The Holganix Blog

Have you caught Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow fever?

We have released our latest technological development: Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow. It combines the beneficial, living biology aspect of Holganix with the might of a high quality, carbon filled, organic poultry manure. Together, they do wonderful things for the turf and plants! Watch the video below for more information on this exciting new product that has everyone talking!

organic fertilizer webinar  

 

Tags: organic fertilizer products, lawn care, the science behind holganix, bionutrition, organic lawn care, organic fertilizer, turf, organic golf, golf, soil food web, healthy grow

Is organic fertilizer right for you?

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Organic fertilizers are in “vogue” in turf management, especially for lawn care professionals. However, is organic fertilizer the right option for your lawn care company? Check out the below three questions to determine whether “going organic” is the path for you.

1. Do you have poor soil?

If your region is faced with poor soil conditions, adding a soil amendment or organic fertilizer can help invigorate the soil, contributing to better quality results. Because of the organic matter and the beneficial living micoorganisms, this is especially relevant if you are utilizing composts or products with a compost base. Organic matter and micoorganisms help balance the soil biology and nurture a stronger plant that can better defend against disease, insects and weather stress (think drought and winter injury) naturally.

2. Do you have a hard time differentiating yourself from the national lawn care companies?

Often, national lawn care companies will try to undersell you on price. Competing with the “big guys” solely on price is a dangerous game! Consider how you can differentiate your lawn care business in other ways. At the end of the day, if you can show your customers that you are different and are providing a better more valuable service, you can compete without cutting into margins. At Holganix, we love marketing guru Seth Godin’s idea of becoming a “Purple Cow”. Purple Cows are companies that stand out among a sea of non-descript, boring companies. Customers can’t help but pay attention to unique, out-of-the-box-thinking companies. How can you become a Purple Cow? Offering organic lawn care applications, could be a great way to differentiate your company.  

3. Is your region facing fertilizer regulations?

Throughout much of the United States, fertilizer regulations requiring lawn care professionals to cut back on their use of synthetics are increasing on both the state and federal level. This is especially true if your lawn care business is located near a major body of water like The Chesapeake Bay, The Great Lakes and The Gulf of Mexico among other water sources. In general, state and federal government officials and many of their constituents are concerned with the effect nitrogen and phosphorus (two of the key nutrients found in synthetic fertilizers) have on marine life and water health at large. Some of these effects include dead zones (areas of water where marine life can no longer exist) or contaminated water as seen in the Toledo, Ohio water crises in the summer of 2014. These effects have not only led to an increase in fertilizer regulations but have made consumers/homeowners concerned about utilizing synthetic fertilizers and therefore has provided interest in organic options.

By utilizing organic fertilizers or soil amendments, your lawn care business can reduce the amount of synthetic fertilizer needed to achieve a healthy, green lawn. This not only allows you to ease the minds of your nervous homeowners, but also serves as a tool for complying with government regulations. 

Soil Science

 

Tags: organic fertilizer products, behind the science of holganix, lawn care, holganix, bionutrition, organic lawn care, organic fertilizer, compost tea, soil amendment, compost, natural fertilizer

3 Kick-Ass Tips for Killer Marketing Campaigns

With the advent of spring, brings spring sales and spring marketing. So, as your marketing team starts delving into this year’s latest, hottest marketing campaign to reel in new customers, consider these 3 kick-ass tips for creating marketing campaigns that actually work.

kick-ass

1. Who are you targeting?

Before you start brainstorming your next awesome marketing campaign, remember to truly think about who you’re sending it to. At the end of the day, it is often cheaper to market to canceled customers, customers you’ve already given estimates to in the past, and those customers located on golden streets – neighborhoods that contain your most profit potential prospects. By building a campaign around one of these core targets, you can significantly increase your return on investment. If you don’t know where your golden streets lie in your geography, get crackin’. Golden streets are an amazing tool that helps your team get focused on serving customers and prospects that have the potential to generate the most profit. Check out more information on golden streets here.

