Ah, January, typically the time of year when the winter doldrums set in. The glitz of the holiday season has been packed away, the skies become grayer and the weeks seem to drag on longer.
Avid vegetable gardeners already know this secret, but if you’re new to gardening, we’ll let you in on it now: it’s already time to start thinking and planning for spring! Yes, spring!
Plotting out a home garden can help you while away the cold winter days and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the feel and aroma of fresh, life-giving soil, and growing delicious fruits, vegetables and herbs. Since the planning period costs nothing, it’s a great way to fast-forward to the warmer months within your own imagination.
First, order up some free seed catalogs. They’re packed full of ideas for home-grown delights, and will get you thinking about what you would ultimately like to grow and will enjoy eating in the warmer months to come.
Next, decide how much room you have around your home to grow your own food. It doesn’t matter if you’re limited to some containers on a sunny balcony, or a small patch of yard that can be transformed into a garden, you’d be amazed how much fresh produce you can harvest in the summer. (Tomatoes and peppers, we’re looking at you!)
Then, take stock of what you have on hand to garden with. If you own nothing more than a pair of gardening gloves and a trowel, don’t let that stop you from thinking big. Did you know it’s possible to rent just about any garden preparation tool you’ll need to get started? It’s not necessary to invest lots of money on tillers, spades, and wheelbarrows if you’re just starting out. Do some research on when is the best time for soil preparation in your area and plan to rent some equipment for a few days during that window. You’ll save a bunch of green while discovering you actually do have a green thumb.
Finally, explore your home for a nook that you can turn into a mini greenhouse for starting your seeds. All you need are some seed trays (even yogurt or sour cream containers work) and either a sunny, south-facing window or a few grow lights. In just a few weeks, you can enjoy watching your seeds germinate and your seedlings grow on even the coldest, dreariest winter days. There is truly no better way to bring an early start to spring!
The True Value brand has long been synonymous with quality among do-it-yourselfers, and now the Triad’s leading equipment rental firm is proud to announce it’s joining the True Value family to provide even better service to the area’s homeowners, professional landscapers and contractors.
Grand Rental Station, a mainstay for lawn, garden and construction equipment since 1999 is changing its name to True Value Rental Triad. By teaming up with True Value, the company will be able to offer an even more extensive variety of quality rental equipment and supplies for just about any construction or landscaping project.
Along with the name change, True Value Rental Triad is also tackling a remodel of their Greensboro store at 214 Stage Coach Trail and plans to stay open to serve customers throughout the entire process.
Whether you’re a homeowner who wants to finish up some improvement projects before winter sets in, or a professional contractor in need of a piece of specialty equipment or tractor implements in Greensboro, True Value Triad has a vast selection of tools available for rent for as little as four hours or as long as a month.
True Value Rental Triad’s sister company, Southern Event Rental, also offers rental items for any special event, from weddings and receptions, to corporate events and even backyard parties. Located on Gallimore Dairy Road in Greensboro, Southern Event Rental features a beautiful showroom full of inspirations to help you plan your next special gathering. Or, browse their extensive online catalog at http://catalog.southerneventrental.com/catalog.asp.
Behind every rental is a True Value – that’s the motto True Value Rental Triad stands behind for its customers. Come in and see what’s new!
Gone are the days of calling up your favorite uncle hoping he will loan you his pickup truck and tools for your next move or, better yet, enlist his friends to help out “just with the heavy stuff.” Renting moving equipment is a great way alternative to the well-meaning uncle who tends to always have something “come up” on moving day!
Some Sound Advice
Many do-it-yourself movers turn 3 hour moves into a 3 day ordeal. This can be avoided by renting the right moving equipment. If you have never rented moving equipment, you may be confused about what you need to make the job go smoothly. Making use of trained professionals with expertise and years of experience in the moving industry can prove to be priceless. Here’s why:
• A trained staff will help you find the right tool for the job.
• You’ll learn the proper and safe way to operate the equipment.
• You will ultimately save money by not having to purchase equipment you only intend to use once.
• The price you pay for suggested rentals is a fraction of what it would cost to hire a professional moving company.
• You’ll have access to equipment that is maintained and conditioned daily in contrast to borrowed equipment that may have been gathering rust or is in need of repair.
Indeed there are many options when it comes to available equipment to rent. If that busy moving day is approaching soon, why not start the information gathering process now? Statistics show that on average a person will pick up and move several times before settling on a permanent home. Thereafter the permanent home is also changed several times. Forming a consultative relationship with a reputable equipment rental company will help guide you through these transition periods and help make all of your moving days easy days.
The warmer weather months aren’t over yet and chances are that you and your family will be spending more time in the backyard, hanging out on the patio or deck. A well maintained deck is not only important to make good impression on guests, but it can help preserve the value of your home. Failing to invest the time and effort into performing regular cleaning and upkeep on a deck can result in higher costs later on, or perhaps even a safety hazard to you or your family.
You should treat your deck at least once a year to ensure that it stays it optimal condition. The four most common chemicals used to clean decks are:
- Sodium hypochlorite
- Sodium percarbonate
- Oxalic acid
- Sodium hydroxide
The first two ingredients are best for removing or preventing mildew from penetrating the wood. Mildew develops from humidity and will result in splintering of the wood or breaking a part. The last two act as stain removers and treatment options that can prolong the life of the wood and bring back shine to an old deck.
You might also consider creating your own cleaning solution to save money and a trip to the store. The same benefits can be achieved by mixing together 1 quart of household bleach, 3 quarts of warm water, and about 1/3 of a cup of laundry detergent. This will act as a cleaner and mildew repellant.
