The Holganix Blog

UltraGreen: Less disease pressure, healthier lawns and growing their business

When Caleb Ault and Josh Bryan, owners of UltraGreen, first heard about Holganix, they were standoffish. Holganix sounded expensive and they were already incorporating some organic solutions in their lawn fertilization program; why look at other products?

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 10.55.12 AM.pngUltimately, the thing that swayed Caleb and Josh was that the Holganix team “clearly cared about my business and took an interest in helping to grow my business,” states Caleb.

Caleb and Josh started UltraGreen in 2012. “We started with a pick-up truck, a spreader and a 4-gallon backpack sprayer,” explains Caleb.

Since founding UltraGreen, the two entrepreneurs quickly grew the business and it now operates in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Florida. Growing their business is important to them, and for Caleb and Josh, Holganix is a tool to help them meet that goal.

After using Holganix for nearly 1 year, Caleb and Josh report that Holganix has helped them increase their lawn care results, save money, and grow their business!

 

What are three of the key results Caleb and Josh report when using Holganix?

  1. Less disease pressure: “We’ve seen about 50% less disease pressure than in previous years when using Holganix alongside reduced amounts of fungicides,” reports Caleb. Specifically, UltraGreen clients have seen less large patch disease – a common plague in their region.

  2. Greener, healthier lawns: Caleb and Josh have heard reports that their lawns have stayed greener longer. The turf also appears thicker.

  3. It’s all about the money: According to Josh, “We’ve seen a 15-20% savings in material cost.” UltraGreen has also experienced less callbacks because of an overall increase in turf health.

 

Want to learn more about UltraGreen and their Holganix experience?

Watch the interview below to hear Caleb and Josh discuss:

  1. Results seen with Holganix

  2. How Holganix has helped them grow their business

  3. Marketing and sales strategies they have used to grow their business

 

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

Tags: lawn care, holganix reviews, holganix review

3 Reasons to be thankful for turfgrass

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As Thanksgiving approaches, we've compiled 3 reasons why Holganix is thankful for turfgrass this season and why you should be too! 

 

1. Turfgrass takes care of pollution

Turf areas represent the largest carbon sink in the US, sucking up and storing greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. Turf also converts carbon dioxide into oxygen. In fact, the grass and trees along the US highway system release enough oxygen to support 22 million people. Turf also helps filter pollutants from run off and can purify and recharge ground water supply, protecting America's water systems from harm.

>>Learn about soil's affect on pollution here

 

2. Turfgrass makes us happy 

Grass areas affect people's moods by creating feelings of serenity, privacy, thoughtfulness and happiness. Furthermore, its yearly cycles of growth and color change lift human spirits and link urban inhabitants with their countryside heritage. 

>>Learn more about turf's affect on happiness here

 

3. Beautiful turf means bigger $

A well-manicured lawn can boost the selling price of your home by 15%! In fact, a Gallup Survey reports that 62% of all US homeowners felt an investment in lawn and landscaping was as good or better than other home improvements.

>>Learn more about the economic benefits associated with turf here 

 

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course

Time to conduct a soil test!

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When was the last time you took soil tests at your property? Are your plants looking a little worn out? Are your turf and plants not taking to fertilizer applications?

Soil tests provide the key soil health metrics you need to better prescribe a fertility program for your property.

On a basic level, soil tests indicate nutrient deficiencies and pH levels. However, more advanced soil tests are available that also indicate Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), soluble salts and other important soil health metrics.

What is each of the soil health metrics you can expect from a soil test, what do they mean and what practices can you put in place to improve results?

 

Measuring key elements to plant growth

According to the University of Minnesota Extension, “There are at least 17 essential elements required for plant growth: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum, chlorine and nickel.”

While elements like hydrogen, carbon and oxygen are taken from air and water, the remaining elements are derived from the soil. When the soil is lacking in a key element, adding a fertilizer is key.

The three most important nutrients for plant growth include: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

1. Nitrogen is responsible for stimulating strong plant growth and promoting green coloring of foliage (it helps with chlorophyll production). Nitrogen is often present in the soil; however, it may be locked in a form that isn’t utilized by the plant. Adding a fertilizer containing nitrogen will directly supply the nutrient to the plant. You could also add a probiotic containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria that will unlock nitrogen already present in the soil, making them available to the plant.

2. Phosphorus is responsible for assisting with the growth of roots and flowers. It also helps plants withstand environmental stress and harsh winters. Just like with nitrogen, phosphorus is often contained in the soil but may be locked in a form the plant can’t use. Adding a fertilizer containing phosphorus or adding a probiotic containing phosphorus-solubilizing bacteria can increase the supply of available phosphorus.

