The Holganix Blog

Did you miss the Bionutritional Summit?

Screen_Shot_2015-11-24_at_10.14.18_AM.pngAs you walk into the Holganix office, a 10’ banner listing our Core Values hangs in the stairwell to greet you. You might think that this reminder is a great way to start each day, but surprisingly, many of the Holganix employees have already practiced at least one of our Core Values before they even entered the building. You see, during the daily 8:28 am Holganix team conference call, each participant begins the conversation with what they are grateful for to jumpstart the positivity in their day.

So it is no surprise that Holganix would champion The 4th Annual Bionutritional Summit, a day-long gathering of members from the green industry to learn and network; to grow roots, minds and businesses, and then to depart as one repeat attendee said “Walking away with my wheels turning.”

This year’s focus was about Bringing Our Core Values to Life. It began with a Keynote by International Motivational Speaker and Holganix CEO, Barrett Ersek and was based on his Harvard Business Review-published article: “The X Factor: Breaking Your Industry’s Bottlenecks”. Barrett challenged his audience to identify the bottlenecks that not only THEIR company is facing, but the industry as a whole. Developing solutions to the Holganix refrigeration, concentration, and transportation issues was a great example of overcoming our bottlenecks. Check out a recording of Barrett's presentation below. You can watch Barrett’s Keynote Presentation here.

Shaun Kanary, Marketing Professor and Weed Pro’s Director of Marketing rocked the house with his presentation on Inbound Marketing. Shaun shared how to integrate inbound and outbound marketing to “capture” leads, drive them into your sales funnel, and “follow” the prospects around social media for up to 6 months with variable messaging to convert them into customers! And the kicker? Shaun spent HALF the marketing dollars and gained almost DOUBLE the customers using inbound marketing than with direct mail! To check out all of Shaun's tips, view his recorded webinar below. For all his invaluable tips, check out the video here.

In addition to these presentations, there were four more awesome sessions which included a discussion on Healthy Grow Granular Infused with Holganix, Dr. Cale Bigelow’s Seminar about Lower Input Lawn Care Programs, A Roundtable Discussion with Holganix Users, and crowd-favorite Stephen T. Lange answering everything anyone wanted to know about anything! A fun reception with great food, drinks and networking followed in the renowned Rathskeller, famous from its references in The Great Gatsby.

We hope you will join us next year! Look out for information on the date and location for the 2016 Bionutritional Summit!

Grow your lawn care company

Tags: lawn care marketing, bionutritional summit, inbound marketing, break your industry bottlenecks, inbound marketing for lawn care, x factor, weed pro

Unlocking the living soil

Having a sound foundation is a must if your house is to last through the years. Soil structure is like a house foundation; to grow plants to their full potential, you should have a sound foundation to start. Soil structure is composed of several main components, those being sand, silt and clay. When one or more of those components makes up too large a part of the soil, it’s like a poorly constructed foundation and creates problems from the start.


Organic matter is also an important component to a healthy soil foundation. Organic matter is made up of decomposing plants, animals and waste. By having a healthy level of organic matter, soils become more porous. The porosity of soils allows the seeds to more easily push through the surface, increase water infiltration and prevent soil sealing (where the soil crusts over and becomes compacted).

Ultimately, having organic matter present in the soil reduces runoff and erosion and promotes the activity of microorganisms, other soil critters and root growth. You can increase the amount of organic matter present in the soil by adding compost or by tilling the soil.


Sand-based soils

Out of all the three soil particles (sand, clay and silt), sand is the largest, while clay is the smallest. Sand-based soil does not have a natural source of nutrients and needs to be fertilized frequently as synthetic-based fertilizers tend to leach away quickly. This type of soil will need constant care to let the turf grow to its full potential. However, the use of natural organic products aids the soiling nutrient holding capacity by adding more organic matter and increasing the biological activity.


Clay-based soils

Clay-based soils are loaded with micronutrients but are very low in macronutrient nitrogen, which is vital for plant growth and responsible for green color. Clay will hold applied fertilizers better than sand-based soil, but clay-based soil does not properly drain excessive water away from the root zone, causing roots and seed to rot during wet conditions. Another detrimental factor with clay soil is how compacted it becomes when dry. After a couple weeks with no water, the soil will harden like a rock, which is good for flower pots but not for growing grass and plants. Adding organic matter helps break down the compaction of clay-based soils, allowing for more porous soil.


