The Holganix Blog

Holganix Case Study: "The Proof is the Plants!" Says Zehrs Garden Center


“Five stars!” says one homeowner on the Zehrs On The Lake Garden Center Facebook Page, “The plants and flowers are beautiful and huge!”

It’s not uncommon to receive five star reviews at Zehrs – a destination nursery in the Niagara region that’s known for growing a premium product. In fact, owner Mark Van Buren fondly refers to the glowing reviews as “The Zehrs Wows” or moments when customers are instantly gratified with their purchase.

Customers and nursery professionals will tell you that the hanging baskets, annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, flowering shrubs, clematis, roses and mums grown at Zehrs are heartier and healthier than those you find elsewhere.

When it comes to nurturing his plants, Mark has long believed in taking a biological approach. “We do a lot of research at Zehrs,” explains Mark. “That makes us more innovative and willing to try new products and ways of growing plants. I’ve long been drawn to using biological products like root stimulants and nutrient enhancers so adding Holganix Bloom to the mix was a natural next step.”

Holganix Bloom – a Bio 800+ product – is a 100% organic plant probiotic that harnesses the power of over 800 beneficial soil microbes to build resilient plants that need fewer inputs like fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides.

“I’ve been using Holganix Bloom for the last two years,” explains Mark. “There’s an extremely low cost associate with the product so I put Bloom on all of my plants!”

Watch Mark's video below from his greenhouses. If you are viewing this blog via email, click here to watch the video.


Holganix Bloom is Like Armor!

According to Mark, Holganix Bloom is like “wrapping my plants in armor!” Not only has it allowed him to produce a healthier overall plant, but also he believes the beneficial nematodes and other ingredients are helping him better manage the threat of harmful insects and pathogens.


How Zehrs Uses Holganix Bloom

As soon as Mark’s cutting trays arrive, he applies a sprench (spray + drench) of Holganix Bloom at a two-ounce per gallon rate. He then follows up that initial application every seven-to-ten days throughout the growing season.

“Using Holganix Bloom is a holistic process – not a magic bullet and not a one time application,” explains Mark. “I see Holganinx Bloom as a long term solution to boosting plant health.”


“The proof is in the plants!”

“I would recommend Holganix Bloom to any grower,” assures Mark. “There’s a tremendous amount of science behind Holganix products and at the end of the day, the proof is in the plants!”

What's in the Holganix Bio 800+ jug?  Check out our ingredient list! 

Tags: soil microbes, holganix reviews, holganix review, greenhouse

Preliminary results from studies on pathogenic nematodes show big promise!


“My favorite nematodes are pathogenic Melodogvne (root-knot nematodes) and Heterodera (soybean cyst nematodes),” admits Dr. Kris Nicholas Lambert from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

It may sound strange to name favorite pathogenic nematodes, especially considering that nematodes represent a $100 billion problem in terms of worldwide plant loss, but for a long-term nematode enthusiast like Dr. Lambert, naming favorites is just second nature.

While pursuing his doctorate in molecular biology and biochemistry at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Lambert was introduced to Davis’s Department of Nematology (now referred to as the Department of Entomology). He has since become one of the foremost authorities on pathogenic nematodes in America, and has lovingly devoted his career to the study of controlling and understanding how pathogenic nematodes operate. Today, he is a researcher and associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“When it comes to studying products and their effect on nematodes, you’re lucky if you can persuade Dr. Lambert to take you on,” explains Holganix’s President of Agriculture, Dr. David Stark. “That’s why we were excited when Dr. Lambert agreed to study a specific Holganix technology and its affect on pathogenic nematodes including the root-knot and the soybean cyst nematode.”

While studies are still ongoing, preliminary results have shown a 75% reduction in pathogenic nematodes with Holganix technology in a lab setting and a 50% reduction in pathogenic nematodes in a field setting.


Why study nematodes?