 

2. Don’t slack, keep the campaign on track!

How can you judge whether or not your campaign was successful if you don’t track it? New Jersey’s Go Organic Lawn Care includes special codes on all their post cards. The special codes correlate with the campaign it originates from. This way, Go Organic Lawn Care will know which campaigns worked and can repeat their success the next season. By tracking sales from each campaign, you increase your chances of success in the future and can better understand which campaign to divert resources (time and money) too. 

 

3. Inbound vs. Outbound. Which will reign supreme?

Lately, outbound marketing (think telemarketing and direct mail) has been pushed aside for the cheaper inbound marketing techniques (think social media and search engine optimization). On one hand, inbound marketing more cost effective for small lawn care companies that are only just starting out or have a tight budget. However, unlike outbound marketing, it’s harder to track your success and discover your ROI through inbound marketing.  So which one do you go with? Often, when a marketing campaign contains elements of both inbound and outbound marketing, lawn care companies can hit a “sweet spot”. For example, Pure Green Lawn Care in Tennessee will send out an upsell direct mail piece on trees and shrubs. At the same time, they’ll publish a couple of blogs on the importance of having a tree and shrub program and post some cool facts about tree and shrub health on social media to create a multi-faceted marketing approach.

Tackling a marketing campaign through several different avenues will help ensure you hit the pin on the head! With all these different ways of marketing, your prospects are being touched several times with your marketing message and will be more likely to remember you and ultimately buy from you when their pain is at it’s greatest. Coupling your outbound marketing with your inbound marketing is a great way to execute your campaign through different avenues.

So, how can you marry your outbound with your inbound marketing efforts?

Grow your lawn care company

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

Holganix Case Studies: "Plant health comes down to the soil chemistry"

organic lawn care

What stands out and makes Bradshaw Landscaping special is their focus on quality results. Bradshaw Landscaping knows and loves each inch of soil covering their properties. They soil test their properties annually to be sure the plants and turf are receiving the nutrition they need to thrive. “We know how to best care for plants in the area,” says Rob Ary, the Regional Operations Manager of Bradshaw Landscaping. “We know which plants do well in which soils and which doesn’t.”

That’s especially important to Bradshaw since their region covers such a wide breadth of distance and soil types. Bradshaw Landscaping is a full maintenance landscaping business catering to commercial properties in the Nashville, Tennessee area. The region Bradshaw covers has been expanding lately, due to increased growth in the number of commercial properties Bradshaw Landscaping cares for. Not wishing to forgo quality results for company growth, Bradshaw Landscaping decided their annual flowerbeds needed more attention.

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That’s why in the spring of 2014 Kurt Dryden sales representative for Advanced Turf Solutions, reached out to introduce Bradshaw Landscaping to Holganix Bloom. Dryden believed that the Bloom product could help Bradshaw Landscaping improve the health of their annuals.

“Pretty instantly we could see the difference between the annuals treated with Holganix and those that weren’t,” states Ary. “The flowers lasted longer and recovered faster from environmental stresses like excessive rain and warm spells.” Typically, Bradshaw Landscaping plants Vinkas, Coleus and Begonias because they require less maintenance. Overall, “the flowers have stayed fuller longer.”

For Ary, what caught his eye about Holganix Bloom was the presence of living, beneficial microorganisms in the product. Ary knew the microorganisms contained in Holganix would help cater to Bradshaw’s focus on quality results by building a healthy soil ecosystem. “Often, when plants do really well or really poorly, it comes down to the soil chemistry,” says Ary. By contributing to the health of the soil, you are allowing the plant to access the nutrients and the care it needs, naturally. “The cool thing about Holganix Bloom is that both the plant and the soil benefit,” states Ary. “We need to start paying attention to the soil more. We need to do what the soil is telling us to do!” 

Soil Science

Tags: lawn care, turf, compost tea, case studies, holganix bloom, plant health, compost, landscaping, soil biology

3 Social Media Tips for Lawn Care and Golf

10 years ago, the rule was that if you didn’t have a website you were invisible. Today, that rule applies beyond websites to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. According to Hubspot, 46% of web users look towards social media when making a buying decision.

