The Holganix Blog

Increasing Brix Index and Reducing Disease at Star Dairy

organic agriculture

“I don’t sell something unless I’m sure it’s going to work,” explains Gilson Martin, owner of Star Dairy, a Holganix distributor to farmers in Pennsylvania. “We started testing Holganix in 2011. We liked what we saw and the rest is history.”

Star Dairy has been selling dairy nutrition, soil fertility products and consulting to predominantly Amish farmers since 1994. Holganix has been his first compost-type or bionutritional product he’s carried because traditional compost and compost teas haven’t been economical on a large scale.

“I’ve always been interested in biological products,” says Gilson when we asked why he decided to give Holganix a shot.

“I liked the variety of organisms that was in Holganix and thought it worth trying out. Any time I can do something other than use a chemical, I’m happy.”

Over all, Gilson’s clients on Holganix programs have seen an increase in plant vigor, yield, brix index and a reduction in disease.

 

Increasing the Brix Index

After using Holganix for one year, Gilson’s clients have seen an 82% average increase in brix index (in % sucrose) in peas, sweet corn, raspberries, strawberries, tomato, watermelon and alfalfa.

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Typically, the higher the brix, “the more minerals in the plant and the better the flavor,” explains Gilson. “Also, a higher brix plant should be more disease and insect resistant.” 

 

Less Disease

Speaking of disease, Gilson reports that, Holganix has been helping build resilient plants which means his customers have been seeing much less disease. “A lot of my growers are organic so there is a limit to what they can use to curb pathogens. Organic farmers will still have some disease with Holganix, but it’s drastically reduced and they can harvest as good a crop as clients using chemical fungicides.”

 

"[My customers] don't want to grow tomatoes without Holganix!"

Last spring, Dr. Neidermyer, Director of Plant and Soil Science at Holganix, reached out to Gilson to create a Holganix test on tomatoes.

“I discussed the idea with my farmers that grew tomatoes but no one was interested in doing a test that involved a control! That’s because they knew that without Holganix, the control tomatoes were going to be of lesser yield and brix as well as see an increase in disease. They don’t want to grow tomatoes without Holganix!”

Gilson explains that with Holganix, “I’ve seen results in six months. You won’t see instant results but you are going to grow better, healthier crops!” 

 

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

Tags: organic agriculture, organic fertilizer, agriculture, compost tea, compost, brix index, farmer

Is YOUR Lawn Care Company Marketing Aeration and Overseeding?

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Are you in the middle of planning for your fall aeration and overseeding marketing campaigns? Or, do you provide aeration and overseeding services but don't know how to market them? 

No worries, we've got your back! Aeration and overseeding is not only fantastic for plant and soil health, but for your wallet too. 

Aeration and overseeding are excellent opportunities to sell to your current lawn care customers. Not only do you know that your customers appreciate their lawn, they also know and love your company. Upselling to current customers rather than selling to cold prospects will mean a higher return on investment for your marketing campaign.

As you look at your aeration and overseeding campaign, ensure that you are building both inbound and outbound elements. Also, be sure to take advantage of all the free resources we've created to help you market your aeration and overseeding services (more on that later!).

 

Outbound Marketing

Outbound campaigns that you might use include direct mail or telemarketing.

Consider sending out prepay letters for the remainder of services along with aeration and overseeding applications to current customers. You could also send out a prepay letter specifically for aeration applications. Or, try a post card to current customers. Whenever you send out a piece, following up with a telemarketing campaign to those customers that received the direct mail item will increase your return on investment significantly. 

No matter the direct mail or telemarketing route you decide to pursue, be sure to include an offer to entice your customers to give aeration and overseeding a try. 

 

Inbound Marketing

An ideal marketing campaign for aeration and overseeding would not just include outbound marketing strategies such as direct mail and telemarketing campaigns, but would contain inbound marketing as well.

Right before mailing your post cards and prepay letters, consider sending an email newsletter or blog post to current customers, highlighting the benefits received from aeration applications. Also consider tweeting and posting two to three times per week, the benefits of aeration and overseeding during your marketing campaigns.

 

Free Marketing Tools

We've designed numerous marketing tools for you to utilize during your aeration and overseeding marketing campaigns to help reel in customers. Download your Aeration Business In A Box to access your tools today. 

Download your aeration in a box!