Pathogenic nematodes may be small microscopic round worms, but they represent a BIG problem for growers and turf professionals. In fact, according to a study published by the Society of Nemtaologists, pathogenic nematodes are responsible for an estimated 14% loss of all economically important crops worldwide, translating to over $100 billion annually.

Pathogenic nematodes feed on plant roots, damaging them and draining nutrients from the plant, decrease yields and increase the plant’s susceptibility to other stresses.

Growers and turf professionals suffering from nematode infestations on their fields are often faced with two options: (1) pay a small fortune to decimate all biology within the soil via a toxic nematicide or (2) ignore the problem, and deal with the consequences. 


In 2015, golf courses in Florida began taking notice and talking about results they saw on pathogenic nematodes while using Holganix Golf (a Bio 800+ product). Shannon Easter, the Director of Golf Maintenance and Environmental Consultant for Broken Sound Golf Club in Boca Raton, Florida, saw an average 60% decrease in pathogenic nematode counts and attributes the results to Holganix Golf.

>>Read about Shannon’s case study here

Results on Florida golf courses inspired Holganix scientists to dig deeper and invest in research to better understand the benefits of Holganix technology on pathogenic nematodes.


Digging into the results

While research is still ongoing, preliminary results conducted in a lab setting by Dr. Lambert at the University of Illinois are promising. After the first year of studying the product, the team saw a 75% reduction in pathogenic nematodes in the lab.

“It’s complex,” explains Dr. Lambert of Holganix technology. “There’s a lot of things going on in the jug and it is difficult to state with certainty why Holganix technology is producing results.” However, Dr. Lambert does have three theories.

1. Affecting migration to the roots - Holganix technology appears to confuse or incapacitates the nematode so it can’t migrate to the plant and cause harm.

2. Inhibiting eggs from hatching - Holganix technology may be inhibiting soybean cyst nematode eggs from hatching.

3. Targeting pathogenic nematodes - Microbes in Holganix technology may be attacking pathogenic nematodes.

“We are taking a two-pronged approach to studying Holganix technology,” explains Dr. Lambert. “In 2016, we studied Holganix technology in a lab. This year, we are continuing lab testing but we are also studying it in the field.”

So far, field tests have also been promising. After inoculating each crop with pathogenic nematodes and applying Holganix technology, Dr. Lambert reports a 50% reduction in pathogenic nematodes.

Dr. Lambert will need to repeat the lab studies two or three times and the field studies over a minimum of two growing seasons before drawing conclusive results regarding the effect, mechanism and application of Holganix technology when used as a treatment against pathogenic nematodes.


What will the future hold?

Dr. Lambert continues to diligently test Holganix technology against pathogenic nematodes and hopes to write a paper about the subject in the near future. At the end of the day, “chemical treatments (nematicides) are extremely expensive for growers and turf professionals,” explains Dr. Lambert. “The fact that Holganix technology is better for the environment, technician and pocket-book is exciting. We are crossing our fingers and hoping for additional positive feedback. Stay tuned!”

Today, Holganix does not offer a registered nematicide product and results on Holganix technology’s influence over pathogenic nematodes are still pending; however, the Holganix team is excited by the results and what those results could mean for the future of Holganix.

soil food web 

Flooded by a hurricane? Holganix products can help!

At Holganix, we are so grateful that so many of our partners – green industry professionals, distributors and even employees – made it through both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma healthy and intact. That’s a blessing!

As our partners made it back to their homes and back to work, we started to get a stream of questions: Will Holganix Bio 800+ products help us manage plant health problems caused by flooding?


In short – yes Holganix Bio 800+ is a tool in your arsenal to deal with the after-effects of flooding caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Bio 800+ is a plant probiotic teeming with over 800 species of soil microbes, nutrient enhancers and microbe food that naturally fosters root growth, builds plant strength, and reduces the need for fertilizer, pesticide and water.


It’s a matter of oxygen…

How long can you hold your breath? Just like humans, turf and plants “breathe”. Oxygen is absorbed through the roots and crown of the plant, and the plant takes in oxygen from pores (stomata) on the leaf surface.

