Spring will soon be in the rearview mirror and it’s time to prepare your yard for summer fun! Late fall and winter debris commonly lead to downed limbs, piles of branches and leaf litter. This is where renting a Chipper/Shredder will come in handy and can turn winter’s mess into usable materials for the planting season. So how do you clean up your yard efficiently and effectively with a chipper? Read on!
Step 1: Choose and rent a chipper/shredder
Sounds easy right? Well it is! Simply head to your local Compact Power Equipment Rental and rent a Altec DC610 6 In Chipper, larger limbs (over 6”) require a more substantial chipper such as a 8” or 12” chipper. The DC610 also can quickly be attached to trailer hitch which makes transport a cinch.
Step 2: Separate shredding materials
The order in which you shred materials depends on your intended use for the end product. For example, shredded leaves and plants can become a great addition to your compost pile while shredded branches and twigs can be used for landscaping mulch. Larger branches, once shredded, could also potentially be used as kindling for that first summer bonfire!
Step 3: Proper machine placement and preparation
As with any rented equipment, it is very important to read the full Owners Manual and Tool Tips provided by the Compact Power website. Be sure to place the DC610 Chipper in a secure and steady location without any chance of wobble or tip-over. Look over what you are about to shred to make sure none of the material contains any metal debris or branches wider than the recommended width. It is also important to protect your eyes from flying debris through the use of safety goggles.
Step 4: Shred your material and contain
Before you shred a single leaf, consider how you are going to contain the shredded material. Try setting up a tarp on the ground to catch your mulch or shredded leaves and simply rake up any excess debris. If you are shredding leaves for your compost pile, you may find it easiest to have the shredded material go directly into your compost area.
Step 5: Utilize your shredded material
For leaves and plants, the shredded material can easily be used for composting. However, there are many creative landscaping ideas possible with chipped wood pieces. For example, try using wood chips as mulch when surrounding bushes or garden beds. Once again, these wood chips may also be used as kindling for summer fires.
Cleaning your yard using a wood chipper is easy and can be a fun DIY project for late spring. Whether you are shredding leaves, or branches, the shredded material can be put to use and even give your home a new look! Have any ideas of your own for shredded material? Be sure to leave a comment. Any questions about wood chippers? Let us know!
Now is the perfect time to enhance the look and feel of your yard by installing a stone walkway. A walkway can enhance the aesthetic, ease of access, and value of any yard. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Before Hand
Before the installation, you must decide the best stone and placement to fit the personality of your yard. Two important factors to consider are:
1. Local Average Climate
2. Intended Functionality.
Depending on your climate, one stone may be better suited due to the threat of cracking with freezing temperatures. For instance, in a colder area you would use a denser stone such as granite, while in a warmer climate, a less dense stone such as limestone is a safe bet.
While many people choose to create a walkway to the entrance of their house, this is only one possible option! Walkways can also add aesthetic appeal to areas of the yard that you want to emphasize or make easily accessible. If you expect heavy traffic on your walkway, try using larger flat stones built to withstand abuse. For a more aesthetic appeal, try using smaller decorative stones. (small stone pathway image)
Step 2: Hands-On
After deciding on placement and functionality, it is time to lay out the walkway. By renting a Mini Skid Steer, you can decrease the completion time as well as your overall labor. A mini-skid can be used for topsoil clearing and also serves as transportation for heavy stones.
Depending on your specific landscape and project, one type of mini-skid steer may be more efficient. By learning more about the equipment at Compact Power Equipment Rental, you can make sure that you make the best choice. Find a store located close to you!
Step 3: Clearing the Way
Using the mini skid, angle the bucket at a suitable angle and remove the top 8 inches of dirt. The BOXER 300 Series mini skids are small enough (“35 wide) to fit through a standard gate and the bucket is the perfect width for a walking path. Once the bucket is full, use the mini skid to transport the materials to a dump trailer.