So, if you are on social media, hats off to you. But, if you haven’t jumped on the “social bandwagon,” maybe it’s time to start. Here’s some quick best practice tips for lawn care companies and golf courses looking to start or improve their social media presence.

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  • Address criticism. If you have an unhappy customer engaging on social media, let him/her know you are listening and genuinely care. Address their complaints or criticism of your service and be prepared to wow-ify them next time or to correct any problems with your services. Look at it this way; if you know when a customer is unhappy, it’s your golden opportunity to not only save them but also make them a fan of your company. Another thing to keep in mind is, by addressing complaints you’re showing other customers and prospects just how well you react to criticism. The worse thing you can do is NOT address it.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to mess up. No one is perfect and you will make mistakes. That’s OKAY! In fact, it makes you look more human. One of the biggest reasons why people aren’t active on social media is because they are afraid of messing up. After all, one spelling errorrr (woops we just made a spelling error!) could totally blow your entire social media cover? Not! It’s okay to mess up.

   

  • Act like you’re at a cocktail party. Don’t just post about how wonderful your company is (yes, we know you ROCK!). Think of social media as being at a cocktail party. Post about interesting or funny things happening in the lawn care/professional turf world with a dash of personal things happening in the office and a slight sprinkling of propaganda. So go take a company selfie and have some fun while you tweet, post and pin away! Need some ideas? Click here for some lawn care jokes to post and here for golf jokes.

 

Want to get more in depth about social media lawn care or golf courses? Check out these blogs: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. Or, give us a call! We are always super happy to chat with individuals looking to grow their organizations; so feel free to reach out and start a conversation about how to market your company.

Grow your lawn care company

Tags: social media, social media for lawn care, twitter for lawn care, lawn care, marketing hints and tips, facebook for lawn care, social media for golf

Why do you want to grow your lawn care business?

“When I was 18-years-old, I was running a little lawn care company in the Philadelphia area when something rather unexpected happened,” says Barrett Ersek CEO of Holganix. “My high school sweetheart became pregnant with our first child.” Suddenly, Ersek’s toy lawn care company had to be transformed into a real business in order to support his family. “I was working 24/7 (no joke), telemarketing and dragging a hose while my pregnant wife managed the books.” While Ersek did reach his goal and built a thriving lawn care business, the reason he succeeded was because he had a painfully clear “WHY”: which was to support his family.

So you want to build your lawn care business? At the end of the day we can all set wonderful, inspiring goals with well thought out plans to achieve them…. But will we be successful? If you can figure out your “WHY” – that thing that lights a flame under you and will drive you night and day to reach your goal, you will be much more likely to achieve your goal.

Watch Ersek’s video above for the full story on developing your “WHY”!  Check out Ersek's video on the power of goal setting.

Grow your lawn care company

 

 

Tags: bionutrition, marketing hints and tips, organic fertilizer, turf, compost tea, lawn care goals, soil food web, goal setting

Marketing Hints and Tips: Steal These Free Lawn Care Marketing Tools!

 

Holganix

At Holganix, we are passionate about sustainable growth. Not only does that core value refer to the growth of plants, but also the growth of companies (ours and yours!). Because of this value, we have created numerous marketing tools that lawn care providers can access for free! Everything is ready for downloading; all you have to do is add your logo and print! Click here to visit Holganix University where you can access a full listing of marketing tools your company can utilize.

 

Ready, set, download!

  • Homeowner Brochure- The Holganix homeowner brochure was designed with your customers and prospects in mind. It highlights just how special and unique your business is because of your organic approach (Holganix) and what that means for the turf and plants. Click here to check it out!
  • Post Cards- These post cards were created to convey a message around your organic-based lawn fertilization services. Our favorite is the “Hybrid of Lawn Care!” post card that depicts a green Prius on green turf. Check out all of the post card designs hereJust copy and paste your company logo in the logo slot and print!
  • Lawn Sign- This lawn sign is designed to get the neighbor’s attention and deliver a crystal-clear message about organic-based lawn care service. Print them yourself or give the PDF file to Real Green Systems to have lawn signs created.