Some of the tools you'll have access to include:

 

1. Video Content

Your box contains video content that you can post on your website and share on social media. The video discusses the benefits of including aeration applications in your lawn care program and is a great telegraphic tool to educate customers on the benefits of aeration for the health of their lawn.

 

2. Mailers

Your box contains mailers including: postcards, letter/prepay text. The post cards and letter are designed to target your current customers and sell them aeration. The prepay text can be added to any prepay invoice for an aeration program. 

 

3. Education and marketing strategy

Your box contains educational materials on the science behind Holganix and how it helps amp up the benefits of aeration. It also contains a recorded version of our webinar on Growing your business through aeration applications to help you market aeration services.  Download your aeration in a box!

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips, aeration, aeration and overseeding

Going Organic? Meet Incredible Edible Community Gardens

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“Our favorite part about Holganix is that it allows us to go organic or drastically reduce our synthetic inputs like fertilizer and pesticides,” says Mary E. Petit, Incredible Edible Community Garden’s (IECG) passionate Founder and Co-Executive Director.

At IECG, “Our mission is to enrich our community by providing plots in a central gathering place for members to plant vegetables, herbs and edible flowers, and enjoy the fruits of our labor,” explains Mary.

Since it was founded in 2009, IECG has grown to foster “green” programs, environmental awareness, healthy organic living, and strengthen neighborhoods throughout San Bernardino County, California with community gardens and agroforestry projects that engage stakeholders from the bottom up.

IECG has created 10 community gardens, three community fruit orchards in public parks and two aquaponics gardens. They also have an urban fruit tree distribution and planting program, distributing over 400 trees in California, an urban Agroforestry program and the world’s largest non-profit tree nursery.

 

Why Holganix?

“We started using Holganix Tree and Shrub and Holganix Blue Sky in February with our tree nursery program,” explains Mary. IECG was on a search for a good organic product to help nurture tree growth when a representative from Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply (a Holganix Distributor) pointed out Holganix.

Mary had 10,000 assorted varieties of trees in the nursery destined to be planted along streets and in parks within Southern California. The nursery is located on an older property and shares the space with two very old Hong kong Orchid trees (Bauhinia purpurea).

Early this spring, Pedro Bassero, the nursery manager, treated all of the potted trees in the nursery and also sprayed the two Hong Kong Orchid trees with Holganix Tree and Shrub and Holganix Blue Sky

“When I spoke with Pedro, he was excited,” explains Jim Russell, Holganix Territory Sales Representative for South California. “After using Holganix, he had never seen the trees flower so much.”

In addition to the tree nursery garden, IECG uses Holganix when planting trees in new parks and on the streets.

“IECG would definitely recommend Holganix to other growers,” states Mary.

 

Join the movement!

If you are a San Bernadino County resident or business that wants to get involved with Incredible Edible Community Gardens, you can check out their volunteering opportunities or donations (resources or monetary) here.

 

Start a community garden or park – Green Spaces Matter!

If you aren’t located in San Bernadino County, consider getting involved with your local community to design your own community garden or public park.

Not only will you become more involved in the community and form close relations with stakeholders, but also green spaces like community gardens and public parks are huge benefits to the environment and our personal lifestyles.

According to our friends at Project EverGreen, a nonprofit focused on promoting the benefits of green spaces, there are several environmental benefits of green spaces. For example, they filter pollutants and dust from the air, improve water quality and reduce soil erosion.

Project EverGreen also sites several benefits to our personal lifestyles. For example, green spaces have been proven to lower crime and increase self-esteem. Learn more about the lifestyle and environmental benefits of green spaces here.

soil food web

Tags: holganix reviews, holganix review, garden, trees and shrubs

Organic pesticides? Here are 4 recommendations!

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When it comes to protecting your turf and plants, you have a lot of tools in your arsenal. Chemical pesticides are effective tools to do the job, but recent sustainability trends and government legislation within the industry are pushing us to look at environmentally friendly methods of protecting our plants from harm. Practices that nurture stronger, more resilient plants result in plants that are better equipped to withstand insect and disease pressure.

Adding certain key components to your turf or garden program, will enable you to reduce pesticide usage by up to 50% and still obtain results typically had with chemical pesticides.

 

Protozoa

These single-celled, animal like organisms move around in soil and eat bacteria (harmful and benign). In the process of digestion and upon their death, protozoa release nutrients to the soil. In other words, protozoa can eat harmful bacteria and feed your plants simultaneously! Holganix refrigerated liquid products contain protozoa.