Step 4: The Foundation
Use the mini skid to bring in 4” of gravel, tamp it down, and install 2” of concrete sand. Concrete sand is jagged and locks itself into place to keep the pavers or stone in place. Once the sand is in place, tamp it down. Since this is the foundation for your walkway, it needs to be well packed!
Step 5: Paver time
It is now time lay down the pavers. Be sure to carefully place the pavers into the sand so as not to disturb the foundation. Trim down any ill fitting pavers and sprinkle concrete sand in between the finished gaps. Due to the vast array of stone and bricks available and the multitude of designs, check with your local Home Depot about further paver installation.
It is now time to sit back and enjoy a job well done. Be sure to peridoically check your walkway for cracks or signs of stone movement. Please feel free to take before & after photos and post them to our Facebook Page. Now, what's next for your yard? Let us know!
The summer rains are on their way which means your gutters will be put to the test. Though often overlooked, cleaning out your gutters can be essential in protecting your wallet in the long run. So what are some long term problems you may encounter if gutters become too full?
Why clean out gutters?
The first and most obvious problem when gutters become cluttered with debris and then rainfall, is sheer weight! Though sturdy, too much material can cause a complete collapse of your drainage system which can be very costly. Another damaging result of clogged gutters is waters natural tendency to move towards a path of least resistance. If it just so happens to be easier for water to creep into your roof/house, it can cause rot and decrease gutter reliability.
Safe and easy steps for gutter cleaning
Step 1: Determine the scope of the project
Step 2: Rent a Boom Lift
Renting a boom lift for gutter cleaning is much faster than using a ladder. Head over to your local Compact Power Equipment Rental and rent a towable JLG T350. Be sure to procure a safety harness prior to leaving The Home Depot.
Step 3: Place lift in a strategic location
When cleaning out your gutters, safety should be a top consideration. Situate the machine on level hard earth and ensure the area is free from overhead obstacles and power lines. Make sure you have read the Tool Tips and Owner’s Manual before heading up to clean! OSHA has some great tips as well OSHA Aerial Lift Fact Sheet.
Step 4: Prepare materials before ascent
Before you go up in the boom lift, be sure to have a hand trowel or a small tool for cleaning out those tough to reach spots. You will also want to use safety gloves and bring trash bags for disposal of the gutter debris and any rotted wood you may incur. A five in one tool is perfect for removing problem rot spots. If you have rotted wood, you should consider replacing the boards.
Step 5: Begin cleaning out gutters
Begin by removing material away from the gutter mouth. This will prevent any debris from falling down your downspout and clogging the system. You will incur quite a bit of dirt which can become heavy quickly, so don’t be afraid to cycle through garbage bags quickly.
Step 6: Add material to compost pile
The material found in your gutters can be a great addition to any compost pile. Generally made up of dirt, twigs and leaves, these moist materials will decompose quickly and can provide a great source of nutrients for future garden projects.
Step 7: Inspect and touch up gutters
Once cleaned out, spray down any remaining debris with a hose and inspect your gutter for damage. Keep an eye out for dings, loose screws, or any signs of rotted wood. This inspection could be the difference between changing a screw now, or having to replace your whole drainage system later!
These seven easy overview can save you money in the long run. With the ease of rental, and safety provided, renting a boom lift can turn a tough job into an efficient project. Have any questions regarding gutters or cleaning? Let us know!
Spring is nearing an end and it is time to clear out any dead limbs and make sure you have an unobstructed summer view. So what is the easiest way to trim those tall branches safely and prepare your yard for summer?
Step 1 : Determine Project Depth
The first step in your project should be determining if there are any dead or view obstructing limbs which need removal. If you have a raised porch or deck, be sure to take height into account when judging view obstruction. Keep a sharp eye out for overhead power lines and objects that could cause problems during your ascent.
