The Holganix Blog:
Real Men Grow Flowers!
With annuals, you want the most pop and life in a much shorter time span. This is one reason why annuals, just like turf and ornamentals, thrive using a probiotic approach with organic flower products. Improving the overall plant physiology allows the plant to use water and food more efficiently and root more effectively, giving you colorful, full and vivacious flowers.
Bloom is a 100% organic, bionutritional product that promotes strong plant health and vigor. Plants growing in Holganix amdended soils are better able to resist infection and attack by pathogens and insects, and if affected by pathogens and insects, these robust vigorous plants are better able to recover from disease and insect attack. That means Bloom can help you overcome hurdles such as watering, anchoring into native soil and disease.
The Holganix Blog
Turf Nerds Only – Top apps for turf professionals
Alright turf nerds (don’t even deny you aren’t one!) we’ve compiled a list of landscape-geared apps that are sure to blow your mind and make your life a heck of a lot easier.
Landscaper’s Companion – This plant database contains information on 26,000 different plants for those living in the USA, United Kingdom and Australia. It includes information like USDA zone, sun exposure, deer resistance, mature height, growth rate, bloom time and more. The app costs $4.99.
Weed Alert – This free app allows turf professionals to search and identify weeds based on their name, appearance and location. Once you identify your weed, this app will further provide extra information like which herbicides/control products to use and when and where these pesky weeds like to grow. The app comes in both English and Spanish.
LeafSnap – This free app was created by Columbia University, The University of Maryland and The Smithsonian Institution. It uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves. It currently only includes those trees native to the Northeast, but they’re quickly expanding to the entire continental United States.
TurfPath – This free app is designed to help solve pest problems and is targeted toward golf course superintendents and sports turf managers, although lawn care companies would also find it useful. It is created by turf professionals for turf professionals.
Dirr’s Tree and Shrub Finder – This app is aimed toward woody landscapes and allows turf nerds to search through 1,670 species and 7,800 cultivars of plants. The database is searchable by 72 criteria including hardiness zones, water and light requirements, growth patterns, fall colors, flowers and more. This app is $14.99.
Holganix Case Studies
Total Lawn Care grows through relationships and agronomics
“We always try to have a relationship with our customer,” says Terry Jungles, Co-Founder of Total Lawn Care (TLC) located in Indianapolis in a Lawn and Landscape Magazine interview. For Jungles, TLC’s relationship-focused business model is key to the success they’ve seen at TLC. “When we started [TLC], we wanted to knock on every door and we wanted to shake everyone’s hand.” However, as the business grew, Jungles and co-Founder Mark Cavin, had to rely upon their employees - specifically the technicians - more and more to be the ultimate face and relationship builder between the customer and the company.
In order to truly make their technicians the face of TLC, Jungles and Cavin merged traditional lawn care roles like service manager, sales manager or production manager into one single role, owned by each technician. “Our technicians handle all those responsibilities, so they will go out and meet the customer to bring them on board, they provide the treatment and then if those customers have a problem, they can contact those individuals. There’s no separation of responsibilities so they get to develop a relationship with our customers. Then they’re doing business with an individual as opposed to a company.”
New technicians at TLC are required to train for one year, accompanying experienced technicians on their route before claiming a route of their own. “As a result,” concludes Lawn and Landscape Magazine, “turn over is low…. And TLC’s customer retention steadily measures around 90%.” Most TLC employees have been with the company for a minimum of 5 years, many as long as 20.
However, at the end of the day, TLC’s ultimate goal is creating healthy turf. According to Lawn and Landscape Magazine, “By setting the agronomist success as the ultimate goal, TLC strives for more effective products and more skills and knowledge to tackle lawn issues.” Jungles further highlights this point when he told Lawn and Landscape, “When we developed our business, we wanted to develop things first agronomicaly and then look at the economics of it. We didn’t want to base ourselves on the economics of making money.”
