The Holganix Blog

Holganix case studies: "I love Holganix!"

If you didn’t get a chance to read part one of Jimmy Alston’s interview, scroll back to our previous blog post or click here to learn why there is a thin line between love and hate.

Jimmy Alston is the superintendent of championship course, Eagle Creek Golf and Country Club in Naples, Florida. After growing up in a farming family, he knows a thing or two about soil. Alston has been mixing his own “bug brews” for over twenty years, and is tickled green that he no longer has to utilize a DIY approach. Holganix provides him with all of his ingredients already mixed together in a single jug. That means Alston can spend more time “wooing” and less time “brewing”!

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Although already intrigued by Holganix, Alston really knew he was on to something when his course started requiring less overhead irrigation and then no hand watering of greens…ever! Before using Holganix, Eagle Creek was irrigating greens every seven to eight days for the past five years, and hand watering certain areas almost every day. After applying Holganix, Alston was only irrigating greens an average of once every 12 to 14 days. Alston attributes this change to the Yucca extract in Holganix because he had not added anything else to their greens management programs.

In the past, Alston has used various Yucca products and he never saw this tremendous of a “water needs” change with any other product. According to Alston, “the best benefit was that the soil never seemed wet, so this change wasn’t due to some type of extreme “water-holding” phenomenon.”

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One of the most exciting observations was in May of 2014, after ten months of consistent Holganix use, and during his yearly soil evaluation to prepare his summer cultivation plan.

When Alston started at Eagle Creek in 2007, the course suffered from massive thatch problems. Over the past three years, going into the season Alston would have .5 inches of thatch. By May, he would measure 1.0 inch to 1.25 inches of thatch. To bring thatch back to .5 inches, Alston would aggressively graden verticut at least twice throughout the summer.

However, in May of 2014, after using Holganix he measured thatch at .25 inches. He was shocked because he has never seen a biostimulant, inoculant or organic product able to make such a drastic change in such a short period of time. The reduced thatch levels resulted in no graden vericutting for the entire summer! Golf course members were thrilled! Furthermore, revenues remained high because players didn’t have to deal with playability killers due to graden lines.

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When Alston’s Soil Food Web microbial samples came back, there was a huge increase in total fungi and total active fungi. He was amazed, because he has spent ten years applying other products with no increase ever measured. In Alston’s opinion, beneficial fungi are the most important, and often missing link in the microbiology of golf greens. These are the precursors in the breakdown of thatch because they make the initial move on dismantling Lignin Cellulose.

“Holganix and Holganix only is why we saw the tremendous change in our thatch levels and to me, also proves that Holganix works and works well!” says an enthusiastic Alston. “I’ve seen some super good stuff with Holganix and I highly recommend it.”

Tags: bionutrition, holganix reviews, golf course, organic fertilizer, turf, compost tea, holganix case studies, golf sustainability, thatch reduction, golf irrigation, soil food web, reduce irrigation

Holganix case studies: "I HATE Holganix!"

“I hate Holganix,” says Jimmy Alston, golf course superintendents for Eagle Creek Golf and Country Club in Naples, Florida. “Holganix put a product together that took me 20 years to figure out. Now any guy down the street can easily do the same thing I’m doing!” Before using Holganix, Alston had been mixing several of the ingredients contained within Holganix and using them on the course. Now, Alston receives all those ingredients and some, in one single jug of Holganix. 

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Screen_Shot_2014-12-16_at_9.56.42_AMEagle Creek Golf and Country Club is a premier Naples private golf club. The 18-hole championship course features Tifeagle greens, and 419 Bermuda on tees, fairways and roughs. Currently, Eagle Creek is 95% organic because Alston believes that, “going organic is easier. There are less surprises, and much more stable conditions, with no disease or insect threats. It makes my job easier.”

When introducing a new product to Eagle Creek, Alston puts it through the wringer, evaluating it over a long time. “Our philosophy is that if we can’t prove it’s working using the sample method, we stop using it,” explains Alston. “But Holganix works!” Alston saw results within four to five weeks of starting Holganix and he believes the quality of the ingredients within Holganix is better than the components Alston has used in the past.

Alston first started utilizing Holganix in June of 2013. The first observation he saw was a big jump in green speeds. This was during the month of November when the weather was still warm and Tifeagle turf was growing. He watched green speeds closely and stimps two times per day, five days a week throughout the season. Over all, “Green speed jump was six to eight inches,” states Alston.