Oxygen is essential to plant health because, without oxygen the plant is not able to break down elements that create energy and without energy, the plant dies.

So, how long can a plant hold its breath? Each species is different. For example, a mature tree can hold its breath longer than turfgrass because a tree’s root system runs deeper than turf’s and can more easily mine for oxygen. When a beaver creates a dam, the creek over flows its bank and a pond is created over the flood plain. If you have seen this happen, you have also seen the trees die. This is because the tree roots are denied a source of oxygen

Assuming that your plants are still alive after flooding, they may be weak and may need help to regrow and recover from stresses caused by salt and pathogens.


Root Development

Holganix Bio 800+ promotes root development through the presence of soil microbes like mycorrhizae fungi and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR).

Mycorrhizae and PGPR form symbiotic relationships with plants whereby the plants feed the microbe by secreting sugars and in turn, the microbe performs functions to make nutrients more readily available to the plants.

According to What is Life? A Guide to Biology, mycorrhizae “extracts phosphorus and nitrogen from the soil and releases them inside the roots of the plant, the additional nutrients that the plant receives from the fungi allow the plant to grow faster and larger.” In addition, mycorrhizae search the soil for nutrients that are too far or deep in the soil for the roots to reach, delivering them to the plant.

PGPR is a special class of bacteria that occupy the rhizosphere (area of the soil where roots grow) and have the ability to promote plant growth. They directly affect plant growth by facilitating the availability of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and iron. PGPR also produce plant hormones like auxins, gibberellins and cytokinins that stimulate plant root and shoot growth in exchange for food sources from the plant.


Turf Recovery From Stress

When the plant is under attack from pathogens or suffering from salt-related stresses, Bio 800+ can help.

Soil microbes like PGPR help the plant through competitive displacement, where PGPR out-compete pathogens for nutrients.

Further, PGPR and Trichoderma fungi have been shown to induce SAR (Systematic Acquired Resistance). SAR triggers a signal in the plant that activates the plant’s defense system such as reinforcing plant cell walls, producing anti-microbial phytoalexins and synthesizing pathogen-related proteins.

If you are concerned about salt-related stress, consider three functions of soil microbes as it relates to salt:

1. Bacteria and fungi secrete plant hormones that induce plant growth – even when salt is overloaded in the soil

2. Plants can selectively reduce sodium uptake, which plant hormones produced by bacteria and fungi, help support.

3. Bacteria can induce tolerance to sodium through Induced Systematic Tolerance (ISR). In this case, bacteria send a message to plants (through the roots) indicating the presence of too much sodium.

Additional questions?

If you have additional questions about how Holganix Bio 800+ can be a tool in your arsenal to deal with the aftereffects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, please don’t hesitate to give the office a call!

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10 Dirty Secrets About Soil [SlideShare]

Soil Scientist, Charles E. Kellogg once stated, "There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together." What an incredible reminder of the important role soil plays in our lives. In honor of soil, we've created the SlideShare, 10 Dirty Secrets About Soil

For example, did you know that there are roughly 70,000 different types of soil in the United States? Or, that one tablespoon of soil has more organisms in it than there are people on Earth? Check out our SlideShare below to learn more.

If you are viewing this blog via email, click this link to access the SlideShare.

soil food web

Tags: soil health, the science behind holganix, soil food web

Holganix Case Study: Improved Turf Recovery & Rooting at The Padres

Before becoming the National Sports Turf Specialist for Ewing, Luke spent 12 years as the Director of Field Operations at the San Diego Padres. “It was a high intensity job, but I really loved being on the turf every day and experimenting with new products and new practices.”

During his last two years at the Padres, Luke started using Holganix Bio 800+ Golf.

“At first I was skeptical of Holganix Bio 800+,” explains Luke, but when he saw the chief ingredient was a compost tea, he knew he needed to experiment with the product.