 

Have you got the marketing bug?

  • Wise Webinars- Nicole Wise, Holganix’s head of marketing, hosts seminars twice a week on marketing. This season’s webinar series are entitled: Marketing with Bionutrition and Building Your Marketing Plan. Register for the marketing webinars here.
  • The Blog- The Holganix blog is spewing with marketing information and downloadable marketing tools. Topics include differentiating your business, telemarketing tips and door-to-door sales 101. To access the Marketing Hints and Tips series on the blog, click here.
  • Social Media- Another great place to locate marketing insights and free tools are our social media networks. Check us out on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and LinkedIn.

*This blog has been reposted

Grow your lawn care company

 

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips, lawn care marketing, lawn care company, turf, lawn care business, running a lawn care company, grow your lawn care company

Meet Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow!

Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow: A carbon based fertility option

Introduction

Something special happens every time Holganix joins forces with another amazing turf care product. This is especially true when you introduce living, breathing Holganix with the organic matter- filled Healthy Grow by Pearl Valley Farms. Over the past 18 years, Pearl Valley Farms has perfected the art and science of composting and manufacturing Healthy Grow by adopting the philosophy, “The Way It’s Made Matters.” That’s why Holganix has partnered with Pearl Valley Farms to produce Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow.

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What is Healthy Grow?

Healthy Grow is a granular, organic based fertilizer created from egg laying poultry manure. Healthy Grow has an ACCM (Aerobically Composted Chicken Manure) base, which means the manure is aerobically composted over a 45 – 60 day period. After composting, it is further processed with other organic and traditional ingredients to create a nutrient rich, biological, and user-friendly fertilizer. Ultimately, this means Healthy Grow isn’t pasteurized (doesn’t inhibit living biology) and the smell associated with manure-based fertilizers is kept in check. What else is so special about Healthy Grow? Healthy Grow is packed with organic matter containing carbon sources.

Organic matter is dead and decomposing plant and animal matter within the soil. When in excess, organic matter produces thatch layers that hinder growth at the surface and black layers that strangle and limit root growth below the surface. Yet, because organic matter contains a carbon source, it remains critical in helping to produce a vibrant soil ecosystem. Organic matter and soil contain nutrients and micronutrients important to plant health, but are often locked in a form that can’t be utilized by the plant. Carbon is a food source for microorganisms. Ultimately, the microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, etc…) eat the carbon, which allows them to convert nitrogen and other nutrients locked in organic matter and elsewhere in the soil, to plant-useable forms. 

Take nitrogen as an example. Nitrogen can be found in organic matter and elsewhere in the soil but is locked in a form not utilized by plants. Aerobic, heterotrophic bacteria are responsible for decomposition and mineralization. These bacteria help to decompose the plant remains and turn nitrogen that was locked within the organic matter into ammonium (NH4+), which is a plant-usable form of nitrogen. The same can be said for phosphorus (PO42-), potassium (K+), as well as every other plant-usable form of nutrients necessary for plant growth.

Often when we look at our turf programs, we focus on nitrogen as a key element. While nitrogen is crucial, the key question is: How much urea do we need to put down to make the grass green while still being cost effective? The thing to keep in mind is that nitrogen is just one piece of the puzzle. Phosphorus, potassium, calcium and certain other micronutrients are also pieces of the puzzle. However, because the microbiology within the soil is able to eat the carbon found in organic matter and then unlock nutrients, carbon supplies many different pieces of the soil environment puzzle, not just one.

Healthy Grow contains all the wonderful aspects obtained from having an organic matter and carbon source base. At the same time, the poultry base contains small doses of naturally occurring NPK!

 

What happens when Healthy Grow meets Holganix?

Holganix is a 100% organic, bionutritional product teeming with living microorganisms whose job is to naturally promote plant health. Other ingredients contained within Holganix include but are not limited to: endo and ecto mycorrhizae, beneficial nematodes, meleluca oil, yucca and kelp extract as well as humic and fulvic acids.