 

Nematodes

While there are both good and bad nematodes, the good nematodes eat bad nematodes that eat roots and microorganisms that cause disease. Nematodes are a normal member of most soil communities.

Holganix refrigerated liquid products contain several types of beneficial nematodes. Click here to learn more about Holganix and nematodes.

 

Essential oils

Many essential oils including tea tree oil and rosemary oil act as natural insect deterents. Holganix refrigerated liquid contains these oils.

 

Fungi

Fungi are a contributing member of the microorganism community in soils.

Mycorrhizae and Trichoderma are two types of fungi that live in association with roots. These fungi form a fungal mass around plant roots and have root like appendages (mycelium) that run from the roots. This mass around the roots provides protection from root pests, and the long appendages act as “straws” bringing water and nutrients to the roots.

The result is strong healthy roots that contribute to a strong and healthy turf. This enables the turf to compete against weeds for space in your lawn. Holganix refrigerated liquid adds both mycorrhizae and Trichoderma to your soil.

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

Tags: pesticides, lawn care, golf course

How does Picture Perfect Lawn Care differentiate from the competition?

I first met Jimmy Cox, CEO and Founder of Picture Perfect Lawn Care at a Day of Growth event held at Holganix Head Quarters in the summer of 2014.

Intended as a small learning symposium for Holganix customers in the lawn and landscape business, Jimmy had decided to attend with his wife and son to both learn about Holganix and gather knowledge on how to take his lawn care business to the next level.

Holganix’s marketing team dove into their marketing plan and brand promise with the Picture Perfect Lawn Care family. “Specifically, we wanted to distinguish what made Picture Perfect unique and special – their differentiator,” says the marketing team.

 

Differentiating Picture Perfect Lawn Care

For Jimmy, his differentiator came down to two things: (1) Using Holganix and (2) His family-owned business.

“I like to be different from everyone else,” explains Jimmy. “No one in the area was doing anything like Holganix. It makes Picture Perfect unique and memorable.”

According to Jimmy, “A lot of our customers and prospects think using Holganix is pretty neat and different.”

Screen_Shot_2016-07-26_at_8.40.47_AM.pngAnother big differentiator for Picture Perfect is that the business is family owned and run. Jimmy and his wife Lisa, run the business with their two sons, Brandyn and Blake.

“Running a business with family is both an amazing experience and at times, difficult. My family really knows how to make it happen. We are a team. But, at times it can get rough,” warns Jimmy. “You need to know how to separate family from business. It’s not for everyone.”

As you can imagine, one of Jimmy’s favorite parts about Holganix is the marketing and production support as well as the networking platform Holganix provides for users. In addition to the Day of Growth seminar, they also attended Holganix’s Bionutritional Summit at GIE+EXPO.

 

Providing Exceptional Results 

But for Jimmy, Holganix isn’t just a way to market Picture Perfect’s individuality. It’s also a huge benefit in providing the exceptional results customers’ desire.

The thing that drew Jimmy to Holganix was the possibility to produce results while putting down less fertilizers and pesticides.

To date, Jimmy has reduced his fertilizers by nearly 50% (currently putting down 2.2 pounds of Nitrogen when he traditionally put down 3 to 4 depending on the application), and is spraying herbicides at the minimum label rate.

Jiimmy says that with Holganix, the turf is thicker and greener and that the roots are running deeper into the soil.

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“All of our customers are super happy,” says Jimmy.

For example, one customer has a soft spot for her Azalias. “She had TruGreen for years and switched to Picture Perfect as a new customer in 2015. We sprayed her Azalias with Holganix Tree and Shrub; she said she had never seen them so beautiful. She wound up giving us four referrals!”

And, it’s not just Picture Perfect’s customers that are impressed with Holganix. “Our competitors ask us what we are doing to produce results. But I refused to give up our secret!”

Because continually providing great results is key for Picture Perfect, Jimmy has been running tests with Holganix against other organic products. “When I ask people which side of a plot test is best, they always point to the Holganix plot!”

Grow your lawn care company

Tags: lawn care, holganix reviews, holganix review

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Using Holganix During Aeration

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You know Holganix does amazing things for your turf and plants, but did you know it boosts the positive affects of aeration and overseeding? Here are 5 things you didn’t know about using Holganix during aeration and overseeding.