Silt-based soils

Silt-based soils generally contain micro and macro nutrients, drain fairly well and can produce a good root structure. It does, however, have its drawbacks. Its light texture can blow away in high winds or wash away in heavy rains. It also tends to have a crusty surface when drying out that causes seeds to germinate poorly. Like clay-based soils, adding organic matter to silt-based soils helps break through soil compaction, allowing for more porous soils.


The descriptions used are very simple and each soil type has many variations and can occur anywhere in the world. The best soils are ones that are composed of sand, clay and silt. Want to learn more? Download Holganix Inventor, Stephen T. Lange's ebook called: Digging into soil science 101


Soil Science

Tags: soil microbes, soil health, lawn care, the science behind holganix, sports turf, golf course, agriculture, soil structure, golf, Soil heath, soil food web, soil biology, soil sustainability, soil types, clay soil, silt soil

The Science Behind Holganix: Plant Roots 101

In plant health, roots are often neglected. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind! Yet, roots are fundamentally key to plant health. These systems, which consist of one fourth to one third of a plant’s dry weight, are in charge of important functions for the plant. If a plant’s root systems are unhealthy, it can pose serious consequences for the plant. In fact, according to Colorado State University, “Eighty percent of all plant disorders are soil/root problems.” That means we need to pause and give these plant segments the attention they deserve. So why are root systems important?

Root systems are known to significantly affect the size and health of plants, their ability to adapt to different soils and their ability to respond to cultural practices (i.e. fertilization). According to Colorado State University, they are in charge of but not limited to carrying out the following functions:

  • Anchoring and supporting the plant- The plant becomes stable because of the roots, which safely hook the plant into the soil. Another thing to note is that the threat of soil erosion is lessened because of healthy root systems.

  • Absorbing and conducting water and nutrients through the plant- Nutrients and water enter the plant through the roots. In lawn care, this means a vast root system is key to tap into available nutrients and water within the soil. The better the roots can reach sources of nutrients and water, the less service providers need to apply additional resources.

  • Stress tolerance- When Mother Nature comes calling, plants with healthier root systems have the advantage over plants with weak root systems. This applies not only to weather conditions like a hot, dry summer, but also to pests and disease. In fact, healthy roots react faster to pesticides and fungicides than unhealthy root systems.

Looking to increase the health of your plants’ root system? Some recommended practices include aeration and seeding and increasing the soil’s microbial activity. Check out our ebook on root health for additional information.


Works Cited:

Turf roots


Tags: lawn care, holganix, the science behind holganix, Mycorrhizae, bionutrition, root systems, healthy roots, plant roots, roots, sports turf, golf course, agriculture

Get ready! Designing your 2016 turf fertility program

Each year Mother Nature throws us a curve ball; designing a fertility program allows us to be better prepared for weather conflicts that might tamper with an otherwise successful 2016. When designing a program, you have three choices to pick from: liquid, granular and hybrid programs. Each program has its benefits and drawbacks.

  1. Liquid programs -- With a liquid program, lawn care companies can expect to pay less on average for liquid materials as opposed to their granular counterparts. This is true whether you’re discussing Holganix products or most other fertilizers. However, the real drawback to the liquid program is that cold weather spraying can be problematic mainly due to sprayers, which can easily freeze during the chilly early spring period. Equipment expenses when purchasing new equipment can also be higher than granular.

  2. Granular -- While granular fertilizers won’t be held back due to a chilly spring, granular products tend to cost more. On the other hand, Holganix granular will allow you to deliver high amounts of carbon, which helps feed the soil biology and support the overall soil ecosystem. Unfortunately, those utilizing Holganix granular as opposed to Holganix liquid will not be able to decrease their use of herbicides. Equipment expenses for granular products also tend to be less expensive when purchasing than liquid.

  3. Hybrid -- Hybrid programs can be a healthy mix of both granular and liquid products. Because lawn care operators can use granular products in cold weather, and liquid throughout the remainder of the year, hybrid programs allow for flexibility.

To learn more about designing a program including variables such as grass types, pre-emergents, regulations and reductions of synthetics through the use of Holganix, be sure to watch the below recorded webinar. As a note, this webinar was designed for the Northeast region, but will still allow you to understand the basics on designing a fertility program regardless of your location.


Webinar Resources: 

Learn More:  Holganix Webinars


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

"How can you NOT say yes?" - Mark Tavares, Aquarius Supply

“I can’t believe I’m getting this kind of result!” is something Mark Tavares, Sales Representative for Aquarius Supply, a Holganix Distributor, hears frequently when discussing Holganix with lawn care companies. “By switching to a Hybrid organic lawn care program (50% chemicals, 50% Holganix), and marketing it as a company differentiator, I’ve had customers that have grown their customer base by 30% by switching to Holganix. At the end of the day, when you present the information clearly, the homeowner can’t say no. Utilizing a lawn care company that practices Holganix is a win-win-win for the homeowner, the lawn and the environment.”  