He also saw an increase of firmness by 50%. Both green speed and surface firmness improvements resulted in less rollings, almost zero double cuttings and increased cutting heights from .110 to .125 inches.

In the past, Alston has used Primo as a growth regulator at a rate of five ounces per acre, each week. Recently, Alston has gone four months without Primo because green speeds were already “fast”. Last week, green speeds slowed slightly so he brought Primo back into his recipe… at one ounce per acre! “I’ve never been that low,” says Alston. “I can only contribute this situation to Holganix.”

Furthermore, compliments from members on the quality of the greens were higher than at any time in his entire careers while growing Tifeagle turf. 

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“Before using Holganix, we have always had good greens,” says Alston. “I didn’t think our greens could get any better than they were, but Holganix proved me wrong. One things is very certain; Holganix makes everything easier, cheaper and better!”

Stay tuned for part two on Alston’s interview to be released this Thursday, December 18! We’ll be discussing his experience with thatch, irrigation and the results of his annual Soil Food Web microbial samples.


Tags: bionutrition, holganix reviews, golf course, turf, compost tea, holganix review, holganix case studies, golf, sustainable golf course, primo

The Science Behind Holganix: Why do roots matter?

Which part of the turf are your customers going to grade you on: the green foliage or the roots? Clearly, this is a rhetorical question. At the end of the day, people want the greenest lawn on the block especially when they are paying you to provide results. Unfortunately, very few if any of these customers pay any attention to what their grass looks like below the surface. So why should you pay attention to what is happening literally beneath your feet? At the end of the day, roots are crucial. Your roots below are what makes your grass grow on top. Learn to use your roots as an asset and make it one of your major considerations when designing your programs.

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Above is an picture of our 2014 Holganix Roots For You root competition in lawn care. 14.5 inch roots by Chalet Nursery in Chicago, IL.

 

Feeding the plant

Let’s start with the biology. Turf is a living organism (obvious, right?). It needs to be fed. It needs to breath. It needs a place to store its food. In many ways it is just like us or any other organism. Turf roots grow vertically but will also branch out to take up necessary nutrients.

When we look at roots, the real key is to look for the root hairs. These tiny hairs are where most of the nutrient and water uptake for the plant occur. So, it is not just important to have deep roots but to have fibrous roots as well. These hairs are very small and delicate and synthetic formulations can easily damage them.

Roots serve as the main storage place for nutrients within the plant. Some of these nutrients will be released back into the soil from the root to “bribe” microorganisms into forming a symbiotic partnership with the plant. In other words, the roots feed the microorganisms and in return the microorganisms help the plant with many other things necessary to its health including protecting it from disease and insects in addition to gathering nutrients for the plant. For example, mycorrhizae fungi partner with roots to better get nutrients to the plant. In the below image, mycorrhizae fungi reach outside the depletion zone where limited to no phosphorus exist to gather the nutrient for the plant. In return, the plant secretes sugars, feeding the mycorrhizae fungi.  

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Most essential nutrients are taken up by the roots to feed the plant. These nutrients include those commonly found in fertilizers. For example, Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorous and Iron are essential for plant health and are taken up by the roots.

 

Erosion Control

The roots of turfgrass, when grown densely and appropriately, can provide one of the best solutions to erosion control. The roots are able to latch on to the top soil and secure it in place. For example, look at the numerous mudslides occurring in California. These mudslides didn’t have any vegetation so when the rain came there was nothing to keep it from displacing the soil. 

 

Improving soil

While the living biology within or added to the soil is one of the key ways to improve the quality of soil, roots also play a role. Roots secrete sugars, attracting microorganisms, which in turn help increase soil quality. The turf roots and microorganisms that roots help support, will begin aging the soil and over time will start to improve the soil, making it more beneficial for plant growth.

Why is age so crucial? Soils have age to them; the older the soils, generally the better they are for nurturing plant growth. For example, when contractors are building houses they often take the sub-surface soil dug for the basement and use it for the front yard. This sub-surface soil does not provide optimal growing conditions. Turf roots and microorganisms help to age the soil, ultimately providing better soil for plant growth. Even “topsoil” once disturbed, will take time to rebalance the ecosystem, making the age of topsoil important.

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Conclusion

What if instead of simply adding more nitrogen (We are all guilty of this one!) we consider what needs to be done to make the soil and turf healthier. This way it will be better able to feed itself and fight its own battles against disease. What if we also start to use the soil as an ally and not just a pile of dirt that we have to grow something green on? 