 

1. Wicked fast seed germination

Increase the likelihood of germination with ingredients found in Holganix that promote seed germination like Humic and Fulvic Acids and Kelp extract. Then, support their growth and maturation with additional ingredients found in Holganix like nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These hard working microorganisms help convert nitrogen locked in the soil and air and convert it to a readily available form for your seedlings.

Still not convinced? Check out our case study featuring tests conducted by Whitehouse Landscaping on Holganix and seed germination.

 

2. It’s all about the roots!

When it comes to Holganix, we are always focused on roots. The Endo and Ecto Mycorrhizae, Humic and Fulvic Acids and Trichoderma in Holganix help your seedlings stimulate deeper thicker roots systems, allowing the turf to establish itself faster.

For example, Endo and Ecto Myccorhizae will penetrate or grow in association with plant roots, helping the roots mine for minerals, nutrients and moisture deep within the soil.

Want to learn more about Holganix’s affect on roots? Check out our case study featuring PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the winner of our first Holganix Roots For You competition in the sports turf division.

 

3. Water, water, everywhere

Natural wetting agents present in Holganix help seedlings make better use of available water. Why does this occur? The natural wetting agents slow moisture, spreading it evenly and deeper in the soil. This makes water available to young roots and encourages longer root growth.

Check out our case study featuring Jimmy Alston of Eagle Creek Golf and Country Club and why Holganix helped reduce irrigation by more than 50%.

 

4. Increase seed longevity

Because of the ingredients within Holganix, the plant increases to the tiller stage or maturity faster. Ultimately, by increasing the rate at which the plant reaches maturity, you are extending the plants longevity.

 

5. Remediating soil

When you aerate you churn the soil to increase biological activity in the soil; Holganix turbo charges the biology, strengthening your overall soil ecosystem.

Because Holganix is a probiotic it contains living beneficial microorganisms that contribute to the population counts and diversity of the biology present within your soil. Holganix also has prebiotic ingredients that feed the soil biology, boosting the soil food web.

Check out all the ingredients within Holganix by downloading our ingredient list here.

 

Start Marketing Aeration Services to Homeowners! 

If you are in the lawn and landscape industry and offering aeration services, most businesses will begin marketing aeration and overseeding to current customers starting at the end of July and into August.

To give you a helping hand, we've created a bunch of pieces you can R&D (Rip off and duplicate!) to use in your aeration marketing campaign. Tools include post cards, copy for blogs and newsletters, social media posts, video content and more! Download your Aeration in a Box by clicking the button below! 

Download your aeration in a box!  

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course, aeration

Less Irrigation? Faster turf recovery? Meet Garden City Country Club!

“We spoke with local superintendents using Holganix on their courses and they only had great things to say,” explains Russ MacPhail. “That’s why we decided to utilize Holganix at Garden City Country Club.”

Garden City Country Club is a private club located in Garden City, New York. Built in 1916, the championship 18-hole golf course was designed by then famous American golfer and architect, Walter Travis.

As the superintendent, Russ is charged with nurturing the turf while staying true to Travis’ original designs.

Russ started using Holganix in May of 2013 on his greens. After two to three applications of Holganix, Russ noticed he needed less irrigation and that the turf was recovering faster after being stressed out by tournaments.

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Russ was seeing great results because with Holganix, he was caring for both the turf foliage and the roots. By building a robust root system, the turf is stronger and can withstand stresses like weather and traffic.

“We’ve seen improved root density and root depth,” states Russ as he shows off a picture of roots with minimal thatch. The picture was taken in November.

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“In years past we might have only had an inch or so in roots. But, with Holganix, we’ve had great roots even at the end of the season.”

The increased health in roots also helps Russ increase playability because the playing surface becomes firmer.

 

Want to learn more about Russ’ experiences with Holganix?

Check out our webinar recording featuring an interview between Russ MacPhail and Holganix Sales Representative, Rob Dillinger. 

Turf roots

Tags: golf course, holganix case studies, golf irrigation, reduce irrigation

7.5 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Turf Healthy During Summer and Beyond

7.5 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Turf Healthy During Summer and Beyond

By Cale A. Bigelow - Professor, Turf Science Purdue University

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*This is a special guest blog post by Professor Cale A. Bigelow

First, the “fine-print” this article is oriented toward managing the cool-season turf species in summer which means time for prevent defense. If you are managing warm-season species some information will still apply but… for you it’s more time to rock and roll!

