Fake GrassWritten by Brad Slade
The history of artificial or fake grass is to say least an interesting one and arose out of social desire to in-effect ward off what could be seen, as far back as 1950s, as an increasingly unhealthy tendency by youngsters not to exercise.
History has it that birth of synthetic grass began through attempts by scientists trying to develop a type of grass that would not only allow children and adolescents to play on regardless of weather condition but encouraged them to do so, in other words, a surface that they enjoyed using or a user friendly surface. Hence advent of fake or artificial grass.
The result was one of early prototypes of what we now know to be fake or artificial grass. The earlier types were not only hard under foot and made for impracticality especially where sports and children were concerned given tendencies to fall but were very unpopular. Conversely, however, in terms of workability and endurance this surface proved itself worthy, with originally playing field where fake grass surface was installed lasting twenty years of solid wear.
Claims that in terms of practicalities due to poor drainage and its tendency to rot fake grass has limited applicability are unsubstantiated. Furthermore, highly contentious arguments revolving around argument that artificial grass causes more on-field injuries when used in sports-grounds is again unfounded and may be derived from factions wanting to see this type of surfacing a thing of past. The claim by industry is that if laid correctly no problems should occur. In fact, if anything, this type of surface should encourage better drainage enabling competitive sports to continue play with less interruption time due to rain.
Today advances in artificial grass surfaces are enormous and can’t be down-played. It is common practice to no longer use asphalt as an underlay beneath surface of grass which has increased shock absorption provided by grass, decreased retention of heat during summer and further improving drainage ability of grass. Finally and possibly most importantly no longer does fake grass look, both on and off T.V like earlier versions of fake grass, that is, FAKE.
Typically artificial grass is approximately 3cm thick (from base to blade tip). The material of ‘blades’ themselves are a polyethylene-polypropylene blend which are then woven into a mat-like backing (much like that of carpet). The only maintenance that is recommended is that surface be given a once over each month, which involves rubbing it down. It you were to get this done professionally it is estimated that it would cost no more than a couple of thousand dollars a year. While this may initially sound a lot when compared to water costs alone for real thing – there is virtually no comparison. For those still sceptical and missing small things associated with ‘real’ grass consider this. In America, consumers missing smell associated with cut grass can purchase, that is right, purchase a can whose contents promise that ‘just cut smell’!
Growing Tomatoes, etc. in Early Spring - "Poor Man's Hydroponics"Written by Jim Kennard, President - Food For Everyone Foundation
Q. I've heard about so many ways to grow tomato and other tender plants early - from using Wall-O-Water's to taking bottom out of wastebaskets, and they all seem to be a lot of work, with no guarantee of success. What do you suggest for someone who's serious about growing high-value crops like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants?
A. If you are only growing a few plants methods you use may not be all that important. However, if you are wanting to grow a sizeable garden or maximize your production, you should pay careful attention to following procedures as taught by Garden Doctor, Jacob Mittleider. Dr. Mittleider's methods have been extensively tested and proven highly effective in 30 countries around world. If these instructions seem difficult or too much work, just consider that you are learning "The Poor Man's Hydroponic System" that will give you yields of tasty and healthy vegetables between 3 and 10 times what your neighbors get. Here is a summary of procedures:
1. Plant your tomato, pepper, or eggplant seeds 8 to 12 weeks before average last spring frost date - 8 weeks for 8-10" plants in 4" pots, and 12 weeks for 12-14" plants in gallon pots. Peppers and eggplant will take a little longer than tomatoes.
2. Prepare growing mix by combining 25-35% sand and 65-75% sawdust (or other clean material such as peat moss or perlite, etc.), and adding Mittleider Pre-Plant Mix at rate of 1 1/2 ounces per 18" X 18" X 2 3/4" seedling flat. You can make your own natural mineral nutrient mixes by looking in Fertilizer pages of Learn section on website at http://foodforeveryone.org/soil_bed_fertilizing/49/how-do-i-mix-the-pre-plant-formula.
3. Using plain water, thoroughly wet mixed materials, let sit overnight, then plant about 100 seeds in each of 6 or 7 very shallow rows in flat and sprinkle sand over top, just sufficient to cover seeds.
4. Place burlap over flat, water gently so as not to move seeds, and keep soil moist, but not soaking wet in temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees fahrenheit. No light is needed, but cold temperatures will kill germinating seeds, so pay particular attention to maintaining temperatures in this range if possible.
5. As soon as sprouts emerge, water through burlap, then remove burlap and place flat in full light all day long. Waiting even a few hours will cause your plants to "stretch" looking for sunlight, and will create long, skinny, weak stems, from which your plants will never fully recover. Temperatures can now be cooler than for germination, but remember that your plants will go dormant if temperatures go much below 60 degrees for any length of time.
6. Begin watering daily or as needed to maintain soil moisture, with Constant Feed solution of 1 ounce Weekly Feed mix in 3 gallons of water (16 ounces in a 55 gallon barrel). Continue with Constant Feed watering until plants are placed in garden.