Want to learn more? This information has been taken from our free eBook: Turf Roots Technical Report. Click the button below to download a copy for yourself! 

 

Tags: organic fertilizer products, turfgrass, lawn care, the science behind holganix, roots, sports turf, golf course, organic fertilizer, turf, agriculture, compost tea, fertilizer, golf

Holganix Case Studies: Does Muirfield Village Use Holganix?

At 6 foot 3 inches, bright blue eyes and a mop of unruly brown hair, Muirfield Village Golf Club’s Horticulturist, Tim Hollowell, was exactly as I expected, the inquisitive and passionate scientist. As I sat down with him and Holganix inventor and scientist, Stephen T. Lange, at the 2014 Bionutritional Summit, I’m again reminded that I’m a novice in plant science. The two threw around “big” plant terms that have me reeling, but at the end of the day it’s clear Tim is excited with the results he’s seeing on his plants with Holganix.

“This is great stuff!” says Tim of Holganix. “Why I didn’t know about this stuff 30 years ago is beyond me!”  

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It all started when Paul Latshaw, Director of Grounds Operations at Muirfield Village Golf Club, gave Tim left over Holganix product to utilize in his two, 3,000 square foot green houses. The green houses contain some 2,200 hanging baskets and 9,000 plants. “My first experience with Holganix was taking container stock shrubs and dipping the plants into a solution of Holganix (5 ounces of Holganix) and water (3 gallons) before planting them.” Tim then planted the shrubs, watered them in and mulched. Two weeks later without any additional water, “the plants didn’t skip a beat. I never saw signs of stress or wilting.” This was especially important since the shrubs were planted in August before the Presidents Cup. “They looked great.”

In another instance, Tim treated annuals with Holganix. After 30 days, Tim removed the annuals from their pots and examined the roots. White, web like mesh was growing around the roots. “It was Mycorrhizae!” exclaims Tim. “I could see it with the naked eye. I knew that if I had good things going on down below the soil line, life was good.”

Being the Horticulturist at Muirfield Village Golf Club is no picnic. “It’s not for the average mortal man.” During tournaments, Tim and up to eight other team members will work up to 100 hours a week in order to get plants camera-ready for the Memorial Tournament. When spring hits, Tim has two months to get the plants in mid-season conditions. Being the Horticulturist at Muirfield Village Golf Club“ is INTENSE. So intense. But I really love what I do.”

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Tim was inspired by his grandmother to pursue a career in plant and turf care. He speaks fondly of memories tending to the garden with her in his youth. “She had a tiny piece of property,” says Tim. If he helped garden, his reward would be a delicious tomato sandwich straight from her garden. Playing gardener inspired Tim to attend a Vocational Technical High School for agricultural business. In college, he earned an A.S. turf grass management and earned a B.S. in agriculture and forestry. After a few years as an assistant superintendent and then a superintendent (he earned his Certified Golf Course Superintendent status) he moved into the horticulture end of golf course management. That’s when Tim became the horticulturist at Muirfield Village Golf Club where he’s spent the last 9 years of his career.

“Each year I’m doing more at Muirfield Village Golf Club and learning more. Things are great!” exclaims Tim. “I always say, if I stop learning I may as well lay down and call it quits.”

After his initial experiences with Holganix, Tim started utilizing Holganix Tree and Shrub on his plants and annuals (he’ll be incorporating Holganix Bloom on his flowering plants later this year). At the start of the season, he used Holganix Tree and Shrub on and off as he continued to test. However, it didn’t take long until he started applying it every month on all plant beds. So far, he’s applied Holganix to the beds at a 10oz rate each month from Mid March to October 1. 

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“Along with Holganix, I’ve been applying .175 pounds per 1,000 square feet of nitrogen per monthly application,” says Tim of his current program. “The cool thing is that with Holganix, the nitrogen is going straight to either the plant or the bugs (microorganisms found in the soil). It’s great to for the pocket book, the plants, the soil and me!”

Because Holganix promotes optimal plant health, it has also helped Tim produce healthier and stronger plants that see less pest and stress issues. “We have 1,000 rhododendrons. I lose at least a couple dozen rhododendrons due to phytophthora each year,” claims Tim. “Since using Holganix, I’ve seen huge reductions in the number of lost rhododendrons. They are much healthier.” Over the past seven years, he has one stubborn rhododendron that never seems to get green. “It was a manganese deficiency. No matter what I threw at it I never got results.” With Holganix, it’s green and the leaves are expanding.

