Monday, August 31, 2009
MadeinUSAForever.com is dedicated to selling only products made in the USA. "We have over 1400 products from over 250 manufactures all over the country. We make it easy to find high quality items made by real Americans like you and me." said founder and owner Todd Lipscomb.
MadeInUSAForever is excited to add Rapid Rain to their product list because it fills an important need for many of customers. Their customers will be able to take better care of their lawns, gardens, and arenas. Rapid Rain's advanced design and craftsmanship prove American manufacturing can still be the best around.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Home and Garden Tips
Lawn and Garden Care
Rules of Thumb for Water Use on Lawns and Gardens
Know Your Soil
Different soil types have different watering needs. You don't need to be a soil scientist to know how to water your soil properly. These tips can help.
Water at the Right Time of the Day
Rules of Thumb for Proper Fertilizer Use
Fertilizers provide nutrients necessary for plant health and growth, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are what N, P, and K stand for on bags of fertilizer. Nitrogen (N) is needed for healthy green growth and regulation of other nutrients. Phosphorus (P) helps proper roots and seeds develop and resist disease. Potassium (K) is also important in root development and disease resistance. When properly applied, the nutrients in fertilizers are absorbed by plants and little of these nutrients enters ground or surface water resources.
Use the Right Fertilizer
Mow Your Lawn Frequently
Leave the grass clippings to decompose on the lawn. Annually, this will provide nutrients equivalent to one or two fertilizer applications. Set mower at 2 inches to reduce water use during hot weather.
Apply Fertilizer Properly
Alternatives to Pesticides and Chemicals
When used incorrectly, pesticides can pollute water. They also kill beneficial as well as harmful insects. Natural alternatives prevent both of these events from occurring and save you money. Consider using natural alternatives for chemical pesticides: Non-detergent insecticidal soaps, garlic, hot pepper sprays, 1 teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water, used dishwater, or forceful stream of water to dislodge insects.
Also consider using plants that naturally repel insects. These plants have their own chemical defense systems, and when planted among flowers and vegetables, they help keep unwanted insects away. The table below contains a partial list of nature's alternatives.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Who does it better? Golf courses are the penultimate source of state-of-the-art issues regarding grass lawns. We sit in front of our TV’s sometimes and just drink in the other-worldly green wonders of a Pebble Beach or Augusta and find it satisfying and relaxing, somehow. I’m speaking of just the ambiance, and not even the players themselves. We even now have a TV channel totally devoted to the game of golf: The Golf Channel. I often wonder how many of us are drawn more to the simple gorgeousness of the sport, as opposed to the competition. Or, of course, the combination of the two.
From water conservation techniques to fertilizer applications, the innovations inspired by the constructions and maintaining of golf courses has propelled lawn and garden technology and turf science to new heights. Golf courses are the Guinea Pigs for our own personal affairs with our own lawns. They continually innovate, led by the urgency of continuous beauty and grounds that are beneficent to golf equipment. Oh, and the roll of the ball! Better not leave that small detail out.
Golf instruction includes a focus on taking care of the golf course itself as well. Divots are to be sought out after a shot and every golfer gets to play “gardener” as they replace them by properly relocating them and patting them down as firmly as possible. Obviously, this is done so that it will grow back. Since most courses are watered nightly, it happens almost seamlessly. Below is the picture of a course - Pebble Beach Golf Course - which has hundreds of players every day, almost year round. Find the divots:
Not easy, is it?
Granted, a golf course is a special place, with oodles of care provided and budgets to cover maintenance on a nearly minute-by-minute basis. But what is far more relevant to homeowners and people like us is what they find in their own science of golf course lawn care. Their findings winnow their way down into classic conventional tactics regarding issues like drainage, fertilization and mowing techniques. In the end, we, as end users, gain immeasurably in the most practical ways. We owe golf courses some huge props for lending that science back down to us.
Oh, and we owe some thanks for those killer views The Golf Channel gives us too! There’s nothing like discovering the 14th Green at Pasatiempo at 1 AM when one feels a bit too restless for sleep. As far as I know, looking at Paradise has never been a bad experience. Maybe we should call it a “transitional sleep aid” instead.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
- Lawns in Missouri may require as much as 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water per week from irrigation or rainfall during summer to remain green and actively growing.
- When managed properly, tall fescue requires 25 percent less water and zoysiagrass requires 50 percent less water than Kentucky bluegrass to maintain a green, actively growing lawn in Missouri.