Step 2: Rent a Boom Lift
Though a ladder may sound like a quick option when cutting down tree limbs, consider renting a JLG T350 Towable Boom Lift from your local Compact Power Equipment Rental to make the project more manageable. Make sure you have read the Tool Tips and Owner’s Manual before heading up to clean! OSHA has some great tips as well OSHA Aerial Lift Fact Sheet.
Step 3: Gather Cutting Materials
Once you have set up your Boom Lift in a safe location on hard level earth, be sure to collect your cutting materials. Be sure that all materials are secure during the ascent.
Step 4: Cut Down Branches Safely
After ascending to a safe height, with your chosen branch, be sure to keep you and others out of the fall zone while trimming and cutting down branches. Be aware of overhead hanging dead limbs which may be affected by the limb you are cutting.
Step 5: Utilize Excess Branches
Once you have come down from the lift and are cleaning up your yard, be sure not throw away the limbs! Save them for that first summer bonfire or even kindling. If you have large limbs you may want to rent a chipper shredder and turn the excess into mulch for a compost pile or landscaping materials.
With summer gearing up, now is the perfect time to clear out those dead or obstructing branches. With the help of JLG T350 Towable Boom Lift, this project can be pulled off effectively and efficiently. Have any of your own tips for trimming branches and clearing your yard for summer? Let us know!
Where is your nearest Compact Power?
When is it appropriate? You may be in need of a French drain if you find your lawn is constantly soggy due to runoff or if you notice pools of water after the rain. A French drain is a cheap and easy way to redirect the water and make the space usable again.
What you will need:
1. Prepare. Call 811 before you dig. The 811 center immediately alerts the appropriate utility companies of planned digs. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines using flags, spray paint or both.
2. Plan. You need to redirect the water to an area away from your home, and neighboring residences. The drain sump should be installed in the base of the pooling area.
3. Mark out the locations. Depending on the width of your drain, you can choose from a trencher (4-8”) or an excavator (12-18”) Either can be rented at your local Compact Power Equipment Rental.
4. Determine your slope. The slope of your drain should be 1/8 to 1/4 inch per foot linear foot. The stake and string method is effective for measuring the difference in elevation. A more detailed method for calculating the slope for your drain can be found here (http://www.ehow.com/how_7966749_calculate-slope-yard.html).
5. Break ground (after you’ve called 811). The starting point of your French drain is contingent upon the size of the sump or trap basin (typically 16" - 20")
6. Excavate your trench. The width of a French drain is 6-12 inches, or about the width of a
full size trencher (6") or backhoe / mini-excavator bucket respectively (12-18").
7. Lay the filter fabric. Sometimes referred to as "geotechnical fabric," to prevent soil from getting into the drain and clogging. The fabric should line the bottom of the trench and up the sides.
8. Lay 1-2 inches of drain gravel onto the filter fabric before placing the drain.
9. Lay the pipe. Be sure the holes and / or perforations face downward and make sure that all connections are tightly secured.
10. Place another layer of filter fabric and gravel then top dress the pipe with some of the fill material created by excavation.
Like saving money?
These how-to-guides serve as a basic overview of common projects. They are provided as courtesy reference materials and do not supercede manufacturer’s instructions, municipality restrictions or covenants .
The internet is full of great ideas when it comes to DIY illumination. We've compiled what we deem to be the best and most creative of these ideas for you to enjoy. Thanks, internet.
1. Frosted Mason Jar Lanterns
This clever DIY project was created by the people over at Little House in the Suburbs and is sure to become a conversation piece at your next backyard cookout! Using a few easy to find products, you can turn your yard into a masterpiece and even involve the kids in the creative process. Simply click the photo to be directed to our pin board featuring even more ideas and the complete how-to guide.
2. Terra Cotta Pot Illumination
Need a simple way and cost effective way to create a beautiful lit walkway? Try painting the inside of terra cotta pots with different, light colored, pigments and lining a garden or walkway. For more detail on creating these clever lights, click here!