3. Potassium strengthens plants, contributes to early growth and helps retain water. It also affects the plant’s disease and insect suppression. Adding a fertilizer containing potassium will offset any imbalances in the soil.

>>For information on the six essential nutrients for plant health, read our blog here.

 

Looking at soil pH

Soil pH is a measure of soil acidity. A pH of 7 is neutral; anything below a 7 is acidic and anything above is alkaline.

According to the University of Minnesota Extension, “A soil pH is an important chemical property because it affects the availability of nutrients to plants and the activity of microorganisms in the soil.”

On average, most plants prefer a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 and most turf grasses prefer a pH of 5.5 and 6.5. However, pH can differ depending on the plant and turf grass you are growing.

Adding a lime is one common practice to raise the soil pH. Tools that lower pH include but are not limited to: sulfur, iron sulfate, aluminum sulfate, acid sphagnum peat and ammonium sulfate/urea.

 

Cation Exchange Capacity

Think of the soil as the pantry for plants, storing the necessary nutrients to feed the plant and ultimately boost plant health. The Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) is the soil’s ability to maintain and release nutrients to the plant.

So, the higher the CEC, the larger the pantry and the more “food” the soil has the ability to store and feed to the plant.

To increase CEC levels, adding a product with high microbial populations will stimulate the digestion of organic matter, increasing humus levels, which thereby increases CEC levels.

>>Dig deeper into Cation Exchange Capacity and how Holganix boosts CEC levels

 

Soluble salts

Soluble salts are the ions that are dissolved in soil water.

Why are soluble salts important? “High soluble salts can reduce water uptake by plants, restrict root growth, cause burning of the foliage, inhibit flowering, and limit fruit and vegetable yields.” 

Some soils naturally have high soluble salts, however human practices like over fertilizing, pet urine, or using snow salts on sidewalks/streets can all increase soluble salt levels.

To correct soluble salt problems, look at incorporating gypsum and leaching the soil with good quality water.

 

How and where do you conduct soil tests?

Results from soil tests often take a couple weeks and possibly a couple months depending on the test. Most university extensions offer soil testing.

Utilize a sampling tube and take several samples at each location of your property. Look at taking 3-inch to 6-inch deep soil samples. Remember to label each tube with the location from your property from which it was taken.

 

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, the science behind holganix, sports turf, golf course, agriculture

The Proof is in the Green - By Brian Smyth, Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply

We are extremely grateful to Brian Smyth, Branch Manager from Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply for writing the below story featuring a Holganix success story in Oklahoma.

 

The Proof is in the Green

By Brian Smyth

Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply Branch Manager

Norman, OK

  

I had a customer come to me a couple of months ago with a dilemma. They were installing a sprinkler system at a car dealership and the opening day was quickly approaching and they had an area of sod right up next to the show room windows where they plan to park cars that are to be on display. They decided to use sub surface drip to irrigate the grass so as to not spray the windows or cars but were concerned how the grass was going to grow and be healthy on a compacted sand base.

I suggested Holganix Lawn.

There were two areas of sod laid, by the showroom and the opposite end of the parking lot. They used Holganix on the area by the showroom, but did not use Holganix on the other.

As you can see in the pictures, it is obvious which area had a Holganix application and which one did not.

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The sod was laid about a month ago with Holganix applied 2 weeks later and the pictures taken 2 weeks after that. We could not pull back the sod where Holganix was applied as the roots were already established, but we could pull it up in the other area. The customer could not be happier. 

Based on this success, he is looking at using Holganix Lawn in their holding nursery at their shop.

I told this story to another customer that was installing irrigation and landscaping on a new hotel and he plans on using Holganix Lawn on the newly laid sod as well.

I have follow-up meetings with both customers and our Holganix rep Shane Dougherty next month to discuss these 2 jobs, their successes and possibly adding Holganix to both of their spraying programs.

 

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

Tags: lawn care, holganix reviews, ewing irrigation and landscape

What's the definition of soil?

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What’s the definition of soil?

Soil isn’t dirt. Instead, soil is a living, dynamic ecosystem that nurtures healthy plants.

According to the Mississippi State University Extension, soil is responsible for four vital functions:

  1. Sustaining plant and animal life below and above the surface

  2. Regulation water and fertilizer/pesticide runoff

  3. Filtering, buffering, degrading, immobilizing and detoxifying

  4. Storing and cycling nutrients

 

What is soil made from?