Prior to using Holganix Bio 800+, Luke had utilized a home-brewed compost tea with a worm-casting base. While he liked the results from his home-brewed tea, brewing the product was cumbersome and the two-day shelf life made applying the product a challenge.


Results at the Padres


Luke’s first application of Bio 800+ Golf was the hyper inoculation rate of 14 ounces per 1,000 square feet. Following the first application, Luke applied Bio 800+ every two weeks at 7 ounces per 1,000 square feet.

According to Luke, his three key results were:

1. Rooting  “Our roots were eight inches long by May after sodding in March. Typically, we would have four-to-five inch roots at that time,” says Luke. “We also saw more white root hairs and the roots were denser.”

2. Reduced Fertilizer Use – Because Holganix Bio 800+ increases fertilizer efficiency, Luke reduced his nitrogen by 25-to-30 percent.

3. Turf Recovery – “We had 100 events per year and I would typically sod normal wear areas three times per year. But, with Holganix Bio 800+ the turf held up better and I only had to re-sod one-to-two times per year.”


Results at Home

“I’m constantly experimenting at my home to fine tune the use of products,” explains Luke. He specifically sites one test with Bio 800+ Bloom on potted violas. In both pots, he used Fox Farm potting soil, 8-8-8 fertilizer and watered. However, in the Holganix pot, he also incorporated the use of Bio 800+ Bloom. “The pot wound up overflowing and lasting me a good six months.”


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What’s in the jug?

The ingredients list is Luke’s favorite Holganix piece because it accurately paints a picture of what’s in the Bio 800+ product line and how those ingredients can cater to plant and soil health. Download your copy of the Holganix Bio 800+ ingredient list below.

What's in the Holganix Bio 800+ jug?  Check out our ingredient list!

Tags: holganix reviews

Building Your Lawn Care Marketing Plan

It seems like only yesterday we were excitedly preparing for the impending spring craze. Even though it may feel like we are in the midst of summer, fall is coming sooner than you think. Now is the time to start discussing your fall marketing plan in order to capitalize on growth opportunities for the end of 2017. What can you do to get your marketing plan in shape?

Watch our webinar below featuring Marketing Consultant, Nicole Wise and Holganix CEO, Barrett Ersek as they walk you through your marketing plan, marketing tactics to secure growth, and build measurable marketing campaigns. 


What can you expect to learn from the webinar recording?

         1. Set a revenue growth goal

         2. Access free tools to market your company

         3. Build a marketing plan


Watch the webinar recording! 

If you are reading this blog via email, click here to access the webinar recording.




Webinar Resources

Download some of the resources mentioned during the webinar including the marketing plan excel template.

         1. Download the PowerPoint Slides

         2. Download the Marketing Plan Excel Template

         3. Download the Holganix Launch Marketing Box

Tags: lawn care, marketing tips and hints

3 Reasons to Use Holganix Bio 800+ During Installs

When installing trees, shrubs, flowers or sod, you stress out the plant as it gets used to its new home. At times, stress can be so great that the plant will go into shock or potentially die after installation.

As your insurance policy for achieving the perfect installation, apply Holganix Bio 800+! Holganix Bio 800+ products are designed to aid root development and balance the soil ecosystem.

When it comes to plant installations, Holganix Bio 800+’s focus on rooting and soil leads to huge benefits like:

  1. Improved healing process

  2. Improved plant survival

  3. Healthier plants and more beautiful flowers

Watch our video below to learn more about the benefits of using Bio 800+ during plant installations. If reading this blog via email, click here to access the video. 


How do you use Holganix Bio 800+ during installations?

There are four great ways to apply Holganix Bio 800+ during installations:

  1. Chapin or Chameleon Hose-End Sprayer

  2. Watering Can

  3. Backpack Sprayer

  4. Holganix Bloom Ready to Use Container

Check out our video below for additional information on how to apply Holganix Bio 800+ during installations. If reading this blog via email, click here to access the video. 