In order to build a better soil ecosystem and in turn healthier turf, TLC adopted the Holganix program. Holganix has allowed TLC to reduce their fertilizers by up to 90% and their pesticides by about 50%. “We just wanted to reduce our needs on chemistry and use more biology,” says Jungles to Lawn and Landscape. By going organic, TLC can further promote their green initiative, which is extremely important considering their proximity to Lake Erie. Jungles admits that using Holganix may be more expensive but he feels the payoffs to the homeowners and technicians clearly compensate for cost. Furthermore, Jungles and the TLC team are “trying to reduce the runoff to our reservoirs and rivers,” says Jungles. “And if we can utilize Holganix to help reduce our nitrates, it’s a big savings for the environment.”
For the full article from Lawn and Landscape click here.
The Science Behind Holganix
Inoculate your soil this fall!
Last winter felt like it would never end. Across the United States, winter injury plagued golf courses and sports turf fields alike. Because they were so unaccustomed to dealing with severe cold, the south was especially hit hard. Yet, as we spoke to superintendents and sports turf managers using Holganix, one thing was certain: those that have been using Holganix in the fall suffered from far less winter injury than their colleagues not using Holganix. Those that have used Holganix for more than a year reported even better winter stress tolerance this spring. Tests done by superintendents also revealed that Holganix is a great tool for winter stress recovery.
So, why does Holganix help?
Holganix Case Studies
"The fields are looking and playing better than ever!"
In 2011, Friends Academy, a Quaker school in Locust Valley, New York was one of many schools to get hit by “The Child Safe Playing Fields Act” which banned pesticide use on school fields. “It changed the way we were keeping our turf strong and healthy,” says Chris Semlies, Facility Director of Friends Academy. “We looked at lots of different organic options but they were expensive.”
That’s when he stumbled across Holganix, a 100% organic, bionutritional plant and turf fertility product. Holganix allows you to effectively utilize 75% less synethetic inputs while still achieving optimal plant health. For Semlies, Holganix was more cost effective than other organics and gave a broader range of benefits – promoting plant health and growth. In turn, healthier plants are better able to suppress insect and disease.
“We are not only complying with the law, but we are doing a more effective job at building a healthy, strong and resilient turf while fulfilling a core Quaker value: being good stewards to the environment.” Semlies reports that he’s seen a definite difference in using Holganix on his turf. The turf has been healthier and better able to withstand foot traffic. The roots have also been significantly deeper. “The best part is,” says Semlies, “multiple coaches say their fields are looking and playing better than ever before. All of this is possible while limiting our environmental footprint and providing healthier playing conditions for students.”
Holganix entered the Long Island market in 2013 and already 22 local golf courses have made Holganix part of their annual program. Nassau Suffolk Turf Services is the sole distributor in the Long Island market. “We cautiously introduced Holganix to the long Island Golf community in 2013,” says Bob Mele, CEO and Founder of Nassau Suffolk Turf Services. “The results seen on golf courses were eye opening.” Traditionally in turf care, organic fertilizers have been inferior to synthetics and have cost turf professionals an arm and a leg. Mele believes that modern day bionutritional products defy this stereotype. University studies and customer case studies back Mele’s belief.
“Bionutritional products like Holganix are about maximizing the effect we have on turf health,” says Barrett Ersek, CEO of Holganix. At the same time, Holganix allows landscapers and other turf professionals to shift to a more organic approach to turf health. “It’s not only good for the environment and escape strict government regulations, but it also allows landscapers to differentiate themselves from the competition by offering something to their customers that no one else has.”
The Holganix Blog:
Holganix makes Inc Magazine's 500 fastest growing companies
“We are so grateful to have been included in INC Magazine’s list of the top 500 fastest growing, privately held businesses in America,” says Holganix CEO, Barrett Ersek. Each year INC Magazine recognizes the fastest growing, privately held business in America in their INC 500 list. To be included in the 2014 list, companies had to grow more than 942% from the start of 2011. Holganix was named number 186 out of 500 with a three-year growth of 2,291.4%.
Holganix manufactures and sells 100% organic, bionutritional products for large fertilizer users, allowing them to use drastically less inputs (fertilizers and pesticides). A two page spread featuring Holganix user, Broken Sound Golf Course in Boca Raton, Florida was featured in INC Magazine.
