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Prepare Your Yard and Garden for Winter

Snow, ice, freezing temperatures and other elements of winter are not far off. You’ve enjoyed your backyard all summer long, but now it’s time to get everything prepped to handle the upcoming cold weather. Preparing your lawn, shrubbery and gardens for the winter months can help ensure you’ll be able to enjoy your landscaping as soon as the temperatures warm next spring. By renting the right equipment to successfully handle those jobs, you’ll save time and free up space for all of your home beautification projects. * Tree trimming and planting - The fall months offer the perfect opportunity to plant and trim trees. If you’re plant- ing, make sure to give the new trees plenty of water in the weeks leading up to the first hard frost. Also, make sure your established trees receive a good supply of water, especially if the end-of-summer weather has been hot and dry. Tree trimming allows you to remove dead branches and limbs, as well as growth that may be blocking your patio,

sidewalk and driveway, or hanging over the roof of your house. If the tree is quite large in size, consider renting a tree trimmer to reach the high branches. When you’re done, rent a wood chipper to make mulch for next year’s garden with the branches and limbs you’ve trimmed. A brush cutter can help clear away ground clutter. * Give your lawn some life with lawn aeration and

dethatching. If your lawn is showing signs of runoff and thinning, it can mean the dirt is very compacted, and needs aeration to allow water and nutrients in. Aerator rental is an option to perforate your lawn with small holes, giving the grass a chance to refresh and thicken prior to the winter freeze. This will help give your lawn a beautiful green look next season. Dethatching is another lawn care option to help your

lawn grow thick and lush come spring. Roots, dead stems and clippings often get trapped between the soil and the green vegetation, blocking the soil from receiving water and

nutrients. Stop at your local rental store for a thatcher, which will slice through the dead materials, lifting them up and out of the way. The American Rental Associa- tion’s helps you to quickly and easily find the nearest rental store to you. * Prep your gardens - both floral and vegetable - to help minimize the work you’ll have to do in the spring. Remove all the dead plants, and turn over the soil using a rototiller from your local rental store, adding a layer of natural fertilizer like leaf clippings, grass clippings or compost. Don’t make the layer too thick. These ma- terials will help provide some additional nutrients to the soil as they break down over the winter months. Fall is a great time to plant bulbs for early spring flower decorations. Cultivate the soil by churning it up and adding a bit of com- post or other fertilizer. Plant the bulb, water it and mark it so you don’t accidentally dig it up early in the spring while preparing your garden for another season of growing. Renting lawn and garden equipment

washes away the worry of having to maintain and store it, leaving more room in your basement, garage and garden shed, and affording you more time to enjoy your backyard and peruse gardening catalogs and magazines as winter arrives and you dream for the first sign of spring. To get started with your projects now, visit to find a location in your area to get all of the equipment you’ll need.

September 23 Page 13

2011 Impr Homeovement The 24-Hour Kitchen Facelift: Renovations That Don’t Have to Be a Pricey, Prolonged Pain Is your kitchen looking a little worn? Or maybe

you’ve grown tired of your decor? No need to call in the remodeling crew. Instead, turn your Satur- day into Satur-DIY, and with a few simple updates you can spruce up your kitchen - and spirits - in no time at all.

According to a recent Kitchen and Bath Busi- ness survey, 22 percent of U.S. homeowners are planning to remodel, but may be holding off for budgetary reasons. Small changes don’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Here are a few ideas that don’t take much time or money for a 24-hour kitchen facelift. Fabulous fixtures As the workhorse of the kitchen, start by upgrading your faucet - especially since an old

or broken faucet can age your kitchen by decades. Pulldown faucets have become one of the most popular choices for their convenience and high-arc styling, and the new Benton pull- down kitchen faucet from Moen is a great example. The Benton faucet offers exquisite styling in today’s most popular finishes - but it’s what’s inside that counts. Featuring Moen’s unique Reflex pulldown system, Benton pull- down faucets offer smooth opera- tion, easy movement and secure docking to keep the spray wand in place. Available at The Home Depot from between $199 and $219, you can make a big splash - even with a small price tag - at the kitchen sink.

Walls that say “wow” Are your current kitchen walls blah or boring? Spice them up with a bold new hue that will make your kitchen decor pop. Not sure where to get inspiration? Take a cue from the color experts and designers at Pratt & Lambert paints, who just re- leased their 2012 color trends with a palette titled “Echo” that features classic, bold colors. Luxurious lighting

New lighting can add life to any room - kitch- ens included. Shed new light on your kitchen by forgoing the fluorescent and replacing with stylish and functional pendant-style fixtures above task areas, such as the kitchen island or countertops.

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Chandeliers can be an ideal addition above table areas to create a focus point and dress up the entire room’s decor. Add storage and style with shelves Installing shelves in your kitchen is a great way to add more space, as well as create a new look. Install shelves over your sink or around the perim- eter of your kitchen to hold items such as small appliances, knick knacks, cookbooks or framed photos to keep countertops clear and uncluttered. Customized cabinets

No need to splurge on new cabinets when you

can very easily customize your own. With just a few materials and hours, you can refinish or reface your kitchen cabinets. The process is quite simple, just remove the old finish by sanding the fronts of the cabinets and then either stain or repaint them to achieve your desired look. Or, for another option, replace wood panels with glass inserts for custom-looking doors that will show off

your favorite dinnerware pieces. Update appliance appearances A stainless steel finish can instantly transform and upgrade the look of your kitchen. If purchas- ing new kitchen appliances isn’t in the budget, a coat of paint may be just what the doctor ordered. Krylon offers a stainless steel spray paint with real flecks of metal to offer an authentic match for an upscale look. Remember to remove handles from the appliance and place masking tape over areas you do not want painted, and the end result is a new look that tailors to your kitchen’s color scheme.

While it may seem like a daunting task at first, these easy, one-day kitchen picker-uppers can pro- vide a refreshing expression that you - and your family - are sure to love.

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