After receiving his associate degree in turf grass management from Virginia Tech, Mark went to work as a manager for a landscape company’s lawn fertilization division. Today, he’s utilizing his past experience in lawn care and his educational background to better serve Aquarius customers. “I love my job. I love being able to talk to people who share a passion for turf and I love educating people about sustainable practices and soil health.”

When it comes to organic based products, Mark has experimented with many. “From biosolids to milorganite, over the past eight years I’ve used every organic based product I can think of,” states Mark. “The key reason why I started looking at organics is because it builds a healthy soil, boosting active biology and ultimately a healthier plant.” However, the aspect that turned Mark on to Holganix specifically was when he compared it to other products on the market. Holganix has “all the ingredients in one jug - including the living microbes. That makes it a no brainer.”

How are the results? One of Mark’s favorite results has been the quick bounce back after a hot summer or cold winter. “The lawns just come out of dormancy faster.” He also reports that customers have seen better coloration and have reduced inputs on average by 50% for synthetic fertilizers and 30% for pesticides.

At the end of the day, Mark’s customers are loving their experience with Holganix. “It’s boosting soil and plant health, improving their lawn care business and reducing their environmental footprint. How can you not say yes?”



Tags: organic fertilizer products, organic lawn care products, soil health, lawn care, holganix reviews, organic lawn care, organic fertilizer, turf, holganix review, case studies, soil food web, Aquarius Turf Supply

Why does Clay DuBose use Holganix?

Tucked amid some of the best course the Grand Strand has to offer, championship course, Tradition Club in Pawleys Island strives to deliver a challenging yet playable course. It was originally designed by famous Florida architect Ron Garl and was awarded 4.5 stars by Golf Digest in 2008.

General Manager and Superintendent, Clay DuBose CGCS takes pride in the way he nurtures the course and that is one of the many reasons why he has been utilizing Holganix at Tradition. Some of the top results he’s seen to date are: rooting, playability, soil health and overseeding. Check out his webinar below to hear why he is speaking up about his Holganix experience! 

Bionutritional Summit

Tags: organic golf course management, organic turf products, golf course, organic fertilizer, overseeding, organic golf course, Clay Dubose, rooting, Tradition Club at Pawleys Island

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!


If ain't broke, don't fit it. Right? Shaun Kanary, Director of Marketing for Weed Pro and Marketing Professor at Baldwin Wallace University, disagreesFind out WHY at the 2015 Bionutritional Summit. You will also learn how he gained 50 + customers in one month AND doubled the amount of new customers in 2015 while spending half the monty by fixing his broken marketing methods. Watch the video above for a sneak peak at Shaun's BioSummit presentation! We can't wait to see you there! 

Bionutritional Summit



Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips, marketing lawn care, bionutritional summit

The Science Behind Holganix: Bacteria 101

Within a teaspoon of soil you can find one billion bacteria. These single cell workers first appeared on earth about 3 billion years ago and perform many functions including: reducing the leaching of plant nutrients from the soil, decomposing organic matter and delivering nutrients to the soil in a plant uptake ready form.

There are two basic kinds of bacteria: Anaerobic and aerobic. Anaerobic bacteria live without oxygen while aerobic bacteria thrive in oxygen. Under anaerobic conditions, pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria are nurtured and beneficial bacteria (aerobes) can’t survive. In general, soils are aerobic and favor aerobic bacteria, creating a hospitable environment for plant and animal life. 

One of bacteria’s primary jobs is to break down organic matter into simple sugars, fatty acids and amino acids – all food sources for animal and plant life in the soil. Additionally, this break down of organic matter yields humus. In turn, this leads to increased moisture retention, reduced soil compaction and better air and water filtration.  

Bacteria are also responsible for recycling four basic elements needed for plant and animal life in the soil: carbon, sulfur, phosphorus and nitrogen. For example, bacteria plays a crucial role in making nitrogen available to plants in processes called nitrogen fixation and nitrification

Nitrogen Fixation: During the nitrogen fixation process, bacteria in the soil take in nitrogen gas from the air in the soil and convert the gas through a series of biochemical reactions into nitrates (the plant available form). Bacteria conduct nitrogen fixation through a symbiotic relationship with legumes (plants like alfalfa, clover and soybeans). In this relationship, bacteria live in plant roots and form nodules where nitrogen fixing bacteria make nitrates directly available to the legume.