We are now a few weeks into summer and many lawn turf areas are starting to rapidly change appearance, density, what were minor insect and disease pest issues in the spring are now more pronounced.

Many people have questions about what they should/should not do. Hopefully this list will give you some food for thought on best management strategies.

 

1. The growing environment

Pay attention to the growing environment and adjust management and inputs accordingly. 

  • Full sun: Water and feed appropriately. Also scout for more weed pests. 
  • Shade: Be very cautious, don’t overwater and scout for disease pests.
  • The soil environment. Summer is a great time to get a sense for if there are limiting factors affecting rooting. Turf is often planted and grown on less than ideal soils, sometimes containing buried construction debris, etc. When drought conditions occur these areas can be quite obvious. That is the time to document these, perhaps with images for future projects that might help the plant in the future.

 

2. Turf species

What is the dominant desired grass? Know the species you are managing, what are its strengths and weaknesses.

Also remember, cultivar selection matters too! There is a big difference between Kentucky-31 tall fescue and some of the new “turf-type” tall fescues like 4th Millennium, Regenerate, RTF, etc.

The important part of this is that not all turf species are adapted to all growing environments. The fescues tend to be a bit more tolerant of difficult environments compared to Kentucky bluegrass. In some situations a mixture of species is appropriate. I could go on with this but I will save it for a future blog post.

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3. Mowing

This is the time of year that some people will sometimes raise their mowing heights. While this is not a bad strategy, it is also not always practical for everyone.

In general I suggest at 3” mowing height for most cool-season turf properties and maintain this cutting height throughout the growing season. Of course there are exceptions, but more leaf surface area normally means deeper rooting.

Realize at this time of the year the plant is not normally growing many new roots so DO NOT SCALP THE TURF!!! 

Probably the biggest mistake that I see in summer related to mowing is from “mechanical damage”. That is, where someone was not paying attention and attempts to mow stressed turf areas. This may include mowing turf when it is too wet or too dry. It may also include things like damage in turning areas. How many times have you seen the “mower doughnut” around trees or other obstacles? This damage is more likely occur during summer and often it rarely fully recovers. When in doubt, skip a mowing… The turf might thank you later.

 

4. Supplemental irrigation

Water is necessary for plant survival, but I have seen more problems with issues from overwatering in the summer compared to where the turf is allowed to go dormant. Daily, light irrigation is not the way to manage any turf area. Allow at least one drying day between cycles to let the water drain into the soil and soil gases like oxygen to exchange.

 

5. Feeding/fertilizer inputs

During the summer months the turf plant often starts to lose some of its green color and is very vulnerable to numerous stresses. 

In order to maintain green color, cope with stress and recover from stress events the plant needs at least “some” nutrition. 

The risk, however, is that many think if some fertilizer is good a whole lot will be even better. Based on this attitude, turf specialists have often suggested little to no fertilizer should be applied in summer to many home lawns. Part of the reality this recommendation has been targeted toward homeowners in an effort to save them from their good intentions. There simply is too much risk for them to over fertilize and cause unintended consequences.

For professionals, however, it is okay to stimulate and encourage “some” growth. Feeding should be done with only light rates (e.g. 0.3-0.5 # of actual N/1000 ft2 to actively growing turf using primarily slow/controlled release N sources). Save the larger applications (e.g. > 0.5 # N) for the Sept.-early Nov. time period when the turf can really use this nutrient and produce and store those much-needed carbohydrates.

An exception, however, can be made where turf managers are using a liquid feeding program for their turf. In these programs, very light rates of nitrogen (e.g. 0.1-0.25 # of actual N/1000 ft2 from soluble N sources like urea) can be applied in combination with micronutrients like iron and even some of the plant supplements (e.g. biological/probiotic products like Holganix concentrate). Some turf managers will apply this liquid solution every 14-28 days to high value properties. This result of this regular very gentle feeding program in the summer work very well in terms of maintaining summer color, shoot density, and vigor without the potential for undesirable growth.

 

6. Pest monitoring

Insects and disease issues seem to be most commonly expressed during the summer months. This is particularly true if the turf is under a lot of heat/drought stress and lacks vigor or is malnourished. 

Summer diseases are common on most turf areas and can range from dollar spot (relatively easy to manage with proper nutrition) to the dreaded summer patch (this one is mean!) that occurs on Kentucky bluegrass.

In general a dense, healthy, actively growing turf is less susceptible to disease pests.