With Holganix, plants grow beneath the soil in addition to above it. “Highway” systems of roots dig deeper and weave between one another, creating the perfect support system for the plant. With healthier root systems, plants are better able to uptake moisture and withstand environmental stresses like drought and winter injury. At the same time, with Holganix you’re feeding the plant and the soil, because when you have a healthy soil environment you have a healthy plant. That means your plants need up to 75% less nitrogen fertilizers and 25% less pesticides than through traditional synthetic programs.

When you combine Holganix with Healthy Grow, it’s like giving the product Red Bull and as the saying goes, Healthy Grow “gets wings” and results are amplified. Not only do you get the benefit of adding a carbon source to your roster of turf products, but you also get all the holistic benefits contained in a jug of Holganix.

Healthy Grow provides the carbon sources (food sources) to the living biology within Holganix. The beneficial microorganisms then go to work converting locked nutrients in the soil and organic matter into plant useable forms.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to achieving an effective and sustainable way to manage turf grass. The Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow program can be marketed as an organic based program. Furthermore, because Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow has 180 and 90 SGN options, it won’t affect play on fairways, approaches or putting greens.

Overall, a carbon-based, living bionutritional fertility program allows professionals to return nature back to their properties and provides a more sustainable solution for the unpredictable future of the green industry. 

Soil Science

Tags: organic golf course management, organic fertilizer products, granular fertilizer, organic agriculture, organic sports turf management, lawn care, holganix, sports turf, golf course, organic lawn care, organic fertilizer, agriculture, healthy grow, holganix granular, organic granular fertilizer

"I'm a firm believer in Holganix" - Jeffrey Koch, Glenmaura National Golf Club

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“Other superintendents have reached out and asked me about Holganix,” says Jeffrey Koch, Superintendent of Glenmaura National Golf Club in Glenmaura, Pennsylvania. “And I’m more than happy to tell them all about my experience! I’m a firm believer in Holganix,” says Koch.

Glenmaura National Golf Club is the 17th top course in Pennsylvania according to Golf Digest and a former host to nationwide PGA tour events. “The aesthetic values of the golf course are amazing,” explains Koch. And with waterfalls, native fescue areas, Kentucky bluegrass roughs and creeping bentgrass tees, green and fairways, it’s no wonder why Koch loves Glenmaura.

Koch practically grew up on a course. From age 12 to 22, Koch worked a small, family owned course in Pennsylvania. Throughout that period, he also attended Penn State’s two-year technical program on turfgrass management. After receiving his certification, he became an assistant superintendent at a course in Maryland before eventually becoming the assistant at Glenmaura. While he didn’t stay long and eventually became a superintendent at a different course, Koch returned to Glenmaura as its superintendent in 2004.

Koch started using Holganix in the late summer of 2012. “I wanted to do something new,” explains Koch when asked why he decided to try Holganix. “I wanted to do something that would benefit the soil and the turf.” It was Genesis Turfgrass (a Holganix distributor) that first told Koch about Holganix. According to Genesis Representative Brian Bachman, "Holganix allows our soils to work for us, on a microbial level, the way Mother Nature designed it to be."

At first, Koch monitored Holganix closely. “We definatly saw good results,” says Koch. Over all, root development and the turf’s ability to withstand summer and winter stresses have been some of Kock’s favorite results.

When Koch started using Holganix, the first thing he noticed was increased root length. While nearby golf courses struggled to maintain 2-3 inch roots, Glenmaura’s roots measured 5 to 6 inches. “A lot of that root development stems back to the Mycorrhizae fungi contained in Holganix,” says Holganix inventor Stephen T. Lange. Mycorrhizae form a symbiotic relationship with the root, ultimately aiding in root development and health.

Over all, Holganix has helped Koch stay abreast of seasonal stresses such as harsh summer and winter conditions. For example, this year Glenmaura had 5-6 inches below the normal precipitation through September “but everything was great and so was playability! We’ve actually reduced irrigation.”

