The Holganix Blog

What are the 6 Essential Nutrients for Healthy Plants ?

plant nutrients

Growing happy, healthy plants is not always easy! Plants need thirteen different nutrients from the soil in order to fully develop. Six of these nutrients are needed in large quantities.

These six essential nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur and calcium. The cool thing about these key nutrients is that they help create new cells, which then organize into plant tissue. Without these nutrients, growth and survival would not occur.

 

What do these nutrients do? Let’s break it down by nutrient.

1. Nitrogen: Nitrate (the form of nitrogen that plants use) helps foliage grow strong by affecting the plant’s leaf development. It is also responsible for giving plants their green coloring by helping with chlorophyll production (gardensalive.com). For additional information on nitrogen, visit this blog: Nitrogen Fertilizers 101.

2. Phosphorus: Phosphorus is responsible for assisting with the growth of roots and flowers. Phosphorus also helps plants withstand environmental stress and harsh winters (gardensalive.com). For additional information on phosphorus, visit this blog article: Why Your Plants Need Phosphorus. 

3. Potassium: Potassium strengthens plants, contributes to early growth and helps retain water. It also affects the plant’s disease and insect suppression (extension.uum.edu).     

4. Magnesium: Magnesium contributes to the green coloring of plants (gardeningknowhow.com).

5. Sulfur: Sulfur helps plants resist disease as well as contributing the plant growth and the formation of seeds. They also aid in the production of amino acids, proteins, enzymes and vitamins (davesgarden.com).

6. Calcium: Calcium aids in the growth and development of cell walls. This is key because well-developed cell walls help the plant resist disease. It is also necessary for metabolism and the uptake of nitrogen by the plant (davesgarden.com).

 

How do you add these nutrients to the soil? Looking at well-balanced fertilizers

One of the great things about the six essential nutrients is that they are easy to find.

Adding a well-balanced fertilizer is an easy way to increase nutrient levels in the soil. Be sure to check out Holganix's fertilizer options including: Holganix Blue Sky 21-0-0, Holganix 2-10-20 and Holganix granular options.

 

Unlocking nutrients in the soil

Healthy soil is already pumped with these nutrients, although some like nitrogen and phosphorus are often locked in an unusable form for the plant.

Plant and soil probiotics containe ACTIVE, beneficial microorganisms that unlock plant nutrients in the soil. They also nurture longer, more web-like root systems that are better able to mine for nutrients deeper in the soil.

 

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, holganix, agronomy, bio-stimulant, biological meta-catalyst, the science behind holganix, bio nutrition, green industry, organic lawn care, plant health

How did Terry's Lawn Service get wicked fast seed germination?

“We should get a speeding ticket because we germinate seed so fast,” exclaimes a Holganix sales representative as he proudly showed off his collection of pictures (see below) sent to him by Terry’s Lawn Service.

When looking at the pictures, it’s easy to see why someone from the Holganix community would get excited about seed germination when teamed up with Holganix products.

Terry Shafer of Terry’s Lawn Service located in Morristown, Indiana put Holganix to the test on his own backyard.

This past fall, Shafer completely renovated his 1.5 acre yard. He reseeded his turf with 90% TTTF and 10% Blue seed. Seven days after seeding, Shafter applied Holganix liquid at a rate of 10 ounces per 1,000 square feet. Twelve days later, the turf was progressing steadily and had filled in nicely.

All in all, Shafer has been excited about using Holganix. According to Shafer, “I put [Holganix] into my program this spring on a majority of my lawns and have been very impressed and happy with the results I have seen thus far.”

Twelve days after seeding:

Seed germinationseed germination

Twenty-two days after seeding:

seed germinationseed germination

Why did Terry see amazing seed germination with Holganix?

Holganix is filled with ingredients specifically designed to promote healthy turf growth and give your lawn a head start.

For example, Mycorrhizae, a fungus found within Holganix, helps deliver nutrients and moisture to the plant and helps builds a dense, fibrous root system. Other ingredients, including humic and fulvic acids and Kelp extract, enhance and promote seed germination.

Both Holganix liquid and Holganix granular products help deliver superb results when fostering plant health.

What's in the Holganix Bio 800+ jug?  Check out our ingredient list!

Tags: lawn care, holganix, bionutrition, holganix reviews, organic fertilizer, turf, aeration, seed germination, starter fertilizer, organic seed germination, seed starter, holganix case studies

Promoting vigor and color in your flowers

Nothing looks more beautiful in a garden than colorful, healthy flowers. With annuals, achieving the most pop and life in as short a time as possible as compared with turf is key. Yet, how do you promote vigor and color in your flowers? It all comes down to fertilization and how the flowers efficiently acquire and use nutrients and water. By utilizing a bionutritional product like Holganix, landscapers and gardeners alike can create the perfect, colorful garden. 