As far as insects, the most common issue is white grubs, but numerous other pests like chinch bugs or sod webworms can also cause damage.

Again, actively growing turf will experience fewer damaging problems, but scouting and an awareness of prevailing weather conditions can help manage these pests.

 

7. A late-summer/fall cultural program

Before summer stress begins to decrease you should have already thought about what will you will be doing to make the turf as healthy as possible for next year? The adage, plan your work and work your plan applies here. But remember it’s also not a one-size-fits-all program. 

Hopefully your program includes a balanced feeding program (normally 2-4 moderate fertilizer applications are scheduled). Soil cultivation like aerification in the middle of autumn (e.g. October) and maybe some overseeding/interseeding (see #2) into thin or stressed turf areas. 

If you plan to seed, normally by the early part of August throughout much of the United States it is safe to start introducing seed into thin areas. An early start is particularly important for slow to established species like Kentucky bluegrass. 

If seeding is part of your plan, remember that better seed=better turf and seed-soil contact is essential for successful establishment. You can’t just spread seed on the hard, compacted soil in mid-August and expect success. Additionally, late-summer seeding can be challenging because of the potential for lingering summer annual weeds and also the potential for diseases like brown patch or pythium blight to injure seedlings. 

Good water management and access to plant protectants/fungicides in the event of disease will be necessary to help the seedlings establish.

 

7.5 Expectations

Remember we are managing a biological system. Just like us, these plants do sometimes have a “bad-hair” day. Hopefully you and your clients have somewhat realistic expectations. If you communicate well, people generally will understand. It’s when surprises occur that people get upset. 

In some situations, if you have exhausted all your management skills it may be time to revisit #7 and consider a more adapted species or newer cultivar. There is no failure in replanting to a turf that is more adapted to the growing environment and more sustainable to manage.

 

Want to learn more about summer turf management? 

Want to dig deeper into summer turf management and fall recovery? Awesome! Dr. Cale Bigelow will be hosting a webinar on July 14 on surviving the dog days of summer! Be sure to save your seat! Our attendee count is limited to 100 people! 

Save Your Seat! 

 

cale_bigelow.pngAbout the Author:

Cale A. Bigelow Ph.D. is a Professor in the Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Department at Purdue University. He is heavily involved in undergraduate instruction for the Turf Science discipline and has an active research program investigating turf species, nutritional programs, water use and ways to more sustainably manage ornamental and recreational turf areas. Follow him “On the Twitter” @BIGTurfTeaching

 

 

Image caption(s):

During the summer it is not uncommon for cool-season turf areas to start to decline in terms of appearance. Loss of green color, density and the presence of pests like coarse-textures annual grassy weeds such as crabgrass and diseases like dollar spot are not uncommon. It’s important to have a “turf health” plan and a sound nutritional strategy/program should be a major part of that plan.

soil food web

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

Getting to the ROOT of the problem at Ed Smith Stadium

Baltimore orioles spring training

When you become head grounds keeper for a world-class baseball field, you don’t expect it to be built on top of a landfill. But, for Dan Thomas’ Ed Smith Stadium, training facility for the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota, Florida, that’s exactly what happened.

Beneath the 2.5 acres of manicured 54 Bermuda grass lies an old landfill.

“We don’t have the best growing conditions,” admits Dan. “It’s been a difficult time to get the grass growing consistently. And, when we do renovations, it’s not unusual to find trash and maybe even a tire or two.” 

Dan started applying Holganix in the summer of 2014 after being referred to the product by a friend at the Pittsburgh Pirates (another Holganix user). “It took a a few months for me to really notice a huge difference when using Holganix.” But, with Holganix, “the health of my turf is remarkable!”

“It is still a work in progress but I am shocked at the results I’ve seen with Holganix. I didn’t think it could have this much of an affect on turf health, but Holganix does.”

For Dan, increasing turf health meant, “getting to the ROOT of the problem.” To improve turf health and density, he needed to take care of the roots. With Holganix, Ed Smith Stadium’s roots are much longer and denser.

In addition to helping increase turf health and density, Holganix has helped Dan reduce his inputs including nitrogen fertilizer, fungicides, irrigation and seeding.

organic fertilizer

Application Rates

Dan uses Holganix every two weeks at the rate of one jug per acre. He tank mixes Holganix with additional soil amendments and a few other additives. “We’ve seen really good results,” says Dan.

