RainAmp Facts, Questions & Answers

Please contact us with any additional questions . We want to talk even if you just have questions or ideas.  info@RainAmp.com (269)-888-1655

QUESTION: Don’t plant roots need oxygen, not just water. Won’t the RainAmp bowls prevent air from reaching the roots?

ANSWER: Roots need both water and oxygen to thrive, RainAmp bowls actually enhance air circulation around the core root zone, where it’s most critical.

Here’s how it works:

  • Rainwater gets concentrated in the central bio sponge, then soaks deeper into the soil in a cone shape.
  • As this concentrated water fills the soil pores, it temporarily pushes out some air.
  • But as the water gets absorbed and evaporates (evapotranspiration), it creates a vacuum that sucks fresh air down into the core area where most of the plant’s roots are located.
  • While the drier soil near the bowl’s edge might have less air exchange, that’s less of a concern because there are fewer roots there.

In essence, RainAmp helps deliver fresh air right to the root zone where it matters most for healthy plant growth! This means that in our process we are drawing new fresh air down into the core root mass where the bulk of the plants roots are concentrated. It may reduce air exchange in the much dryer soil near the edge of the bowl since that area received less water but the plant’s roots are not nearly concentrated in that area so it matters less. Net, Net we maximize air exchange in the area where the plants roots which can benefit from fresh oxygen are concentrated.

  • Q: Don’t you worry about Reflected Heat:? What about reflective heat from the concrete/rock covering.. i just saw a post on the Ask An Arborist AZ! Managed by Trees Matter that mentioned how high the temps can get from reflective heat… artificial turf is also terrible.. it kills the biome of the soil underneath as temps can soar to 180’ in the summer.
    • A: In reality Rain amp helps improve plant survivability under extreme conditions in many ways. Under harsh conditions the number one rule is to remain hydrated which RainAmp helps ensure for the target plants. You must ensure hydration first because because no other work you do will matter because the plant is already dead or struggling. Once you have hydration handled then reducing sensible heat which means reducing the amount of solar energy absorbed and converted to heat that you feel which the RainAmp process also helps with by helping reflect more heat away. After this then seek relief by shade when it is the hottest and sunniest. RainAmp doesn’t directly answer the shade question but it can help grow some tall shade producing trees that can provide afternoon shade for more sensitive species.

      One potential risk is that a perfectly shaped parabola concentrates too much light back on the plant. We shape the bowls to funnel water and that shape is too shallow and too irregular to be an effective light concentrator. It actually does a great job of reflecting a large part of the solar light back into the sky which both reduces the amount of light absorbed and re-emitted as sensible heat and allows cooling of the surface using black body radiant cooling to send some of the heat absorbed back into the sky.

      The concrete bowl reflects more light away because it is a lighter color than surrounding soil. We form the concrete using local soil plus cement so it is always a lighter color which is known to reduce heat absorption. If a plant has adequate moisture it can actually consume the reflected light and grow. We use a relatively high water ratio in the concrete which makes it less dense than traditional concrete and includes a lot of more air or higher porosity. This helps reduce the amount of Portland cement consumed while also meaning that it provides some insulation so more of the heat that does get absorbed is more likely to be radiated away from the surfaces than it is to be absorbed into the soil.

      Under extreme summer heat, Reflecting the light away is preferrable to having the sun hit the darker surrounding soil where the light energy is converted to sensible heat which the plant can not do anything with. It works just like a the white surface of a glacier helps keep air temperature lower by reflecting some of the light energy away before it can be converted. In an areas like Phoenix where the air temps can already exceed 110F reflecting the heat energy away is beneficial. Under these extreme conditions one reason plant struggle is they can’t obtain enough water to keep their exposed tissues hydrated. RainAmp helps by ensuring the roots receive an optimal amount of water. In these very harsh it can also be beneficial to arrange shade especially in the afternoon but this can be true for any plant trying to survive in desert conditions.

      One way some people try to improve this further is to cover the impermeable skin with a bunch of light colored. These rocks also reflect the light away but they are better at randomizing the direction of the reflection. These rocks also also have relatively little surface area in contact with the impermeable skin compared to the amount of their surface area in contact with the air so they provide a mechanism to maximize transfer of absorbed heat to the air where the higher relative temperature creates a thermal plume which carries the heat away from the plants. The problem with the rocks is that more of the light is scattered into other rocks which means more net energy is absorbed and converted to sensible heat than the concrete bowl. Net, Net it depends on the conditions but using a little more cement to make the surface of the bowl more white yields less sensible heat which is detrimental to plants already under extreme heat stress.

      You mentioned artificial turf. You should remember that dark green is much closer to Black than it is to white while the color of Portland cement is much closer to white. That means artificial turf will naturally absorb more solar energy. This is the same reason so many people are adopting white or brightly colored roofs to help reduce solar heat gain any solar energy reflected away results in less local sensible heat. The rain amp bowls work the opposite of artificial turf unless you chose very dark colored rocks. We can drill into this further upon request but it really is not comparable.

      NOTE: In areas with lots of deep freeze cycles we use less water and more cement to help reduce risk of freeze damage.

      Want to Learn more? Try these Google searches: how does convection transfer heat, Why light colored surfaces stay cooler in the sun, Hydration Water is a key factor for plant survival and growth , Sub ambient Cooling with Black body radiant heat transfer, How high Albedo affects temperatures by increased reflectivity of objects.

      Want to Test this in your Yard? We will furnish the measurement equipment to measure soil temperatures and soil moisture in two locations in your yard. We will also furnish equipment to measure the relative air temperatures at 3 foot in a spot protected by RainAmp and a second spot not protected. We only ask that you provide the land and help certify the responses. We are seeking mostly land under extreme conditions like the Arizona desert but will consider other locations to.

  • Want to confirm what we say? Then try this google search: Soil aeration When the soil is “dry”, the pores are mainly filled with air. After irrigation or rainfall, the pores are mainly filled with water.
  • How do I get my own RainAmp S system?
  • How do I determine the Bowl size for my location and specific plants?
  • What is the Inverted V Moisture Column
  • How do I shape my bowls?
  • Where did the RainAmp planting bowl come from.
  • Can I use the RainAmp bowl and Bio-sponge without S1.
  • Why do we need the biosponge along with the RainAmp Bowl?
  • Will RainAmp work on the side of steep hills?
  • How will RainAmp encourage my trees to grow deep roots
  • Where did you get the name RainAmp?
  • Why Do you focus on food producing trees, berries and bushes?
  • Will RainAmp work for wind break trees?
  • Can we move RainAmp S1 to a new tree or does it need to stay in place forever
  • Why Did you invent RainAmp?
  • What About pooling water causing Algae Growth?
  • What About pooling water supporting Mosquito growth
  • Can One RainAmp S1 support more than one tree
  • What about soil that doesn’t drain like your sample
  • Can you install RainAmp on existing trees
  • Is this good in dry Hot deserts like Phoenix:
    • We do have pine trees in the desert/Phoenix area, but that’s not the issue here. I sure hope the post gets removed. I thought it was left over from April Fools Day, but evidently it’s not.