The Holganix Blog

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

Landscape Company

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

"Green Spaces Really Do Matter!" - Project EverGreen

“Ten years ago, one of our board members started helping neighbors that had military spouses serving abroad. He was caring for their landscapes,” explains Cindy Code, Executive Director for Project EverGreen, a nonprofit that’s focused on serving communities while educating the public on the benefits of green spaces.

GCFT_veteran.png“That’s what really started our program, GreenCare for Troops.”

GreenCare for Troops is a national outreach program created by Project Evergreen that connects volunteers with active-duty military families and wounded or disabled veterans to help care for their landscapes.

“It’s a small thing, but it made a big difference,” says a military wife in North Carolina of GreenCare For Troops. “I could never do everything at once, and it’s hard to find time to mow a lawn while juggling our two young children and a dog.”

To date, “we are in all 50 states with 4,000 active volunteers. Over the last ten years, more than 10,000 military families have registered for GreenCare For Troops,” explains Cindy.

“In some regions we have more military registrants than volunteers and vice versa. That’s why it’s important to spread the word to lawn and landscape professionals but also to our military and veteran families.”

 

Additional Programs: SnowCare For Troops and Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.

In addition to GreenCare For Troops, Project EverGreen has two other national programs: SnowCare For Troops and Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.

SnowCare for Troops is similar to GreenCare For Troops but connects military families and wounded or disabled veterans with professionals in the snow removal business.

Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids. revitalizes community parks and sports fields to promote a more active lifestyle for children and families with the support from local lawn and landscaping companies.

For example, one project for Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids. was to care for Liberty Island, New York.

Twenty-two partnering groups came together to clean up the green space, and the 9/11 Memorial Grove.

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“Green spaces generate confidence, pride and connectivity”

The exciting part about Project EverGreen programs is that landscape professionals are able to become more involved in the community and form close relations with their stakeholders.

They also provide the opportunity to educate homeowners and children about the benefits from an environmental, economical and lifestyle perspective on the benefits of caring for green spaces.

“Green spaces generate confidence, pride and connectivity with their peers… people that might never have had a chance to meet without a gathering spot to draw them together,” says Project EverGreen.

“Project Evergreen and its partners understand how green spaces turn houses into homes, side-by-side yards into neighborhoods, and communities into hometowns that residents are proud to call their own.” 

  

How to get involved

One of our core values is community and we believe that collaborating with others and adding to our tribe provides tremendous value. That’s why Holganix believes in helping in the Project EverGreen mission. We bet you do too.

Ready to get involved? So are we! Holganix will be teaming up with local lawn care companies to care for a recreational field in our community.

How can you help? If you are in the lawn and landscaping industry, grounds management, a superintendent at a golf course, or in the snow removal business, you can volunteer for one of Project EverGreen’s programs here.

Or, donate money or resources to Project EverGreen here.

soil food web  

Are your homeowners ready for summer lawn care?

summer lawn care

Getting your homeowners prepared for summer weather can be tough, especially since homeowners have high expectations for their landscapes and little knowledge on how to properly care for them. 

The good news is that if you are using Holganix, your lawns on average will look better than your synthetic-using competitor. However, if Mother Nature decides to dish out her usual drought-like conditions in July and August, it's important to have a conversation with your customers about what's going on with their lawns and what they can do to help! 

To help your lawn care company communicate to homeowners, we've designed our Summer Weather In A Box filled with content for you to R&D (Rip off and duplicate). 

 

 Download the box to access:

  • Stealable Content: Steal our summer weather blog article to post on your blog, email newsletter and website.

  • Social Media: Grab our visual social media posts to help advertise your summer weather education to fans and followers on social media networks.

 

Click the button below to download your free marketing tools! 

Download:  Summer Weather In A Box

 

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips

New Research and Terminology in the Plant and Soil Science

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As our industry continues to innovate, particularly when it involves harnessing the power of the soil food web and soil biology, new concepts are being introduced. Some have been created with thanks from innovative companies others from pioneering scientists. Yet, one thing remains consistent, our industry continues to evolve to produce better data and better products to nurture better plants with less synthetic inputs.

Due to the innovative nature of Holganix, all of these new terms relate to the Holganix product line.

Here are some of the new terminology we’ve seen floating around the green industry.

 

1. Biofertilizer

Biofertilizers are products that contain living microorganisms microorganisms, that when applied to the soil and plants, promote plant health and growth by increasing the available supply of nutrients to the plant. They increase the supply of available nutrients by supplying organisms that aid in nitrogen fixation and solubilizing phosphorous to name just a few processes.

Biofertilizers include bacteria such as: Rhizobium, clostridium, Azospirilum and Algae (all of which are included in Holganix and make Holganix a biofertilizer).

 

2. Plant Probiotics

Plant probiotics are similar to human probiotics. They contain living biological cultures that, when added to the soil, proactively protect the plant’s immune system (think of the soil as the plant’s gut), increase the plant’s ability to uptake nutrients, minerals and moisture and influence plant growth. Another commonly used term to describe plant probiotics is plant biotics.