Get credit for using Holganix Bio 800+ during installs

At Holganix, we believe in creating long-lasting, win-win partnership, which is why we've created two marketing boxes to help you upsell services like tree and shrub and flower maintenance to your customers. The marketing boxes contain marketing tools like videos for your social media, social media posts, blogs, post card designs and more. Download your marketing boxes below and start growing your business!



Holganix Case Study: "Rebuilding Biological Conditions in the Urban Landscape"

Dane Manobianco isn’t new to the world of biological products in landscape management. He’s been working with biological programs for over 8 years and has specifically been using Holganix Bio 800+ for 5 years as a team member at Dahlman’s Landscape Management in Bradenton, Florida.

Holganix Bio 800+ is a 100% organic plant probiotic that harnesses the power of over 800 species of soil microbes to build stronger, more resilient plants that require up to 75% less fertilizer and pesticides.

According to Dane, “I’m a firm believer in rebuilding biological conditions in the urban landscape. We are delivering the ability to actually boost [plant health] and provide real value.”

Dane likes to compare the use of Holganix Bio 800+ on plants as being similar to properly raising a child. When you use synthetic products, it’s like “a child drinking energy drinks and eating fast food all the time.” But, when you use biological products, it’s like raising a child and you “feed the child properly… provide the right amount of sleep and help it stay active,” he states.

With Bio 800+, “we are providing a healthy environment to have a stronger landscape and you’re seeing less [problems] because the plant is stronger and can heal itself,” Dane says.

Watch our video below to learn more about the results Dane is seeing with Holganix Bio 800+. 


5 Types of Soil Microbes to Nurture Plant and Soil Health


One year ago, we published a blog that discussed the “Top 5 COOLEST Soil Microbes Ever.” Not only was it well-received by the Holganix community – but also it was a blast to highlight some of the soil microbes found in Holganix Bio 800+ products. Our readers asked us to provide more information on the important biology in Holganix 800⁺.

Check out our blog below to learn about some of the powerful microbes found in the product.


When you discuss microbes – diversity is a key theme

It’s hard to pick just a few soil microbes from an ingredient list that contains over 800 species of diverse soil microorganisms. However, while the microbe count in Bio 800+ is important, diversity is even more crucial. Because Bio 800+ is filled with a diversity of life, by using the product you prepare the soil and plant for whatever hurdle it needs to face.

Think of it as your equivalent to a multi-vitamin. Instead of a magic bullet, Holganix Bio 800+ products parachute in an army of specialists, each of which is capable of filling in gaps to balance the biological requirements of the soil and plants.


Soil Microbe 1: Yeast

Species of yeast representing two genus are present in Holganix Bio 800⁺: Debarayomyces and Saccharomyces. Species of both these genera are known to be plant growth promoting organisms. The plant growth promoting effect of yeast in these genera include phosphate solubilizing, barriers to pathogenic bacteria and fungi, production of plant growth hormones and other effects.


Microbe 2: Trichoderma

Trichoderma provides proteins to the plant that produce an induced systemic resistance effect in the plant (ISR). This ISR effect triggers the plant to mount disease resistance properties and also to stimulate photosynthesis in the leaves. In addition, Trichoderma species produce and release plant growth hormones to the soil.


Microbe 3: Penicillium

Penicillium fungi have a plant growth effect caused by the production and secretion of gibberellins which stimulate root growth. Additionally, Pennicillium species have an induced systematic resistance (ISR) effect on plants by secreting enzymes that trigger a plant immune response.


Soil Microbe 4: Nematodes

It is often joked among scientists that nematodes can be found everywhere. About 90% of the ocean floor, and 80% of Earth carries populations of nematodes. They are even rumored to be one of the first organisms to develop from a single-celled organism to a multi-celled organism.

Within the nematode family, there are both beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms. On the one hand, beneficial nematodes are important in mineralizing nutrients (converting nutrients into plant-useable forms), but on the other hand, pathogenic nematodes can destroy root systems, cause disease and negatively impact mycorrhizal fungi.  Other species of nematodes are “grazers” in the environment they live in. These grazers eat bacteria, fungi and/or other nematodes (dependent on the nematode species doing the grazing). This battle is playing out in the soil under our feet every day. Holganix Bio 800⁺ contains nematodes just waiting to join this battle as reinforcement upon application to the soil..