- Turfgrasses in Missouri rank as follows in resistance to leaf wilting and browning during summer dry periods — bermuda, zoysia, tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass.
- During extended periods of summer drought, dormant lawns (browned-out leaves) containing Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue or perennial ryegrass should receive 1-1/2 inches of irrigation every two weeks to maintain hydrated grass crowns and allow for full lawn recovery when more favorable moisture and temperature return in the fall.
- Deeper roots draw moisture from a larger volume of soil and therefore require less supplemental irrigation.
- Taller grass has deeper roots and a lower tendency to wilt.
- Taller grass provides shading of the soil surface and reduces lethal temperatures near the base of grass plants.
- Lawns mowed weekly at a taller mowing height are less likely to be scalped. Scalped lawns lose density and have shallow root systems.
Monday, August 24, 2009
The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: Most of this region was left unchanged this week. Some areas are drying out in northern Virginia where abnormally dry conditions (D0) was introduced this week. In southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, the D0 designation was removed due to recent heavy precipitation events during the last seven days. Some areas received over five inches of rain, and are now four to eight inches above normal for the last 30 days.
Southeast: While a wet week benefited the northeast part of North Carolina, the Central Piedmont continued to be passed over with this week’s storm systems. As a result of increasing precipitation deficits in this region, streamflow on the decrease and reservoir levels slowly dropping, moderate drought was introduced in the Upper Cape River basin. For the same reasons, abnormally dry conditions were expanded in south central North Carolina, roughly south of a line from Charlotte to Raleigh.
In Florida, some short-term improvements in drought conditions are reflected in reduction of D0 in the southwestern part of the state. In north Florida, precipitation deficits are growing for the summer season and abnormally dry designation was introduced from approximately Tallahassee to I-75. No other changes were made in the southeast this week, with Tropical Depression Claudette moving through Alabama, staving off drought expansion.
The Midwest: Ohio was a mixed bag of winners and losers. An area from Sandusky, on Lake Erie, to Columbus is in D0. Further west, significant precipitation resulted in improvements to drought-free regions in northeastern Indiana, northwestern Ohio and southwestern Michigan. Weekly totals in this area ranged from two to nine inches according to local observers.
Areas of west central Wisconsin and central Minnesota were beneficiaries of more than 6 inches locally in previous D1, or moderate drought, regions. Improvements were made in both locations around Eau Claire county, WI, and west of Wright county, MN. In south central Minnesota, the lack of rain is having a bigger impact and D1 was expanded over Mankato and Blue Earth county.
Abnormally dry conditions persist in areas of northern Iowa with precipitation deficits for the last several months, and impacts on crop and soil moisture are now being reported. A new area of D0 was introduced in north central Iowa.
The Plains: In Nebraska, a swath of two to four inches of rain fell in the current Drought Monitor period. This will greatly benefit soybean crops, and help in the corn fields. Reductions of D0 and D1 were made as a result in eastern Nebraska from Kearney to Lincoln.
Improvements due to beneficial rainfall were made in some Oklahoma drought areas. All drought designations were removed from eastern Oklahoma. Several counties on the east and south side of the core drought in the state also improved one category due to weekly precipitation observations of over two inches in many areas.
Several small changes were made in Texas this week to reflect the slightly changing conditions around the exceptional drought in this state. Rain helped the panhandle region and an area southeast of San Antonio, and some improvements are depicted in these regions. Amarillo has now received record August monthly precipitation of 9.08 inches, with two weeks yet to go. Elsewhere, drought continues to expand in severity and extent. Several counties in central and north central Texas were degraded by one category. Despite decent rain in Shackelford county, surrounding areas continue to miss out, and some expansion was made here.
The West: A thorough assessment was done for Montana, resulting in removal of abnormally dry conditions throughout most of the state. Dry conditions remain around Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet reservation, and a small area southeast of there. Several days of rain and showers across the state have helped to alleviate dry conditions.
The North American monsoon has brought less than expected rain to the southwestern states this summer. Moderate drought was introduced in Arizona to show degrading drought conditions in this state.
In northwestern California, impacts on the Klamath River water supply and nearby areas led to an expansion of D0 in Del Norte county. North central Washington continues to experience degrading conditions with low precipitation and warm temperatures, and severe drought (D2) was expanded to the Canadian border.
Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico: In Hawaii, Tropical Storm Felicia brought a number of improvements to the state’s drought on three of the islands. Kauai is left with abnormal dry conditions in the southwest, Oahu is left drought-free, and east Maui was improved by one category.