Holganix flowersFertilization—Reducing Fertilizers with Great Results

Fertilizer is necessary to promoting colorful flowers. However, as you apply fertilizers, many of the nutrients don’t actually make it to the plant. Instead, some nutrients become locked within the soil, becoming unavailable for plant use. Bionutritional products like Holganix help unlock these nutrients and covert them to a useable form for your flowers. That means that the fertilizer you use gets you optimal results. Just think, with Holganix, you can reduce tablespoons of fertilizers to mere teaspoons!

 

Food Sources—Making Natural Food Sources Available

Yet another helpful feature of Holganix is its ability to improve the cation exchange capacity of your soil. This is the ability for the soil to store one particular group of nutrients called cat ions. The major cat ion nutrients include calcium, magnesium and potassium. Improvement of the exchange capacity of your soil will make nutrients that were unavailable to your flowers accessible!

 

Watering—Reducing Water Needs Is Easy

Holganix significantly reduces your watering needs. The mycorrhizae found within the Holganix secret recipe helps create a thicker, deeper root system allowing for better water, food and mineral translocation. Furthermore, Yucca and additional sugars also help the plant increase water retention.

 

http://www.cartage.org.lb/en/themes/sciences/earthscience/geology/Soils/SoilComposition/ComponentsStructure/CationNutrients/CationNutrients.htm

http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ay/ay-238.html

Download your lawn care strategy in a box!

 

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

Holganix Case Studies: "Everything ties back to the roots"

screen_shot_2014-03-20_at_12.39.31_pm-407062-edited.png

“For the root growth alone,” states Cory Troyer, superintendent of the renowned Indiana golf course, Otter Creek. “Holganix Golf is worth every penny.”

Why is this superintendent so adamant about his experience with Holganix Golf? It turns out that for Troyer, it’s all about the roots.

“When you have a healthy root system, you have healthy turf. Everything ties back to the roots.” Troyer, who typically sees his bentgrass reach 1.5 inches in length and his poa reach .5 inch, has reported seeing 4-inch roots consistently all year. Because of the healthy roots, Troyer believes that Holganix Golf has helped him achieve better stress management.


Otter Creek Golf Course has been named one of the top 5 public golf courses in the state of Indiana every year since it was built in 1964. “Otter Creek has a great reputation and a fantastic layout,” says Troyer.

Troyer has been with Otter Creek since graduating college. He was named Otter Creek’s superintendent in 2003 and has been enjoying himself every since. “Keeping Otter Creek beautiful is an ongoing and welcoming challenge. It never gets boring.”

Holganix Golf wasn’t the first organic product Troyer has tried at Otter Creek. In fact, Troyer claims that he’s tried biological products similar to Holganix. “I’m always willing to try something new,” states Troyer.

His philosophy of constant innovation has led Troyer to reap the benefits of Holganix Golf, ultimately increasing the quality of his course. “Holganix Golf has been a great addition to my turf management program!” says Troyer.

For more information regarding Otter Creek Golf Course’s experiences with Holganix, check out the below video testimonial featuring Superintendent Corey Troyer. 

 

Turf roots

Tags: holganix, bionutrition, holganix reviews, golf course, Otter Creek Golf Course, organic golf, holganix case studies, golf, holganix golf, golf course management, golf testimonial

"It's all about relationships!" - Craig Brooks, Holganix

For Craig Brooks, Holganix representative in the midwest region, entering the green industry was a happy mistake. “After graduating from college, I joined the TruGreen sales team to build sales experience. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or what industry I wanted to be in, but I knew that sales would play a crucial role.” After a few years of working for TruGreen, Craig eventually scaled the ladder and transferred over to commercial sales. “That’s where I was truly happy. I loved working directly with the customer and learning their stories,” says Craig. “It’s also where I started to really fall in love with the green industry. I started to really learn about the agronomy and what happens in the turf and soil. It was super cool.”

Craig_Brooks.jpg

It turns out that Craig had a passion for making things grow. “For example, I started taking an obsessive interest in how my backyard looked. I’ve probably transplanted every tree and plant on my property two or three times. I’m never quite satisfied,” admits Craig. “My neighbor is always laughing at me and saying there goes Craig again.”

After his time at Trugreen, Craig worked as a National Account Executive for Mainscape Inc before joining the Holganix Team.

In his 20+ years of experience, Craig says the number one thing he’s learned is that when it comes to sales “whether you're a distributor sales rep or a lawn care company selling to homeowners, everything comes down to building and nurturing relationships. Yes, you have to have a good product and provide good service, but the thing that will make you succeed is building trust and communicating with the customer. Above all else, I try to treat people the way I would want to be treated.”

Soil Science

Tags: holganix, agronomy, holganix reviews, holganix review, soil food web

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:

http://www.cmg.colostate.edu/gardennotes/132.html

http://www.virginiagardening.com/documents/RootsTurf.pdf

Turf roots

 

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

How can Holganix help with aeration?

aeration.png

During aeration, small plugs of soil are removed from the turf to loosen hard, compacted soils and increase oxygen exchange. It also improves water absorption and stimulates a deeper root system. The holes created in the soil from aeration allow fertilizers and soil amendments to enter the soil quickly and easily. In addition, thatch is reduced and microbial activity is accelerated!