“We’ve come a long way,” says Ersek looking back at the growth of Holganix. “The great news is? The fun and growth has only just begun.”
Holganix case studies
2x better healing time after aeration with Holganix
Andrew Young’s story is a familiar one for those of us in the golf course industry. His passion for golf started at age 14 when he signed on at the local golf course. There, he picked weeds and did all the other fun jobs expected of young boys working a course. He became so enamored (somehow the weeding didn’t scare him away!) with the industry that, in college he pursued a degree in turf management. Eventually, his golf career led him to Woodbine Bend Golf Course where he’s been the superintendent for the past three years.
Woodbine Bend is a links-styled course located in Stockton, Illinois, Young’s hometown. Before using Holganix, the course suffered from a thick thatch layer. “I wanted to minimize the thatch layer and that’s one of the reasons why I started using Holganix,” says Young. “It’s been helping.”
Two years into the Holganix program, Young has been pleased with the results, especially with rooting and aeration. “The healing time after aerifying has decreased since using Holganix,” claims Young. Typically, it would take the course 2 weeks to heal but with Holganix, he’s been able to reduce it to about 1 week with a 14 ounce per 1,000 sq ft application following aerification.
“And my roots? They are just crazy!” exclaims Young. “You can’t even see soil,” says Young. “All you see are white, healthy roots.” Young reports seeing 12+ inch roots on his fairways in July. His greens have 6+ inch roots but are extremely dense and holding together nicely. He notes that the major storms in Illinois recently are negatively affecting root growth and expects it to be much longer in the fall. “When it comes to the roots, the longer the better,” says Young.
The Science Behind Holganix
Getting into the science of aeration
What is aeration? Aeration is a mechanical process where holes are punched into the soil, allowing water, nutrients and oxygen to penetrate. It effectively breaks up compaction and thatch while increasing the biological activity in your soil. For Holganix users, aeration in combination with Holganix is the best possible thing you can do for your lawn. The biological activity associated with aeration is further enhanced with the addition of Holganix, promoting increased thatch and compaction breakdown. By using Holganix you’re also adding nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which converts nitrogen from the atmosphere into a useable form for the plant.
The optimal time to aerate is when the lawn is rapidly growing, making the fall the perfect time. Penetrations should be about .5 - .75 inches in diameter, 2 – 3 inch deep and 2 – 3 inches apart. Watch the video below featuring Holganix Director of Soil and Plant Science, Dr. Neidermyer, to learn more.
The Holganix Blog:
Thank You for Keeping Lake Erie's Water Clean
We are so thankful that officials in the Toledo, OH and surrounding Lake Erie regions have deemed their water safe for residents to resume drinking. The water ban, which went into effect on Saturday, August 2, 2014, was lifted around 11 am this morning, August 4, 2014.
Fertilizer and sludge runoff have been named as potential sources of the contaminated drinking water. Massive algal blooms like the one that has turned the waters of Lake Erie florescent green and contaminated the drinking water of Toledo, Ohio, are caused when certain kinds of algae grow in response to changes in chemicals in the water. At toxic levels, algae can destroy marine ecosystems, depleting water of oxygen.
Utilizing organic, bionutritional products can reduce synthetic applications by up to 75%, greatly minimizing the risk of water contamination experienced in Toledo this weekend.
“Despite the circumstances, this is a time for the Holganix community to shine!” Says Holganix CEO, Barrett Ersek. “Speak with your customers and prospects. Educate them on how adding Holganix can help them be part of the solution to keep Lake Erie, and ultimately their water supply, safe and healthy.”
Click here to download a sharable photo highlighting your company’s contribution to being part of the Lake Erie solution!
The Science Behind Holganix:
Water, Water, Where?
"There's an old tale about a giant with a leaky faucet. In his home, the tale goes, the giant's faucet has a terrible leak. Night after night, the leak drips and drips. And since its only one drop at a time the giant thinks nothing of it. ‘Why, that's just one drop,’ the giant says, ‘and there are many rivers, lakes and oceans.’