Heavy rainfall east of Anchorage this week, with areas totaling over five inches, made way for clearing of abnormal dry condtions. Elsewhere in the state was left unchanged.
Puerto Rico remains unchanged as well and drought free this week.
Looking Ahead: In the near-term, storminess associated with a cold front will continue through the central US for the next couple of days before moving over the Great Lakes. Hurricane Bill appears to be moving back out to sea, and poses no threat to making landfall. For the next five days, precipitation will favor the eastern states, with climatologically dry conditions continuing in the West. The monsoon appears to remain relatively quiet for this time of year in the Southwest.In the six to ten day forecast, the western continental US is projected to have above normal temperatures, and the east with below normal temperatures. During this period, precipitation is expected to be below normal in the northern states from Washington to Wisconsin, and above normal rainfall along the Eastern Seaboard. These are consistent with a ridge pattern in the west and a trough in the east. According to the Climate Prediction Center, model agreement is reasonable for this period. Alaska is projected to have below normal temperatures across the entire state, and below normal precipitation everywhere except the southeast where it may be wetter than normal.
Friday, August 21, 2009
This should be a great help indeed to our pals down under, espescially during their current drought. The following information comes via a government site concerning Australian drought conditions:
For the 24-month period from August 2007 to July 2009, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies remain evident across much of southeast Australia and parts of central Australia. These regions experienced some average to above average rainfall during the final months of both 2007 and 2008, as well as through the most recent autumn. However, most months through the period were drier than the long-term mean, especially during the growing seasons. Both 2007 and 2008 were classified as positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) years, which is likely to have contributed partly to the low winter and spring rainfall recorded across parts of southern Australia during both these years.
Rapid Rain Australia
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Sam Gordon- New Mexico
I purchased the small Rapid Rain Sprinkler last year and love it. The machine is sturdy and a snap to use. I have reccommended to several friens and they love them too.
Gerald Farnsworth - Texas
I love my Rapid Rains! I have 3 Rapid Rain Machines (1 Model 625 and 2 Model 860's)We bought our first machine almost 2 years ago and have had no problems with our machines...they have worked flawlessly. We compared them to other machines on the market and found the Rapid Rain to be far and above the best bang for the buck. Two thumbs Up!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Basic Baseball Field Layout
1. Start with a flat, open area. If some elevation is on-site, it should be in the infield area. Ideally, the open area has a good, dense stand of turf or with a little help one can be rejuvenated. If that is not the case, plan a turf management program to coincide with the construction of your ball field. It is helpful to mark out the components of an infield with paint as outlined below to visualize the field before you actually start removing turf.
2. Placement of home plate determines layout of the field. Be sure to plan for some type of backstop to contain stray pitches and to protect fans from tipped balls. If it is truly a backyard field and fans behind the batters box are not likely, planting shrubs about 60 feet (minimum required for high school and college fields) behind home plate may prevent errant balls from rolling too far away from the field.
3. Using the apex of home plate (back corner), cut out turf in a 13-foot radius.
4. The next step is to locate second base. Measure from the back tip of home plate to a distance of 127 feet and 3 3/8 inches (see Table 2 for distance between bases for other leagues). Mark with a wooden stake. When installing base pads, this will be the center of second base.
5. With the tape measure still in place, it is easiest to go ahead and mark the location of the pitching rubber at this time. The placement can be marked by measuring from the back tip of home plate along a string stretched to second base. The pitching rubber should be at 60 feet 6 inches.
6. The easiest way to find first and third base is to use two tape measures. Stretch one tape from second base stake toward the first base line and the second tape from the back tip of home plate toward first base area. The point where the two tapes cross at the 90-foot mark is the back corner of the bases. Repeat this step to find third base. A baseball diamond is actually a 90-foot square.
7. First and third base fit within the square, but second base is measured to the center of the bag. Improperly placed second base is one of the most common mistakes made when setting up a baseball field.
8. To make a "slide area" around the bases, cut out turf around bases by measuring a 13-foot radius within the 90-foot square. You can leave the base paths grassed if you like, or you can turn them into skinned base paths.
9. Next, turn your attention to the pitcher's mound. The diameter of a pitcher's mound clay is 18 feet, with 10 feet from the front of the rubber, toward home plate and 8 feet from the back of the rubber.