Glenmaura’s reduction in irrigation is due to some awesome ingredients in Holganix. For example, in addition to aiding in root development, Mycorrhizae fungi help plants better retain moisture and take up nutrients. That means plants need on average less irrigation, stay healthy longer (even in a drought) and recover from drought faster. Naturally occurring wetting agents contained within the product (such as yucca extract), also help the plant battle summer conditions. 

Koch has also seen Holganix perform under poor winter conditions. “After the tough winter, a lot of our neighboring golf courses suffered from winter damage,” says Koch. “But we didn’t have any! I think it’s because, after using Holganix for several years, we’ve created a healthy turfgrass plant.” Koch is right about creating a healthy plant, but Holganix also contains unique components that help remedy winter damage.

During the winter, when the turf is covered in a layer of ice for more than 150 days, the oxygen is depleted in the turf ecosystem and the soils become anaerobic. According to Holganix inventor and scientist, Stephen T. Lange, “Holganix remediates anaerobic soils, effectively re-oyxgenating the soil profile and balancing aerobic conditions within the soil.” Furthermore, during the winter, the biology in the soil slows down. Jump starting the biology within the soil after a harsh winter can help turf recover from winterkill. “Essentially,” says Lange, “Holganix increases the availability of nutrients, vitamins and growth hormones to the plant.” Lastly, Holganix helps restore the natural biological process, which have been damaged due to cold winter temperatures. “Over all,” reminds Lange, “we’ve seen better winter and summer tolerance for customers using Holganix for 2 to 3 years.”

To date, Glenmaura has used Holganix as an add-on product to promote turf and soil health on the greens. “I look forward to continuing to partner and utilize Holganix,” says Koch.

Soil Science

Tags: golf course industry, turfgrass, winter injury, Mycorrhizae, turf roots, holganix reviews, golf course, holganix review, case studies, glenmaura national golf club

The Science Behind Holganix: 50 Shades of Green

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Have you ever received a complaint from a customer or member regarding the color of his/her lawn? This statement makes lawn care business owners and golf course superintendents scream! We must help set our customers’ expectations about what is healthy in turf and help them learn about the many shades of green grass.

Last week, Professor Cale Bigelow of Purdue University visited the Holganix office to speak to our sales representatives regarding turf health. One of the big topics Professor Bigelow touched on was color, specifically the different expectations for turf color shared around the world. For example, in the United States, we expect a different shade of green than does Europe. While Americans expect a vibrant shade of green, Europeans tend to prefer a paler coloring. “The vibrant greens can be a turn off to Europeans as they tend to think it’s achieved the color due to high amounts of synthetics,” says Professor Bigelow. 

“When you purchase a burger,” says Professor Bigelow. “There’s a huge difference between purchasing a burger from a McDonald’s and from a high-end steak house.” Turf is essentially the same thing. When you’re looking at turf color, there’s a big difference between a bent grass and blue grass, despite the fact that they belong in the same family of turf. “At the end of the day, turf color comes back to the level of chlorophyll production a plant undergoes,” says Holganix VP of R&D and inventor, Stephen T. Lange. The more chlorophyll produced by a plant, the greener that plant appears. At the same time, certain plants can only reach a certain threshold of chlorophyll production and thereby green coloring. This idea goes back to looking at the shade of green bent grass has versus a blue grass type. 

By adding proteins or nitrogen to the soil, we can influence the amount of chlorophyll production in a plant. The plant is used to producing the amount of chlorophyll it needs to be healthy based on the environmental situations it’s placed in. “By influencing the amount of chlorophyll production in a plant, we run the risk of exhausting the turf,” says Lange. 

At the end of the day, we all want a beautiful green shade of turf. However, it’s important to consider the health of the plant in addition to the green shade and to keep expectations within reason of the plant’s ability to maintain a vibrant hue.

*This blog has been reposted

Turf roots

Tags: soil foodweb, turfgrass, lawn care, the science behind holganix, sports turf, green grass, golf