Tim has also seen exciting things with Impatiens walleriana. After hearing about a home trial that Dr. Neidermyer (Holganix Director of Plant and Soil Sciences) conducted to test the effects of Holganix on downy mildew infected Impatiens, Tim decided to try his own test. Several impatiens acted as a control while another set were treated with Holganix. “The plants treated with Holganix Tree and Shrub never got hit with downy mildew. Next year I want to try this test on a larger scale.”

Muirfield Village Golf Club has used compost tea, yeast, and mycorrhizae in the past, but “We have never used a product like Holganix,” says Tim. Holganix incorporates all of those ingredients and many others in a one jug to help create soil that is biologically in balance. “Holganix takes the soil food web and brings it all together; working as one unit.” 

Tags: flower care, flower health, holganix, holganix reviews, golf course, organic fertilizer, holganix review, Tree and Shrub care, tree care, shrub care, holganix case studies, golf, holganix golf, organic flower product, organic garden, muirfield village, garden, muirfield village golf club, horticulture

Holganix Case Studies: The Blue Rocks go 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 based in Wilmington, Delaware that is only a twenty-minute drive from headquarters.  From the Holganix college intern with memories of attempting (and failing) to catch her first baseball to the sales representative that enjoys taking his two boys to the annual monkey rodeo (a Delaware community event), the Blue Rocks hold many memories for the Holganix family.

Because of all of those memories culminated over the years, we were so excited when Steve Gold, turf manager of the Wilmington Blue Rocks decided to try the Holganix program three years ago.

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“When I use a lot of chemicals on the turf,” says Gold, “I make the turf fat and dumb. That’s one of the reasons why I was so attracted to Holganix. Less synthetics? Sign me up!”

Gold is on the super inoculation Holganix program, utilizing large amounts of Holganix in combination with three pounds of nitrogen annually. Before Holganix, Gold still used a lean nitrogen program but Holganix has 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, “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 grew 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. 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, 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 allows Gold to utilize drastically less nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides while promoting plant health. 

Tags: organic fertilizer products, reviews, organic sports turf management, holganix, sports turf, holganix reviews, organic fertilizer, turf, compost tea, sports turf management, sports turf reviews, Delaware Blue Rocks

Marketing Hints and Tips: Bionutritional Summit Highlights

 

Everyone believes their business is special. It's their creation—their baby. But is it remarkable? Eric Keiles, the keynote speaker from the Bionutritional Summit says YES! — but you have to show your customers WHY.

 

In order to truly dial into your company’s remarkability, business owners should answer these four questions:

  • What is your target market?  Really get to know your customers—and what is important to them. Don’t just assume you know your customers by stereotyping through demographics. Talk to them! Speak with them!                                                           
  • What pains and problems do they have?  Your customers’ pain points can be found through the services they purchase from your company. However, have you thought about this question on a deeper level —to find additional pains and problems—or truly tried to understand them?                                                                                                                            
  • How does your company currently solve those problems?  Often, there is pain located beyond the surface level pain. Think it through. Providing extra solutions for your customer can easily lead you to question number four.                                                    
  • How can you make those solutions “Remarkable?” Being remarkable (and memorable) means going above and beyond your customers’ expectations. This also involves being mindful of what expectations your competitors have set with customers. Where is the bar set? And how can you raise it? 

Once you determine your company’s remarkability, consistently promote it to “pull” customers through your company’s marketing funnel. 

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Give customers reasons (great content) to keep coming back to your website and social media channels. Don’t just scream “Buy” to them! Create a relationship with your customers. You will stand out—remarkably!

If you couldn’t make it to the 2014 Bionutritional Summit—don’t worry. We are doing it again in 2015! Mark your calendar to join us on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, the day before GIE + Expo in Louisville, KY. 

Here is a recap of the comments we received after this year’s event!

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- This article is written by Holganix Communication Specialist, Suzanne Longacre 

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips, lawn care marketing, lawn care company, lawn care industry, inbound marketing lawn care, turf industry

Holganix case studies: Healthier plants; healthier situation?

“If you’ve got a healthier plant; you’ve got a better situation overall,” states Ray Cuzzone, Director of Landscape Services at Mountain Lake Corporation, a private home community nestled in Lake Wales, Florida. To Cuzzone, a healthier plant means better drought, disease and insect resistance. “Your goal as a landscaper is to build up the plant’s health as much as possible.” At the end of the day, Ray believes Holganix is the ticket to building up plant strength naturally. 