Examples of Plant Probiotics include: Holganix, SumaGrow and Beesafe products.

Holganix is rich in probiotic content, featuring 800+ species of bacteria and 20+ species of fungi.

You can learn more about plant probiotics by reading this blog article: Plant Probiotics Vs. Human Probiotics

 

3. Bionutrition

Bionutrition applies to the use of living biological organisms (bacteria, fungi protozoa, etc) and soil amendments that support the growth of such organisms (fructose, molasses, brewer’s yeast, yucca extract etc). Ultimately, bionutritional products promote a balanced soil ecosystem and support plant nutrition (N, P, K and micronutrients) for more efficient uptake by the plant

Holganix is considered a bionutritional plant product.

 

4. Bioeffectors

A bioeffector is a type of microorganism, group of microorganisms or active natural compounds that can directly or indirectly influence plant health, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Bioeffectors include but are not limited to: composting products, algae extracts, biostimlants, biofertilizers, mycorrhizae inoculants, plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) and many more.

Holganix can be considered a bioeffector as it contains biostimulant, biofertilizer properties and contains algae, mycorrhizae, PGPB and composting ingredients to just name a few. Other bioeffctors include Pathways and SumaGrow.

 

5. Microbial Inoculants

Also known as a soil inoculant, microbial inoculants utilize beneficial soil microbes to improve plant nutrition and stimulate plant hormones, thereby promoting plant growth.

There are three different kinds of microbial inoculants: Bacterial (Rhizobacterial Inoculants, Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria, Phosphate-Solubilizing bacteria), Fungal and Composite Inoculants. Holganix can be referred to as a Microbial Inoculant.

 

6. Biostimulant

Biostimulants are formulations of compounds, substances and microorganisms that are applied to soil and plants to improve plant health, yield and tolerance to weather, disease and insect deduced stresses.

Holganix is a biostimulant.

 

7. Soil Amendment

A material that can improve the physical or chemical makeup of soil, creating a better soil ecosystem for the plant.

Compost teas, composts and Holganix can all be considered soil amendments.

 

8. Compost Tea

Compost tea has been utilized for hundreds of years. It is the liquid byproduct of composting and can include vegetable and/or animal by-products. They are commonly produced my niche growers on a region-by-region basis as they are hard to manufacture on a consistent basis (the recipe is constantly influx).

Manufactured compost teas like Holganix (contains a compost tea base) and WormPower (worm castings) offer a more consistent approach to compost tea. 

soil food web

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

Boosting Yield and Degrees Brix at Alfalfa Farm Winery

organic winery

In 2013, Alfalfa Farm Winery in Topsfield, Massachusetts began testing Holganix Vitners Blend on their four French-American grape hybrids to see if they could increase brix index and yield while utilizing a sustainable agriculture approach. The results they saw were better than Alfalfa expected.

Originally a dairy farm, Alfalfa Farms Winery was purchased by Richard Adelman 38 years ago when the dairy farm went bankrupt. “We raised beef cattle and horses. In 1995 we planted the grapes,” explains Richard.

In order to maintain production, the farm counts on their list of 200+ volunteers to help with harvesting, pruning and, of course, the occasional quality control taste test!

“We grow four grape varieties,” explains Trudi, “All are French-American hybrids.” Their white grapes include Seyval Blanc and Aurore (similar flavor to a Suvignon Blanc) and their red grapes include the Leon Millot and Marechal Foch. alfalfa farm winery

 

Increasing The Brix Index

While utilizing Holganix Vitners blend, Alfalfa Farms Winery saw an increase in degrees brix of 9% in 2014 and 44% in 2015 compared to the control.

The brix index is the measurement of natural sugar in a fruit, which is an important measurement because sugar acts as a food source for microorganisms. An increase in brix thereby leads to an increase in yield and better, more rapid fermentation of the grapes into wines.

“To be successful in wine-making,” explains Trudi. “The degrees brix should be as high as possible. Ideally, a reading well into the 20’s is desirable.” To determine optimal harvest time and quality of the crop, a formula takes into account the degrees brix and pH level among other key metrics to plant health.

 

Boosting Yield

Alfalfa Farm Winery also reports a 55% average increase in yield in their Sevyal Blanc, Leon Millot and Marechal Foch from 2013 to 2015.

Ultimately, because of the increase in yield, Alfalfa was able to boost production of their wines. Trudi notes that in addition to Holganix Vitners, the severity of the winter in past years could have also led to an increase in crop yield.

 

Seyval Blanc yield in pounds

organic vitners fertilizer

Leon Millot yield in pounds 

organic vitners fertilizer

Marechal Foch yield in pounds 

organic vitners fertilizer

 

“We love that Holganix allows us to use sustainable practices and produce a better crop of grapes,” states Trudi. “We are very excited to see how Holganix continues to promote the health of our grapes in 2016.” 

“Since the application of Holganix treatment, the brix index has increased by an average of 26% compared to the control in 2014 and 2015 and the yield from the vineyard has been increasing from year to year,” says Trudi Perry, Winemaker and Event Coordinator at Alfalfa.

Tags: the science behind holganix, agriculture

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