10. The top of the mound consists of a plateau that is 5 feet wide.
11. A regulation pitcher's mound is 10 ½ inches high (compared to surface level of home plate). Miscalculation of the pitcher's mound height is probably the second most common error in setting up a baseball field. A transit or field level is best for setting the height, but in a pinch, other methods my also work. I once saw a guy peering through a cheap scope clamped to a carpenter's level on a makeshift tripod. Another option is to use your stakes with taut string and a ruler. A standard pitcher's rubber is 24 inches by 6 inches.
12. Building a pitcher's mound is as much an art as it is a science. Build the mound from ground up, 1 inch at a time keeping in mind the mound's slope (see next step). As you add each layer, tamp or roll the soil.
13. Beginning 12 inches in front of the pitcher's rubber and measuring toward home plate, for every one foot of distance the slope will fall one inch (until the slope meets ground level).
(click here for a full size image of Figure 2.)
(click here for a full size image of Figure 3.)
The mix used to build the pitcher's landing area (and often the batter's box and catcher's box) should have a significant concentration of clay to provide the necessary stability to resist degradation from increased traffic. A good material will be about 40% sand, 20% silt, and 40% clay. If necessary, you can mix individual components together. Just be sure that individual components are evenly distributed throughout the material.
A quality infield material will have a lower concentration of clay than the pitcher's mound. The infield skin should be moist and firm, not hard and baked dry. To achieve firmness, an infield mix should not be too sandy. An infield mix with greater than 75% sand causes unstable footing for ballplayers and increases infield skin maintenance problems. A sandy infield will create low spots more quickly and is more likely to create lips at the infield skin/turf interface. Ideally, the infield mix should be between 50% and 75% sand and 25% to 50% clay and silt. A combination that has been successfully used is a 60% sand, 20% silt, 20% clay base mix (sandy clay loam to sandy loam). The silt and clay give the mix firmness. If the mix contains too much silt and clay, compaction and hardness become a problem.
Well, now you have your field of dreams. If you have some big hitters, you may want to erect your outfield fence. This distance varies with the level of play. Confer with League Officials for data listed and recommended placement of outfield fences. Refer to Table 2 for a summary of base, pitching rubber, and outfield wall distances.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Whether you ride indoors or out, take action to keep your arena footing grounded for everyone's health and welfare.
Imagine inhaling all the dust and debris from your horse arena as you and your horse work hard in the horse arena. On average, a resting horse inhales 150 liters of air per minute. Add in strenuous exercise and your horse could realistically suck in 10 times that volume of arena dust. If your horse is older or has a history of respiratory infections or heaves, he could be even more susceptible to airway problems when breathing in airborne arena dust and dirt.
Arena dust is bad. But, maybe you feel a little helpless to control the micro-climate that is your own personal arena dust storm. How exactly can you keep all that arena dust and dirt from rising? Here are some ideas to help you control arena dust, from economical strategies to more expensive ones:
Dust to Dust
It’s possible your arena is actually a flat spot in your pasture, or that your arena footing is made up of the existing soil or sod. Not a bad place to start in terms of dust control. If you have plans for adding footing, either all at once or over time, you’re a step ahead in terms of choosing a low-dust footing, rather than dealing with a dusty footing already in place. If you’re dealing with existing dusty footing, you have choices to help that situation, too.
Before you can start to control dust, you have to understand where it comes from. Basically, dust is made up of small particles that float or fly through the air, because they aren’t heavy enough to stay grounded.
Sand is a traditional footing in many regions, especially since it’s usually a naturally abundant product. However, depending on where you live, the word “sand” can mean different things. For example, sand derived from the beach is very different in texture and content than glacial sand. What’s contained in that sand also plays a role in how much dust a footing will produce.
Four causes of dust:
1. Footing containing lightweight particles, such as unwashed sand that contains bits of clay, silt or broken-down organic (naturally occurring) materials. “Imagine the particles of sand are the size of a basketball,” says Gregory. “In comparison, particles of clay are the size of a pinhead.” So, the small bits float into the air, causing dust.
2. Sand pulverized by use. Over time, the weight and concussion of the horse’s hooves on the sand will break individual grains into smaller particles, which then become dust. 3. The arena base, usually made of clay or stone dust, begins to rise through the footing, becoming dust.
4. Manure, a fragile organic material left in the arena, gets broken down into small particles that easily go airborne. To protect you and your horse, keep a manure fork and wheelbarrow close by, and scoop any poop left in the arena after your ride. Then roll it off to your compost bin.