Soon however, that one drop becomes many and the giant's home begins to fill with water. In a few short weeks, the water rises so high that the giant begins to fear that he might drown, so, in panic, he opens his huge front door and out gushes all the water. Only then, drenched from head to toe, and hearing his leaky faucet dripping, does the giant finally realize what he's lost."
- Irrigation and Green Magazine
Old wives’ tale or not, it's important that those of us in the turf industry - no matter if you are a lawn care operator or superintendent - heed the giant's warning. Minimizing our use of water is a tough thing to consider. After all, our jobs are on the line and we have a duty to our clients and constituents to keep the turf and plants looking their best. And yet, if we don't start paying attention to the water issue, it might just creep up when we aren't paying attention.
Although it may not seem like buried treasure, water, nicknamed by economists as “blue gold,” could be a big barrier for turf professionals over the next 50 years. In the May issue of Fortune Magazine, journalist Brian Dumaine forewarns businesses that water is a key concern for all of our industries but especially agriculture and related industries (including the golf and lawn care industries).
According to PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi, “The world water crisis is one of the most pressing challenges of our age.” The U.S. population is currently at 317 million and is expected to grow to 439 million by 2050 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. At the same time, fresh water is dwindling. According to Fortune Magazine, “In the 1950s the country had 50,000 rivers. Since then, industry and agriculture have siphoned off so much water that only 23,000 remain.” Furthermore, San Diego is currently living through “one of the worst droughts in 1,200 years and now has to import 90% of its water,” says Fortune Magazine. Texas is faced with similar problems; 95% of the state’s counties were designated disaster areas in April due to the scarcity of water.
What does that mean for golf?
For the golf course industry, water consumption is expected to be severely limited by government regulations, says Superintendent Magazine. Today in Georgia, regulations are already kicking in. A Georgia planning committee has allocated 0% increase of water use for all golf courses through 2050. “So,” says Superintendent Magazine, “if 20 new golf courses open between now and that time, the state’s current courses will have to share that water allotment with the new courses.” Ultimately, it’s going to push superintendents to start storing water. By 2050, “golf courses will only be able to use the water they can store,” says Mark Esoda, superintendent of Atlanta Country Club in Marietta, GA.
Superintendent Magazine had these suggestions to make in order to boost sustainability:
1. Try using native plants. Native plants require less watering, fertilizers and pesticides to maintain.
2. Use sensor technology, as prices for the technology drop and the user experience becomes easier. “Sprinkler heads,” states Jeff Carlson, superintendent of Vineyard Golf Club in Massachusetts, “will be a thing of the past!”
3. Incorporate bionutritional products. For example, Holganix (a bionutritional plant product) contains natural ingredients that help support root growth, ultimately improving the plant’s nutrient and moisture uptake as well as bolster the plant’s ability to withstand drought. Organic wetting agents contained within Holganix also play a role. “I think we’re just at the start of this revolution,” says Carlson of bionutritional technology.
What does that mean for lawn care?
For lawn care companies, the water issue is affecting the way we design, manage and nurture landscapes. "Many areas are offering incentives," says Warren S. Gorowitze, Vice President of Sustainability at Ewing Irrigation and Turf Products. Those incentives are in relation to sustainable design and upgrading irrigation equipment. Other states are limiting the amount of water lawn care professionals and homeowners can utilize to maintain properties, especially when it comes to drought-like conditions.
Irrigation and Green Magazine had these suggestions to make in order to boost sustainability:
1. Implement rainwater harvesting.
2. Switch properties to drip irrigation. Switching often has a negligible cost involved.
3. Add growth regulators. With less growth, the plant requires less water.
Regardless of your profession within the turf industry, conserving water is becoming a heated topic. "And remember, as the giant showed us," says Irrigation and Green Magazine, "If you fail to recognize what you have, one drop can soon become many. So why not test the waters?"
Irrigation and Green Industry Magazine:
Fortune Magazine: Abbreviated article: http://fortune.com/2014/07/25/the-shortest-distance-between-two-points-at-ups-its-complicated/
See may issue of Fortune for full article.