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photo_4Originally established in 1915, Mountain Lake Corporation includes over 125 homes, a restored Seth Raynor golf course and a historical colony house that serves as the clubhouse and inn. Cuzzone has the pleasure of maintaining beautiful multi-million-dollar properties belonging to the club and members.

However, Cuzzone isn’t new to the turf scene. Like many in the industry, he’s worked his way up the ladder- from a mechanic at a Florida golf course to the superintendent of that same course. Following his tenure as a superintendent, Cuzzone ventured into sales, representing several green industry companies. However, once he had the chance to get back into the turf care business, he leapt at the opportunity.

While Cuzzone had heard of bionutritional products before, he admits he was pressured into giving it a shot by members. “Our community is very passionate about using natural and organic products. I talk a lot about how we are using organics to the members,” says Cuzzone. “They’re pleased with the results.”

The members aren’t the only ones that are pleased with results. Cuzzone has been on the Holganix program for three years and is excited by the state of his turf. “We’ve seen some nice root development, which also led to a reduction in irrigation.” At the same time, the turf has been healthier and denser with considerably less brown patch (a disease that has plagued Mountain Lake for years).

In terms of reducing inputs, “we’ve been able to reduce inputs significantly.” He reports a 20% reduction in nitrogen fertilizer and fungicides. Cuzzone also has been able to eliminate his spring and fall sludge applications, which had the original intention of building the biology within the soil. Because of the reduction in inputs, “Holganix easily pays for itself.”

At the end of the day, Cuzzone and the members are happy with the fantastic results. “I’ve been in the business a long time,” says Cuzzone. “I know when stuff works and when stuff doesn’t. And let me tell you, Holganix sure does work!” 

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Tags: organic fertilizer products, organic lawn care products, reviews, lawn care, holganix, holganix reviews, organic lawn care, organic fertilizer, compost tea, case studies, golf

This one is for our veterans!


Holganix is proud to be part of the VETS  (Veterans Environmental Technology and Solutions Program), which is championed by Rutgers University and the NJ Agriculture Experimental Station.  VETS provides green industry training for Veterans to develop the knowledge and skills to gain employment in the Agriculture and Landscaping sectors. There have even been some program graduates that have caught the entrepreneurial bug and started their own businesses, after graduating from the VETS Program, receiving guidance on building a business plan and applying for SBA funding. 

Jan Zientek, County Extension Department Head and Senior Program Coordinator has been tickled green with the results of the almost four year old VETS Program. “We chose organic land care for many reasons. First and foremost, many of the Veterans have compromised immune systems caused by exposures from their overseas duty, so all-natural products were a perfect fit.“ Much of the funding for VETS has been generated from the Superfund to clean up the Passaic River, which is appropriate, as fish farming is part of the program. There are people who resort to eating contaminated catfish caught from the Passaic River, because they don’t have jobs and it is a free source of food.  Zientek is hopeful that by teaching those in the program about aqua farming, that veterans will learn skills to help gain employment, and maybe even expand catfish farming to provide food for local residents.

Holganix Sales Representative Mike Reed is a Certified Pesticide Trainer, and has provided no-cost training for VETS Program Members to help prepare them for the pesticide certification test. This commitment of giving back is dear to the hearts of both Mike and the entire Holganix team, as evidenced by Holganix’s core values of being “Inspired, Positive and Grateful”.

There is a great match between our Veterans and the Green Land Care Industry. Many Vets like being outside, and there are much lower barriers to entry for those who want to start their own business” says Zientek. 


 

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So on this Veteran’s Day 2014—how can you help???

New Jersey Residents: Reach out to Jan Zientek 'Jan Zientek (zientek@njaes.rutgers.edu) when you have a job opening, or if you can help the VETS Program in any way (Equipment donation, training services, etc.). Follow Rutgers NJ Ag Experimental Station at www.njaes.rutgers.edu or on Twitter: @RutgersNJAES

Residents of Other States: Reach out to your local Ag Extension Branch and/or Veterans Administration and State Dept. of Labor to see if there is a similar program. Think of Vets when you are looking for employees! 

To all our Veterans, we thank you for your service!  Happy Veterans Day!!