Holganix Bio 800+ contains beneficial nematodes. Check out this blog post featuring a case study showing how Holganix Bio 800+ helped Broken Sound Golf Club fight pathogenic nematodes.


Soil Microbe 5: Lactobacillus

Yes – we did highlight Lactobacillus in our previous blog post, but we can’t help but shine the spotlight on this lesser-known yet very important genus in Holganix Bio 800+ again. Lactobacillus is a genus of bacteria commonly found in soil and the guts of animals. In the soil, these organisms promote the decomposition of organic matter. In addition to organic matter decay, they suppress disease and perform growth-regulatory effects on fungi, yeast and other bacteria.

There are over 200 species of Lactobacillus known to science, with many more waiting to be identified as knowledge of this genus expands.


Want to learn more about the bugs in our jug? 

Want to dig in deeper? Download our ingredient list to learn about some of the exciting ingredients found in Bio 800+.

What's in the Holganix Bio 800+ jug?  Check out our ingredient list! 

Tags: the science behind holganix

The Wilmington Blue Rocks Goes Green!

There probably isn’t anything more American than American baseball. For many of us, warm evenings, hot dogs, and a local baseball game is an integral part of summer. For those of us at Holganix, our local team of choice is The Blue Rocks – a minor league team and Holganix user based in Wilmington, Delaware that is only a twenty-minute drive from headquarters.  

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According to Steve Gold, Grounds Manager for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, “When I use a lot of chemicals on the turf. I make the turf fat and dumb. That’s one of the reasons why I was so attracted to Holganix Bio 800+. Less synthetics? Sign me up!”

Gold is on the super inoculation Holganix program, utilizing large amounts of Holganix Bio 800+ in combination with three pounds of nitrogen annually. Before Holganix Bio 800+, Gold still used a lean nitrogen program but Holganix Bio 800has allowed him to take the next step. At the end of the day, it was the reduction in fungicides that really got Gold excited. “I hate fungicides,” states Gold passionately. “It’s the dark side of the turf industry.”

Even with Holganix Bio 800+, “We still have some disease issues that pop up now and then,” admits Gold. “The really great part is that we’ve cut back our fungicide applications from 15 per year to 2 to 3 depending on weather conditions. To me, seeing such a huge decrease in fungicide use means results.”

Like many in the industry, Gold has grown up on turf. “My mother worked at the spring training complex in Florida,” says Gold. “At age 15 I got a job cutting grass in the neighborhood. At that time nothing seemed cooler than being able to work the spring training complex.” Gold worked the training complex until he graduated high school. After several other turf field positions, Gold received an offer with the Blue Rocks. Twenty years later, Gold is still happily caring for the Blue Rocks field. “It “grew” on me,” he said of the field.

Just like the field, Holganix Bio 800grew on Gold too. He first started testing the Holganix program in early 2012. By 2013, after seeing great results, Gold decided to jump on board. “Turf Root depth is what I notice the most,” says Gold who reports seeing 6 to 8 inch roots throughout the year. “Just the other day, we replaced the irrigation head. When we removed sections of the turf to replace the irrigation, it is like picking up a bowling ball because of all the roots.” All in all, Gold says he has longer roots than ever before.

"The cool thing about Holganix Bio 800+", says Gold "is that it really is healthy for the plant". At the end of the day, “The turf plant and the human body are pretty similar,” says Gold. For a human, eating too much carbs or bad fats can be damaging to your health. For turf, synthetics act the same way. “My goal is to nurture a healthy plant not create a fat one.” Holganix Bio 800+ allows Gold to utilize drastically less nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides while promoting plant health. 

What's in the Holganix Bio 800+ jug?  Check out our ingredient list!

Tags: sports turf, holganix reviews