How to Get Your Yard Ready for Winter
(ARA) – Before long, another growing season will come to an end and all the plants you’ve been nurturing for months will either whither away or enter their winter slumber. But before the temperatures plunge, there are a few simple things you can do that will significantly help your yard endure the winter months and continue to thrive in the spring.

These include fertilizing and reseeding the lawn, raking up and mulching leaves, cleaning out the vegetable garden and flower beds, pruning trees and shrubs and maybe even pulling out an old tree stump or two.

Some of those chores are easier than others, but you don’t need to call a professional landscaping company to do the job. You can do it yourself with the help of rented tools. Not only do you save money, you also get access to knowledgeable staff, who will make sure you have the right tools at your disposal. They’ll even explain how to use the tools in a proper manner to help ensure your safety.

Here are just some of the yard projects rented tools can help you accomplish on your own:

The Lawn

One of the most important tasks you will need to get done before winter arrives is fertilizing your lawn. This could be an all-day job if you tried to do it with a small spreader purchased from your local home improvement store.

Rent a power fertilizer, however, and you’ll be done in a fraction of the time. A motorized seed spreader is also a great time saver.

The Leaves

Most people spend an entire day raking leaves into piles, then bagging them up and carrying them off to the curb. Why not rent a leaf vacuum instead to speed things up?

Once you have all the leaves in one place, feed them through a rented mulcher, and then put them right back on the garden. The mulch provides temperature control for the soil, helps retain moisture, reduces weeds, improves soil texture and adds nutrients to your garden.

Vegetable and Flower Gardens

You can get a lot of use out of a mulcher. When you’re done using it to break up the leaves, you can also use it to shred plants removed from your vegetable and flower gardens.

Once you’ve turned them into mulch, put them right back on the beds they came from. Come spring, they’ll provide nutrients for the plants that replace them.

Prune Trees and Shrubs

Rented tools also come in handy when you need to prune or remove trees. Rather than buying an expensive chain saw you’ll only use once a year, you can rent a 16-, 20- or 24-inch chain saw at your local equipment rental store.

Instead of paying good money to dispose of the limbs and branches you cut down, you can also rent a portable chipper that can shred tree limbs, brush, grass, weed cuttings and other vegetation into mulch.

All you have to do is feed material into a hopper where it is shredded by blades or cutting disks. A 3-inch model is rated to accept and grind limbs up to 3 inches in diameter. For larger projects, wheel-mounted, towable models are available in sizes to accommodate 18-inch-diameter materials.

If you’re completely removing a tree from your yard, you may also want to rent a stump grinder to clean out the area where the tree once stood. Not only are tree stumps unsightly, they could also pose a danger to kids playing in the yard, and even to you when you start mowing again in the spring. Stump grinders are easy to operate and their byproduct, mulch and wood chips, can be put to use in the garden.

For more ideas about how you can use rental equipment to prepare your yard for winter, or to find the rental store nearest you, please visit

Equipment for these tasks can be rented from American Rental Association (ARA) member rental stores. To find one, search this Web site by geographical area, and more specifically, by the type of equipment you are looking to rent.

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