool season cycle.
- It's time to get warm weather plants into the ground. In warmer areas, it's best to get tomatoes into the ground by mid-month. For other plants such as eggplant, beans, peppers, summer squash and tomatillos have a few more weeks before they need to be in the ground. As a rule, most warm season plants require a minimum of 50 degree soil temperatures for best germination. You can find a companion planting guide here.
- Okra should be planted by seed when the ground temperatures at or above 60 degrees.
- The opportunity to plant fruit trees has just about expired. If you need to plant or replace fruit trees, do so ASAP.
- Fertilize established trees with an organic fertilizer.
- This is an excellent time of the year to plant herbs that enjoy warm weather. Herbs to plant include anise, basil, bay, catnip, chives, comfrey, coneflower (echinacea), costmary, fennel, fenugreek, scented geranium, germander, horehound, horseradish, lamb's ear, lavender, lemon grass, lemon verbena, Mexican mint marigold, oregano, perilla, rosemary, sage, santolina, summer savory, winter savory, sesame, sorrel, southernwood, tansy, tarragon, thyme, wormwood. Both basil and lemon grass do not care for temperatures of less than 50 degrees F, so you may need to initially plant them in pots in a warm location and transplant them when night time temperatures stay above 50 degrees. On the other hand, cilantro and dill prefer cooler temperatures and as the days climb into the upper 70 degree temperature ranges you are likely to see them bolt.
- As the weather warms, chickens tolerate fewer carbohydrates in their diet. Be sure to make sure birds are getting enough protein and avoid with offering nutrient poor snacks, such as corn in the summer months.
- Baby chicks are hatching with good success. However, not all chicks make it to maturity. If you are allowing chicks to hatch under hens, check under the hens at least twice a day for broken egg shells. The chicks won't always be obvious because sometimes the hens tuck them way up into their feathers. Removing the shells will also inhibit the adult birds for getting a taste for eggs.
- Do not try to help a hatching chick out of its shell or touch it while it is still wet. Allow nature to take its course. Seldom does a distressed chick having difficulty hatching survive, whether assisted or not.
- Sometimes a hen will abandon a chick for no apparent reason. You can try to move it to a heat lamp. Sometimes you will find another broody hen that will accept the chick, but this isn't typical.
- Make sure the remaining unoccupied nesting boxes have good liners and cushion in them as the remaining hens will make them high-use areas.
- Older hens may already be getting stressed by the heat to which they have not become accustomed. It's important to make sure waterers are in good repair and offering an abundance of fresh, clean water and there is good air circulation in the coop.
- If you are hatching and raising your own birds, keep a close eye on your poultry headcount to ensure overcrowding isn't occurring. Overcrowding leads to stress which can result in bullying, disease, decreased egg production and a myriad of other problems.
- With the increasing heat, it's a good idea to do a thorough cleaning of the chicken coop now. Chick poop becomes more fragrant as heat increases. Add in some humidity and it exponentially increases further. Add chicken excrement to the compost pile.
- Make repairs, enhancement and repairs to the coop while the weather is pleasant. Working in the coop in extreme temperatures - whether cold or hot - is stressful for both you and the birds.
- It's a good time of the year to spring clean everything and the milk room, feed rooms and barns are no exception. Scrub down all the floors, walls and other surfaces with a green cleanser and hot water. Be sure to rinse well.
- This is an excellent time of year to make any expansions or improvements to your barns.
- Observe your rainwater collection systems and evaluate if there are any ways to improve your systems to further maximize capture.
- If the goats are moving onto green pasture, be sure to watch for signs of bloat. Bloat is an excessive accumulation of gas in the rumen and reticulum that results in distension. It is caused by gas trapped in numerous tiny bubbles, making it impossible to burp. Treatment for bloat can be found here.
- Check your supplies for organic dewormers, fly control supplies, minerals, baking soda and other needs that may have spoiled or expired over the winter months.
- Check goats' hooves to see if they need trimming. The increased number of daylight hours and spring rains often cause hooves to grow fastest at this time of year and you will need to trim them more frequently.
- Clean areas around mangers to eliminate any rotting feed sources which helps keep the ground fresh and rodents and pests at bay. Contribute trampled feed to the compost pile.