When you break down soil, it consists of three key components: mineral particles, organic matter and living things.

 

Mineral particles

Mineral particles can be broken down into three categories based on particle size. Sand is the largest particle at a diameter of .05 to 2.0 mm. Silt is the next largest particle size at .002 to .05 mm. Clay is the smallest at .002 mm.

Often, soil terms like clay-based or sandy soils are utilized to describe soil type. This reflects the soil’s texture, which relates back to the mineral particles found in your soil.

 

Soil organic matter

Soil organic matter (SOM) is made from carbon and once-living plants that are broken down by soil organisms like bacteria, fungi and earthworms. Soil organisms utilize SOM as food, and when digested, exude nutrients and humus. Once SOM has been efficiently broken down, SOM becomes humus.

Increased SOM in soil promotes improved soil structure, biological activity and an increased ability to hold and release nutrients and water in the soil.

 

Living organisms

Living organisms include bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods and earthworms. Together, they promote the decomposition of soil organic matter, release nutrients to the plant, create pores that lead to improved soil structure and stabilize soils.

Check out the video below showing soil microorganisms under a microscope. If viewing this blog via email, click here. 

  

Different types of soil

Just like animals and plants, soils are classified in a system known as Soil Taxonomy. There are 12 orders of soil that can then be broken down to soil series. There are 23,000 soil series in various combinations in the United States.

The 12 orders include:

Gelisols, Histosols, Spodosols, Andisols, Oxisols, Vertisols, Ardisols, Ultisols, Mollisols, Alfisols, Inceptisols and Entisols.

Which order does your soil belong to? Check out the map by the University of Idaho below. Then to dig deeper into your region’s soil order, check out these descriptions by the University of Idaho Extension.

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How can you improve soil health?

According to the USDA, microbial biodiversity is key to soil health. This biodiversity is “a diverse and fully functioning soil food web provided for nutrients, energy, and water cycle that allows a soil to express its full potential.”

Adding a compost, compost tea, or microbial-rich probiotic like Holganix aids in soil health and biodiversity of the soil food web.

>>Learn about Holganix’s 800+ active soil microbes here

Additional best practices like keeping the soil covered, crop/plant rotations and regularly conducting soil tests can all affect soil health.

  soil food web

Tags: lawn care, the science behind holganix, sports turf, golf course, soil food web

Meet our latest product! Holganix 2-10-20… Growing Shoot and Roots!

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Looking to BOOST the health and recovery of your turf and plants? Holganix 2-10-20 is a liquid additive for your fertility program to stimulate growth of SHOOTS and ROOTS. Because Holganix 2-10-20 contains biological food sources and plant useable nutrients, when combined with any Holganix refrigerated liquid product, results are enhanced.

>>Download our Holganix 2-10-20 brochure here

 

Why use Holganix 2-10-20 with Holganix refrigerated liquid products?

  1. Stimulate new tissue development and new shoots from base of plant

  2. Promote healthy root growth

  3. Improve water efficiency of plant

  4. Foster a balanced soil ecosystem with living biology from Holganix refrigerated and biological food sources from Holganix 2-10-20

 

Winter is coming…

In addition to the key benefits listed above, using Holganix 2-10-20 and Holganix refrigerated liquid products during fall applications will increase plant hardiness to better survive winter injury and bounce back from winter stress.

Learn more about the effects of using 2-10-20 and Holganix refrigerated liquid products during winter preparation here.

Webinar: Are Your Turf and Plants  REALLY Ready for Winter? 

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course, 2-10-20

What are the 6 Essential Nutrients for Healthy Plants ?

plant nutrients

Growing happy, healthy plants is not always easy! Plants need thirteen different nutrients from the soil in order to fully develop. Six of these nutrients are needed in large quantities.

These six essential nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur and calcium. The cool thing about these key nutrients is that they help create new cells, which then organize into plant tissue. Without these nutrients, growth and survival would not occur.

 

What do these nutrients do? Let’s break it down by nutrient.

1. Nitrogen: Nitrate (the form of nitrogen that plants use) helps foliage grow strong by affecting the plant’s leaf development. It is also responsible for giving plants their green coloring by helping with chlorophyll production (gardensalive.com). For additional information on nitrogen, visit this blog: Nitrogen Fertilizers 101.

2. Phosphorus: Phosphorus is responsible for assisting with the growth of roots and flowers. Phosphorus also helps plants withstand environmental stress and harsh winters (gardensalive.com). For additional information on phosphorus, visit this blog article: Why Your Plants Need Phosphorus. 