Nitrification: During nitrification, bacteria living in the soil take in proteins, peptides and amino acids when they eat living and dead organisms. These proteins, peptides and amino acids are rich in nitrogen and are eventually excreted in the form of nitrites and nitrates when the bacteria dies. The nitrification process is a critical cycle in the soil.

Bacteria are the key to the soil circle of life – they are the soil’s probiotic.

Bionutritional Summit

Tags: soil microbiology, soil microbes, the science behind holganix, soil microorganism, nitrogen fixing bacteria, bacteria

Marketing Hints and Tips: 200% increase in growth at Go Green Lawn Service

“I started cutting lawns when I was 15 years old,” says Andrew Gabries of Go Green Lawn Service. “At first, I just wanted a couple extra bucks but it soon turned into a full fledged business. By 2010, we added lawn fertilization to our list of services.”

While at first, fertilization wasn’t a service Andrew focused on, in 2011 he added Holganix and started pushing the program. From 2012 to 2013, Andrew achieved a 200% increase in growth and his customers were extremely happy with the results.

 Like many lawn care companies, Go Green suffers from four main barriers to growth:

  1. Employees: “Finding reliable people is difficult,” says Andrew. “It’s one of the limiting factors to our growth.”
  2. Marketing: “Getting your name out there can be a hurdle,” says Chris Stout, Customer Service Manger for Go Green. To boost their brand awareness, Go Green uses 18 different lead generation tools, including: bright, colorful vinyl wrapped trucks, large lawn signs, Angie’s List, Clipper, Valpak and Every Door Direct Mail. “One of the big tools we have in our arsenal is the fact that we are using organics. This is huge when you are being compared to the TruGreens and Scotts,” says Chris. Holganix has also helped GoGreen shape their marketing plan and develop marketing pieces. Click here to access Holganix University and steal marketing pieces developed for lawn care companies.
  3. Results: Finding the right products can be a pain. However, Chris states, “I can see the difference between a Holganix and synthetic program. You can see the results.”
  4. Money to invest in all the above: “We are always spending a lot of money,” says Andrew. “Especially on marketing.” According to Andrew, about 20% of their gross margin goes towards the marketing budget. “But at the end of the day,” says Andrew. “If you aren’t doing a good job, marketing isn’t gong to help. You need to support customers and supply great service to succeed in the lawn care industry.”

For additional information on how GoGreen has grown so fast and the techniques they used, watch the webinar below.

Bionutritional Summit

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips, lawn care marketing, Go Green Lawn Service

Holganix Case Studies: "Our close ratio doubled to 50+%"

“I first started pulling a hose when I was 17 years old,” says David Underwood, Holganix representative to the Mid-East. “My dad was in the growing industry, so plants were a part of my life since childhood.”

When we first found David, he was the marketing and advertising director of Secure Turf – one of Holganix’s first customers (actually the second!). “I was open to alternative methods to lawn fertilization and I liked trying new things. I was the perfect candidate to be an early Holganix adopter.”

holganix reviewDavid was excited to try Holganix. He saw Holganix as a creative way to differentiate Secure Turf from the competition. “I knew I could sell this stuff. I knew that it could differentiate us and take us to the next level.” But David ran into a couple problems early on in his Holganix experience.

“We started Holganix… but we didn’t follow the instructions and as a result, the product didn’t perform up to par. We learned our lesson.” Once David put the program back into shape, he started seeing results. “One of the first things we noticed was consistent health and coloration of the turf. When we used traditional methods, we were yo-yoing or bouncing from one extreme of color to the next. That didn’t happen with Holganix. Using Holganix is like running a marathon, not a sprint.” By the end of the year, David was seeing a 25% increase in rooting and had reduced inputs across the board.

“However, one of our biggest successes with Holganix was utilizing the Holganix model to grow our business. We incorporated the Holganix marketing plan and differentiated our business by utilizing the product,” explains David. “Overall, our close ratio doubled to 50+%. When people called the office we could create a transaction right then rather than the usual can you email me some information. “

Five years later, we are happy to say David has become an invaluable part of the Holganix team. “I saw the bigger picture in the green industry and I knew that the next step in my life was to give back to my industry through working with Holganix. The cool thing is that my experience at Secure Turf allows me to put myself in the customers’ shoes and to help them leverage Holganix and best business practices to grow their lawn care companies. It’s sounds cheesy, but my goal is to make my customers reach their potential.”

Bionutritional Summit

Tags: reviews, lawn care, marketing hints and tips, case studies