Based on what makes up dust, the basic way we control it is by adding weight to small particles, which then keeps them from floating into the air.
Check out Rapid Rain's website for more info on our economical arena watering systems.
For questions feel free to e-mail us: email@example.com
Monday, August 17, 2009
Water deeply to encourage deep root growth. Frequent shallow waterings encourage weed germination, and they also cause the grass plants' roots to grow shallow, leaving the plant more susceptible to drought and to certain diseases. Watering only when your grass really needs it encourages the roots to grow deeper, but only if you apply enough water each time to penetrate the root zone. The most accurate way to determine the depth of the root zone is to dig a small hole and measure how far the roots go down. Alternatively, you can follow these general approximations: if you have a bluegrass lawn, each watering should moisten the soil to 6-8 inches, while for most other grasses, the water should penetrate 8-12 inches. You can determine how long to leave the sprinkler(s) on by using one of the following methods.
Turn on your sprinkler for 15 minutes. After 18-24 hours, find out how deep the water soaked in by digging a small hole in the watered area or using a probe (a probe will push easily through damp ground). You can also push a shovel into the ground and use it as a lever to spread the soil apart enough so that you can see several inches below the surface. Once you see how deep the water went in 15 minutes, you can calculate how long you need to leave your sprinkler on. For example, if the soil is damp to 4 inches below the surface and your goal is to moisten the soil to a depth of 8 inches, you'll need to leave the sprinkler on for 30 minutes (2 X 15 minutes) each time you water.
Estimate how much water you'll need based on your soil type. In general, 1" of water will penetrate sandy soils to 12", loamy soils to 6-8", and clay soils to 4-5". Using these estimates isn't quite as accurate as digging, but it's pretty close, especially if you have a good knowledge of your soil composition. To figure out how long you need to keep your sprinkler or sprinkler system on, calibrate your sprinklers.
Water early in the morning. When you use sprinklers, some water evaporates before it hits the ground. On a hot, windy day, the amount of water that never reaches your grass can actually be quite substantial. To reduce loss to evaporation, water sometime between 4 A.M. and 9 A.M., when the air is still cool and the wind is usually at its calmest.
Aim your sprinklers to water the lawn, not the sidewalk or street. Slight adjustments to your sprinklers can save a lot of water. Ideally, you shouldn't water your sidewalk, patio, street, or driveway at all.
Avoid creating runoff. Even with sprinklers correctly targeted at the lawn, many people water until (or even after) water begins to run off the grass and into the street or driveway. This can waste a lot of water, and it isn't doing your lawn any good. If water starts to run off your lawn before you've been able to give it a deep watering, turn off the water for 15-20 minutes to let the ground absorb the water, and then continue watering as needed (rotating a sprinkler between one area and another will also do the trick). Some soil types absorb water more slowly than others, but runoff can also be caused by excessive thatch buildup, which can promote disease--and which is sometimes caused by routine overwatering.
Friday, August 14, 2009
It is very difficult to maintain an athletic field without irrigation. Schedule irrigation to supplement rainfall, and frequency and duration depends on environmental factors and limitations of the irrigation system.
The best time to irrigate is just before wilt occurs. Most grasses have a darker or a dull bluish-green color, and the leaf blades begin to fold or roll when the grass is under water stress. Irrigation should begin when these signs are first observed.
Apply enough water to soak the soil to a depth of at least 6 to 8 inches. On medium-textured soils, this usually means applying about 1 inch of water per week during the summer. Light, frequent irrigations encourage shallow, weak root systems and thatch accumulation.
The best time of day to irrigate is before sunrise because there is less wind and lower temperatures, thus less water loss to evaporation. Irrigation at night is more efficient than irrigation during the day. Irrigating after dew develops or before the morning dew dries off does not increase disease problems. Irrigating 24 to 48 hours before major field use will help reduce soil compaction.
On many fine-textured soils, runoff may begin before the soil is properly wet to the right depth. When runoff occurs, stop irrigating and let the water soak into the soil for one to two hours before starting again. It may be necessary to repeat this cycle several times before irrigation is complete.
Our automatic sprinkler systems utilize a unique water driven turbine made of the most durable materials available. You pull the hose out, turn on the water, and the sprinkler shuts itself off when it's done! Our sprinklers require no batteries, no engines, and no electricity. Many of our models hook up to a standard garden hose. No need for special fittings. It is the easiest, most cost effective, and effortless way to water.
Rapid Rain™ is “Your Watering Solution".