After treating the deck with the solution, take a scrub brush or a broom with thick bristles and make your way across the deck scrubbing away all the dirt and grime that has accumulated. Don’t leave the oxalic acid or sodium hydroxide on the deck too loo long if you have chosen to treat your deck with this solution; the acid will start to eat away at the wood and damage the deck if it isn’t washed away.
If you experience hard to reach places or can’t seem to get rid of a persistent stain, go out and acquire yourself a pressure washer. Even low cost washers can run you upwards of $200 or more, and if you’re going to buy you want to invest in a quality pressure washer which can get costly. Or you can inexpensively get a pressure washer rental for a day or weekend to save yourself some money.
Gas powered pressure washers are meant for heavy-duty projects like deck maintenance and can blow out more than 330 PSI to remove even the toughest stains.
Removing Damaged Boards
Rotten boards can happen to even the most well-cared for deck over time. After inspecting the deck, if you’ve found a board or section of the deck that is rotten or unsafe, you should replace it right away. Grab your power tools, or rent some for the project, and take out the rotten boards. Check the joists underneath to make sure that they are free from rot and can safely accommodate the replacement boards.
Drill holes into the new board and cut it down to size to fit on the joist and in line with the rest of the deck. Screw the new board securely in place and match the stain for a professional finish.
Pressure washers have been very popular in recent years –and with good reason. They are extremely versatile tools that save a lot of time, often with great results. A lot of cleaning can be accomplished in a little amount of time. Some jobs can be accomplished so quickly in fact, that when renting a pressure washer it may be a good idea to line up a couple of jobs to get the most for your money. For example, after pressure washing the deck, why not give your driveway the treatment?
For lawn and garden uses, pressure washers are ideal for keeping your equipment clean and ready for use. Nothing removes caked on grass and debris from under the mower deck as effectively as a pressure washer. Tiller blades can also benefit from a pressure washer. Keeping your lawn and garden equipment clean can prevent a lot of rust and corrosion down the road.
For home cleaning projects, a pressure washer is the right tool for the job. Cleaning your siding, deck, lawn furniture, driveway and sidewalks are just a few of the jobs that are well suited for a pressure washer. Hard to reach areas can easily become not so hard to reach. Difficult to clean items such as shutters, wrought iron fencing and lattice all come clean with ease. A pressure washer can also effectively clean your brickwork and stonework such as patios, steps and barbecues.
When cleaning your driveway or garage floor with a pressure washer, it is a good idea to first soak up any oil with cat litter. Once the litter is swept up, apply degreaser to the oily areas and allow it to stand for a few minutes before beginning to pressure wash.
When working on the wood, it is recommended to keep the stream at a 45° angle. Avoid spraying head-on or keeping the stream in one place. That way you can avoid indenting or scarring the surface. Also, avoid spraying directly onto glass as it may break under the pressure.
Your vehicles, such as trucks, cars, boats, trailers and campers can be effectively cleaned with a pressure washer. Special attachments are available specifically for washing your vehicle. If you are renting a pressure washer, with all of the time you’ll save on your other projects, why not treat yourself to a car wash?
Another once tedious project that pressure washers have been popular for is for the removal of peeling paint. Though care must be taken not to damage the wood surface, professional results can be achieved quickly without having to use a paint scraper.
Finally, about safety: No matter what your project is, be sure to read all provided materials so that you can safely operate the equipment. As powerful as pressure washers are, they can quickly cause damage to yourself, others or your property. Always be aware of your surroundings. Also avoid using one on a ladder, as the kickback can take you off balance. Finally, know where power lines and outlets are to avoid electrical shock.
Neglecting your lawn at this time of year will result in damage that lasts through all four seasons. Therefore, it is important to know what you must do to take care of your lawn in the spring so that you can enjoy a lush, green lawn all year, every year. Don’t fret however; spring time lawn maintenance can be done without spending a ton of money if you know where to look.
The first thing you want to do is to rake your lawn. Although you may think that raking is a fall activity, it is important to rake your lawn because of thatch. Thatch is the layer of dead grass and other plant matter that accumulates on the lawn surface over time. A thatch build up that exceeds a half-inch height will hamper the health of your lawn, so it is important to periodically rake your lawn to keep the thatch manageable. Thatch is mostly comprised of grass, but it can also contain plant matter from the fall. Naturally, it is important to rake deeply during the fall so that too much thatch does not accumulate on your lawn. If you do a thorough job of raking during the fall, the thatch level in the spring will be easily controlled, resulting in a healthy lawn. A spring raking will also find and remove any matted patches of grass that have built up over the winter. A z turn mower rental from Greensboro may save you time in this endeavor.
Another good maintenance tip for this time of year is to check for compaction, especially if your lawn is subjected to heavy traffic. If the dirt from your lawn is too compacted, then the grass will not grow as well. To combat compaction, lawns are aerated. Although aeration is recommended during the fall, springtime is the perfect time to diagnose your lawn and to make necessary plans and preparations if it appears that your lawn is indeed compacted.
Spring is also the perfect time to think about preventing weeds and other unwanted plants from taking over your lawn. If you know that annual weeds will affect your lawn, a pre-emergent herbicide should be used during the spring before the weeds begin to appear. This type of herbicide is only effective before the seedling weeds emerge, making springtime the best time to use a pre-emergent herbicide. Perennial weeds must also be taken care of. Post-emergent herbicides are better suited for the fall, so pulling weeds out by hand is the best method for dealing with perennial weeds during the spring.