3. Potassium: Potassium strengthens plants, contributes to early growth and helps retain water. It also affects the plant’s disease and insect suppression (extension.uum.edu).     

4. Magnesium: Magnesium contributes to the green coloring of plants (gardeningknowhow.com).

5. Sulfur: Sulfur helps plants resist disease as well as contributing the plant growth and the formation of seeds. They also aid in the production of amino acids, proteins, enzymes and vitamins (davesgarden.com).

6. Calcium: Calcium aids in the growth and development of cell walls. This is key because well-developed cell walls help the plant resist disease. It is also necessary for metabolism and the uptake of nitrogen by the plant (davesgarden.com).

 

How do you add these nutrients to the soil? Looking at well-balanced fertilizers

One of the great things about the six essential nutrients is that they are easy to find.

Adding a well-balanced fertilizer is an easy way to increase nutrient levels in the soil. Be sure to check out Holganix's fertilizer options including: Holganix Blue Sky 21-0-0, Holganix 2-10-20 and Holganix granular options.

 

Unlocking nutrients in the soil

Healthy soil is already pumped with these nutrients, although some like nitrogen and phosphorus are often locked in an unusable form for the plant.

Plant and soil probiotics containe ACTIVE, beneficial microorganisms that unlock plant nutrients in the soil. They also nurture longer, more web-like root systems that are better able to mine for nutrients deeper in the soil.

 

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, holganix, agronomy, bio-stimulant, biological meta-catalyst, the science behind holganix, bio nutrition, green industry, organic lawn care, plant health

Winter is Coming! Are YOUR Turf & Plants Ready?

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Are your turf and plants REALLY ready for winter? Once winter hits, your turf and plants will be under a lot of stress to survive the season. Don’t let Jack Frost put your turf on ICE! Increase plant hardiness to better survive winter injury and recover in the spring.

Combining Holganix refrigerated liquid products with Holganix 2-10-20 for fall applications to turf and plants enhances plant hardiness.

Holganix 2-10-20 is our newest product and is a phosphorus and potassium-focused fertilizer that contains biological food sources.

 

How do Holganix & Holganix 2-10-20 increase plant hardiness?

1. Increases stress and cold tolerance by building strong roots.

Ingredients in Holganix refrigerated liquid products, like endo and ecto mycorrhizae and trichoderma fungi as well as the phosphorus and potassium found in Holganix 2-10-20, promote healthy root growth.

Promoting a thick, web-like root system can prevent roots from ripping when soil movement shifts as temperatures melt and freeze soil moisture.

Having deep roots can also help plants mine for moisture. As soils freeze, plants can literally die of thirst. Potassium also positively regulates water levels within the plant, preventing unnecessary water loss.

 

2. Increases nutrient utilization for plant hibernation

The nutrients contained in Holganix 2-20-20 are maximized through Armament Technology contained in 2-10-20 and Holganix refrigerated liquid products. Both work to increase uptake of nutrients by the plant.

 

3. Balances soil ecosystem with living biology

Holganix contributes to a balanced soil ecosystem that builds strong plants. A stronger plant will have the resilience to survive winter and bounce back from weather stress when spring arrives.

For example, Nitrogen Fixing and Phosphorus Solubilizing Bacteria in Holganix refrigerated liquid products go to work when temperatures warm up and unlock nutrients, giving your plants a boost of energy to recover from winter injury. They also help unlock nutrients before soil temperatures drop below freezing to help the plant hibernate through winter.

 

Learn more about Holganix’s newest product

Holganix 2-10-20 is a liquid potassium and phosphorus-focused fertilizer containing biological food sources that BOOST plant growth.

When combined with Holganix refrigerated liquid products, results from Holganix 2-10-20 are enhanced!

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Visit our Holganix 2-10-20 product page on the website here and then attend Holganix's upcoming webinar: Are Your Turf and Plants REALLY Ready for Winter?

Webinar: Are Your Turf and Plants  REALLY Ready for Winter? 

Tags: lawn care, golf course, greenhouses, nursery, winterizer, 2-10-20

Seven Ways Holganix GROWS Healthier Turf & Plants

Holganix is a 100% organic plant probiotic that balances the soil’s ecosystem, building strong roots and growing healthier, more resilient plants. Holganix Refrigerated Liquid products contain (1) 800+ species of living beneficial microbes that break down nutrients and stimulate healthy plant growth, (2) biological food sources that feed the microbes, and (3) helpful plant extracts and soil minerals. 

 

How does Holganix GROW healthier turf and plants?