3. Punched Tin Lanterns
Have any tin cans lying around in the shed? Put them to an awesome use! Using stencils, a hammer, nails, and a few other basic items, you can create illuminated art. Want even more inspiration and tips on creating these fun pieces? Check out the DIY guide here!
4. Glow in the Dark Walkway
Want your yard to be the envy of the neighborhood? The illuminated pathway will fascinate adults and children alike and the glowing rocks allows for safer walking in the dark. Follow this link for paint suggestions and the guide.
5. Hanging “Garden Chandelier”
Whether you simply need the light, or want to add a romantic touch to your backyard, this simple idea is sure to do the trick! Utilizing a few candles and a hanging basket with a flat bottom, this simple project can add an amazing spin to your garden or patio. Click here for more ideas!
Find out about all the ways you can utilize trenching in your yard this spring. To help you get educated, we've provided some useful resources on how to get your trenching projects started.
Trenching: For Your Garden.
How To Trench For Gardening: The ambitious gardener knows that trench gardening, in all its age-old glory, is still one of the most efficient and effective means for producing successful crops. Root vegetables, such as potatoes, are particularly successful when this method of gardening is employed. To save yourself time and a backache, rent a gas powered trencher to get the job done.
Trenching: For the Big Jobs
How To Excavate a Trench: In some cases, even the DitchWitch will prove insufficient for the job of large trench excavation. Enter: the mini-excavator. This machine proves effective for trenches that involve sewage line and pipe installation up to 5 feet deep. Be sure to preserve your existing foliage before beginning the excavation process.
Trenching: For Irrigation
How To Dig Irrigation Trenches: To keep your lawn a healthy vibrant green, install a sprinkler system. With the Toro Trencher, this task is actually easier done than said.
Trenching... For Everything Else
Trenching Step-by-Step: Review the helpful steps of the general trench digging process so you can be prepared for your next project.
Download the trencher tool tip
Now, you may be inclined to think that additional structures in your yard will take up more space, rendering your yard smaller and less enjoyable than it was before. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Think of your yard as an extension of your living room. Why shouldn't it be enjoyed just as frequently? Statistics show that families who spend time outdoors in the yard are healthier and happier than those who do not. Adding hardscapes such as a paver patio or fence additions (picture below) will help to seamlessly integrate your backyard with your indoor living spaces and will make your yard more enjoyable.
But don't stop there, patios are just the beginning. There are many options when it comes to making your backyard a more useable space. It's up to you to create an outdoor area that's suited to your style and taste. If paver patios aren't your thing, decks are a beautiful and effective option. Pergolas provide a garden feel and are also great for sunny areas. Maybe even throw in a water feature? The possibilities are endless!
The idea is to create a space, however big or small, that will make your family want to spend time outdoors with each other. Even if its just a few lawn chairs and a table, it's a start. For patios, decks, pergolas and more, Compact Power Equipment Rental can help you accomplish all of your backyard goals on a budget. Who's ready for summertime?
Just like people, your landscape can become seasonally depressed. Has the winter left your lawn looking less than lovely? Find out how to diagnose your backyard ailments.
Test your soil. Sometimes afflictions are not so easily perceived by the human eye. A do-it-yourself testing kit from your local hardware store will tell you the pH of your soil and help you prescribe the proper measures for neutralizing imbalances. Simple remedies such as lime or sulfur will help to restore your soil to a nourishing pH.
Check for bald spots. It's not as embarrassing as you think. Most lawns suffer from less than luscious locks at some point, especially in highly trafficked areas. Seeding and aeration is the proper prescription for rehabilitating balding grass spots in your yard.
Weed out. You've already taken a proactive step by seeding your lawn, which will strangle out the infesting culprits. Digging up dandelions is often an effective approach. If you really want to teach them a lesson, a mini-excavator is an extreme but effective means for extermination. This is the most holistic method, but herbicides are also a good choice. Be sure to take into consideration your children, pets, and seedlings when selecting your herbicide formula.
What are some of the best cures that you have come across? Which of these were most helpful for you? Happy healing!