 

Fertilizer Reductions

Before Holganix, Dan would apply granular fertilizers once a month. Today, Dan applies fertilizer every six to eight weeks, and sometimes even less often. He basis his need for fertilizer on soil tests he conducts to monitor nutrient deficiency. “I don't want to say we’ve reduced our synthetic fertilizer by 50% with Holganix, but it’s pretty close!”

 

Irrigation Reductions

Before Holganix, “we would run irrigation for an hour, five-days a week,” states Dan. After using Holganix for over a year, Dan has cut back on irrigation from an hour to 30 to 35 minutes. “And that is without a syringe cycle in the Florida heat!”

organic sports turf management 

Seeding Reductions

“We typically overseed between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” explains Dan. Normally, Dan does an initial round of seed followed by a second or third round to ensure the turf grows in dense. Since using Holganix, “I only go out one round and then do a touch up in certain areas. I’m not adding more seed, just getting more out of the seed I put down.” According to Dan, because of his results with seeding, he is going to lower his seed budget, saving money.

 

Fungicide Reductions

“I’ve absolutely seen an increase in disease suppression when using Holganix with my fungicides,” says Dan. “We used to be constantly spraying fungicides.” Now, Dan applies much less fungicides (how much less?).

According to Dan, when you are caring for turf, grounds managers need to be wary of creating a circle of hopelessness. “When you water the lawn, you keep the turf healthy but water leads to disease. Breaking that cycle means reducing your irrigation, which helps reduce your need for fungicides. Holganix helps break that cycle.”

 

After years of working the turf at Ed Smith Stadium, Dan Thomas' hard work paid off when the stadium was named Baseball Field of the Year by STMA in 2016. 

At the end of the day, Dan wants to reduce inputs and get more out of the little he does use. “We will never be 100% organic, but we are headed down the right road and I look forward to seeing where it takes us.” 

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

Tags: sports turf, holganix reviews, reduce irrigation

Pruners take care!

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This year, landscapers and gardeners need to take extra care when pruning. Due to the heavy rainfall this spring, plants are growing faster than usual. The surge growth will mean landscapers and gardeners will have to prune more plant tissue than usual.

While pruning off diseased plant tissue, trimming excessive growth and training the plant to grow in a desired shape is perfectly healthy, the combination of pruning, surge growth and the change in weather (from rain to summer heat) can place the plant in shock.

 

Protecting plants after a good prune

When finished pruning, use Holganix Tree and Shrub to ensure the plant heals from the fresh cut faster. Consider the effects of Neosporin on the human body. When applying Neosporin to a surface cut, the product allows human tissue to grow without getting infected by disease. Holganix acts in much the same way.

 

How is Holganix Tree and Shrub similar to Neosporin for plants?

After pruning the plant, the tissue needs to grow back strong and healthy so the plant isn’t susceptible to disease. Holganix Tree and Shrub acts as Neosporin for plant health because it promotes healthy growth and a healthy immune system.

 

Promoting healthy growth

Plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) contained in Holganix promote healthy growth of plant tissue and roots. For example, nitrogen fixing bacteria and phosphorus solubilizing bacteria convert nutrients to useable forms for the plant. While, Endo and Ecto Mycorrhizae, Trichoderma and Humic and Fulvic Acids allow plant roots to better mine for nutrients, minerals and moisture within the soil.

 

Boosting the natural immune system

At the same time, ingredients within Holganix also help boost the plant’s natural immune system. A healthier plant with a strong immune system is less likely to fall prey to disease. Some of the ingredients within Holganix that promote a healthy immune system include: Endo and Ecto Mycorrhizae, Trichoderma, Nematodes and Protozoa.

 

Directions

While pruning small branches can happen year round, for trees and shrubs that need 5 to 10% of the plant crown removed, conducting pruning sessions in the summer, just after flowering is key.

Directly after pruning a plant, apply Holganix Tree and Shrub in a 4-gallon backpack sprayer, combining 1 gallon of Holganix Tree and Shrub with 3 gallons of water. Spray all leaf area until run off.

Before applying Holganix, ensure that you have removed both filters from the backpack sprayer (double check for the filter in the handle), that your mesh screen size is 16 to 20 microns and that you are using the largest orphus spray tip.

For additional directions on using Holganix Tree and Shrub including applying the product using a sprayer, visit our website: www.holganix.com/products-trees-shrubs

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