 

This special blog is by Suzanne Longacre (Holganix Communication Specialist)

 

Tags: lawn care, golf course, lawn care business, Rutgers university, turf industry, veterans

Holganix Case Study: Better for the turf and the students


"It all started when The State University of New York at Fredonia started creating programs campus-wide to involve less chemicals and more organic products. That program involves everything from cleaning products to the way we care for our plants and turf," says Head Grounds Supervisor Richard Newton of his search for organic turf products.

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Holganix caught his eye because it allowed Newton to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizer use on campus grounds and fields. Holganix is a 100% organic, bionutritional turf and plant fertility product that allows fertilizer users like Newton to drastically reduce their synthetic inputs (pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers). It functions like a probiotic, naturally building up the plant to promote growth and better withstand insects and disease. 

So far, Newton reports that the increased "root growth we have seen has not only caused the turf to absorb more nutrients, thereby cutting down on waste and runoff, but also allowed us to cut down on our chemical fertilizer use by 20% this first year alone." Root growth has increased by 2+ inches and some root systems exceed 6 inches in total length.

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After growing up in a family-oriented retail nursery and landscape business, Newton likes to say that, "the green industry found me." At Fredonia, Newton is the Head Grounds Supervisor, which involves maintaining athletic fields in addition to the general grounds of the campus.

"There have been many benefits to using Holganix," says Newton. Color has been great, even with the reduction in nitrogen fertilizer and turf plant and root density has improved. Furthermore, despite a long history of suffering from leaf spot, that too has been more easily controlled.

The soccer field is sand-based and features 100% blue grass turf. With the start of soccer season, Newton reports that they have had great results with color and wear tolerance. The softball and baseball fields have been maintained with a 50% reduction in inputs.

Newton started the Holganix program with a one-time application of 14 ounces per 1,000 square feet of Holganix in early spring. Following the initial application, Newton and his team have applied two applications of 7 ounces per 1,000 square feet each. "It was nice to be presented with the opportunity to use Holganix by our friends at Lakeside Sod [a New York-based distributor of Holganix products]," says Newton.

"While we are primarily using the product on our athletic fields, we've also used Holganix on high visible and well-trafficked areas around the campus," says Newton. "There has been an easily noticeable improvement in color and density of the grass."

Newton isn't the only one that's excited about the performance of Holganix on the turf. According to Senior Athletics Groundskeeper Brent Kawski, "The coloring and root growth are phenomenal. I look forward to seeing what the turf looks like in the spring and next summer, after having a full year of the product at work on the field."

Ultimately, turf performance isn't the only thing that matters to Newton. "As Head Grounds Supervisor, my role is not to just look at the quality of the grass on the playing field, but also to look at what I am subjecting students to, as far as chemicals, and also to make sure that our turf maintenance dollars are spent in the most efficient way possible. From what I have seen so far of Holganix, I think the product fits all those needs in the best possible way."

 

Tags: holganix sports turf, organic fertilizer products, organic sports turf management, holganix, sports turf, holganix reviews, organic fertilizer, turf, holganix review

Marketing Hints and Tips: Get out of the rat race!


In his Editor’s Insight this month, Chuck Bowen of Lawn and Landscape warned companies to steer clear of the rat race – or the race to offer the lowest price possible in order to capture market share. A lot of the time, we are so manically focused on attaining new customers, that we offer impossible-to-fulfill promises and forget to look back at the numbers and whether or not those promises are sustainable.

The academics like to call the rat race the Cost Leadership Strategy after Michael Porters’ Harvard Business Review article, What is Strategy?. It’s the strategy few can afford; where companies offer the lowest price possible to beat the competition. Think of Walmart and their “Always low prices... always!” slogan. No one can beat Walmart on price, but can you run a sustainable business on Walmart pricing?


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However, this isn’t the only strategy available. Differentiating your company allows you to command a higher price than national lawn care companies. Position your brand in a way that allows you to attract customers while avoiding the price trap. Going green or promoting the fact that your company is results-driven are two ways of differentiating your company. Another example is Southern Botanical, a Dallas, Texas-based company featured in this year’s L&L 100 list. Southern Botanical is laser focused on offering the best customer service in the region. In order to fulfill that goal, they send their employees to train at 5-star hotels like the Four Seasons and the Ritz Carlton.

So, as you start planning your next marketing piece, be wary of hard-to-fulfill offers. While it’s important to capture the reader’s attention, creating a sustainable business model is the real trump card.


 

Tags: lawn care, marketing, marketing hints and tips, lawn care marketing, lawn care company