There are a lot of ways Holganix grows healthier turf and plants! Here are our top seven favorite ways Holganix GROWS healthier turf and plants.

 

1. Holganix Balances the Soil Food Web

The Soil Food Web is the circle of life within the soil. The big “Bugs” eat the smaller “Bugs,” and those smaller “Bugs” eat even tinier “Bugs.”

When the soil food web is in balance, soil microbes go to work breaking down nutrients within the soil, fortifying plant health and stimulating plant growth.

The living beneficial microbes in Holganix increase the diversity and population counts within the soil food web. If a certain segment or species within the soil food web is weak, adding microbes from Holganix will help strengthen that segment.

At the same time, the biological food sources contained in Holganix provide food to help keep the microbes active in the soil.

soil_food_web.pngPhoto above from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services. http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/soils/health/biology/?cid=nrcs142p2_053868  

 

2. Holganix Builds Strong Roots

Houses have foundations that support the entire structure.

Plants and turf do too! The roots act as the foundation that supports a healthier overall plant.

When your plants have strong root systems, they are better able to withstand environmental stresses from disease, insects, traffic and weather. A stronger root system with long roots is also able to more effectively mine for nutrients, minerals and moisture within the soil.

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Holganix contains several ingredients that influence root growth, including:

Are users seeing good rooting with Holganix? Most of our customers see a considerable improvement in rooting. In fact, last year Holganix hosted a competition to find the best turf roots in America. Check out our winners from 2015.

 

3. Holganix Reduces Inputs

When using Holganix, you increase the effectiveness of synthetic inputs like fertilizers and pesticides, allowing you to reduce inputs by 50 to 75%. That means when you use Holganix, you’re using a greener product that differentiates you from your synthetic wielding competitors.

How much can you reduce your inputs? Check out our compatibility list here for rate reductions and recommended components to use with Holganix.

 

4. Holganix Increases Water Efficiency

When your plants need less water, you can cut back on irrigation and help survive tough weather conditions like droughts and summer heat. Holganix isn’t a drought cure-all, but it can help your plants go into dormancy later and come out of dormancy stronger!

Holganix affects water efficiency in four ways:

  1. Increases root mass

  2. Allows roots to mine for nutrients

  3. Provides access to water that roots can’t reach alone

  4. Acts as a soil conditioner and wetting agent

One of our favorite stories regarding water reduction is Ed Smith Stadium, the spring training field for the Baltimore Orioles. Check out their story here.

 

5. Holganix Increases Stress Tolerance

Because Holganix builds stronger roots, your plants are better able to defend against environmental stresses and more easily recover when attacked by disease, insects and weather.

Holganix also contains microbes that eat pathogenic microbes and release antibiotics in the soil that defend the plant from harm.

Check out Manada Golf Course in PA, then read their case study here.

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6. Holganix Increases Seed Germination

Thinking about doing a little overseeding? Holganix can help with that! Customers that apply Holganix during seeding see an increase in seed germination rates.

Can you guess which pot was treated with Holganix? This test was conducted by Sam Whitehouse of Whitehouse Lawn and Landscape in PA.

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Seven Holganix ingredients enhance seed germination. These seven ingredients are:

  1. Kelp Extract

  2. Mycorrhizae Fungi

  3. Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria

  4. Trichoderma

  5. Humic and Fulvic Acids

  6. Amino Acids

  7. Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria (PGPB)

 

7. Holganix Reduces Transplant Shock

Holganix reduces transplant shock by mending a disrupted soil food web, making the plant’s new environment a happy and healthy one! It also builds strong roots so the new plant can better “root” into its new home. And because of specific soil microbes contained in the product, Holganix increases stress tolerance so your plant is better able to handle the stress of moving into its new home.

 

Want to Learn More?

Learn more about the seven ways Holganix grows healthy plants by attending our webinar featuring Holganix’s Director of Plant and Soil Science, Dr. Neidermyer.

Save your seat! 

Tags: lawn care, the science behind holganix, golf course, greenhouses

Why use Holganix during fall installs and plantings?

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! Holganix products are designed to aid root development and balance the soil ecosystem.

When it comes to plant installations, Holganix’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

 

 

How do you use Holganix during installations?

There are four great ways to apply Holganix during installations:

  1. Chameleon Sprayer

  2. Watering Can

  3. Backpack Sprayer

  4. Holganix Ready to Use Container

Check out our video below for additional information on using Holganix during installations. 

 

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

Tags: lawn care, the science behind holganix, sports turf, golf course, Holganix tree and shrub, holganix bloom