The biological activity associated with aeration is further enhanced with the addition of Holganix, promoting increased breakdown of thatch and compaction, as well as building a healthier soil environment for the plant. Holganix increases thatch and compaction breakdown in two key ways: by promoting root development and by providing a boost of biology that ultimately breaks down organic matter.

 

1. Promoting root development

Endo and ecto mycorrhizae and Trichoderma promote root development, which allows the plant to dig deeper into the soil and mine for nutrients and moisture. This not only aids in plant health but also increases the pore spaces within the soil, leading to a decrease in soil compaction. For more on endo and ecto mycorrhizae, click here.

 

2. Biology breaks down organic matter

Biology present in Holganix goes to work, breaking down compacted soils and the plugs left behind during aeration. The biology then excretes nutrients in forms useable by the plant. For example, nitrogen fixing bacteria and phosphorus fixing bacteria present within Holganix eat organic matter’s nitrates and phosphates (which aren’t in a form useable by the plant) and excreting them as nitrites and phosphites (the plant useable form of these components).  Other ingredients within Holganix that excrete nutrients include but are not limited to, nematodes and protozoa.

 

Watch Dr. Bob's video for additional information on aeration

 

Aeration-Info-Button

Tags: lawn care, holganix, the science behind holganix, root development, aeration, organic matter

Turn up the heat! Using Holganix in a drought

As many of you are aware, drought and severe heat season is upon us! By increasing nutrient and water uptake, adding natural wetting agents and enhancing root growth, Holganix can do a lot for turf professionals suffering from droughts. What’s the best way to get the most out of Holganix during drought conditions?

tree_overcomes_odds

If you’re new to Holganix, Holganix Inventor and VP of R&D, Stephen T. Lange suggests you apply Holganix at utilize the hyper inoculation rate of 14 ounces but increase the time between applications by 25%. That means, if you normally treat your turf every six weeks with Holganix, you’ll be treating it every 8 weeks but at heavier rates.

On the other hand, if you have been using Holganix for at least a year, Lange recommends you cut your normal rate in half but apply more frequently. For example, if you usually spray at a 7 ounces per 1,000 square feet application rate every six weeks, Lange recommends you spray at a 3.5 ounce rate every 3 weeks.

In both programs, your lawn is being fed Holganix and receiving all the drought tolerance benefits possible.  

Want to learn more about how Holganix helps improve drought tolerance? Click here.

Screen_Shot_2015-07-22_at_10.30.32_AM

Tags: drought resistance, holganix, the science behind holganix, fertilizer, drought

What is agriculture?

“Ag is…” Agriculture means so many different things to so many different people. But, when Yield Lab Group blogger, Stephen Fairbanks asked Holganix Director of Plant and Soil Sciences, Dr. Robert Neidermyer to complete the sentence, “Ag is,” Dr. Bob had a philosophical response. “Ag is doing the right thing for the next generation,” says Dr. Bob. “We need to put the right balance back in the soil.”

apple_farm

It’s no surprise he’s alluding to Holganix and other bionutritional products as the answer. “Holganix is biology in a can,” states Dr. Bob. “It’s a probiotic.” Just like in human health, adding probiotics to a plant fertility program can have big payoffs. Probiotics are products that add beneficial microorganisms back to the soil. By adding beneficial microorganisms, Holganix puts the soil food web back in balance, naturally boosting plant health and reducing the need for synthetic inputs by up to 75%.

With fertilizer and pesticide reduction mandates existing and pending on both the federal and state level, high costs of inputs, in addition to the threat of nutrient run off into waterways, “it’s bound to be given serious consideration by farmers,” says Yield Lab.

The Yield Lab Group is an Ag Tech focused business accelerator based in St. Louis. It has selected Holganix to be among the first group of six companies for The Yield Lab program and investment. In addition to funding the businesses chosen to participate in the accelerator, The Yield Lab pairs companies with mentors in the Ag Tech space and works with the companies to succeed in their chosen field. “It’s been invaluable to our agricultural segment at Holganix,” says Dr. Bob. “It’s helping us structure how to best get the product into the hands of farmers and understand just how powerful Holganix can be for their crop production program.”

“With the attention being paid to nutrient management today, and given Holganix’ early success during their first five years in operation,” says Yield Lab, “their potential market impact is exciting to consider.”

 

Tags: organic farm, organic agriculture, holganix, organic fertilizer, agriculture, holganix agriculture, yield lab group

The Science Behind Holganix: What are dead zones?

Dead zones, also known as Hypoxia, occur when there isn’t enough oxygen to support most marine life. When nitrogen and phosphorus run off into our water systems, algae bloom growth increases, robbing the water of oxygen. A big source of nitrogen and phosphorus run off is the use of fertilizers, whose main components are nitrogen and phosphorus.

Screen_Shot_2015-06-08_at_1.11.28_PM

How do they occur?

Nitrogen and phosphorus are washed into our streams, lakes, bays and oceans, promoting the growth of phytoplankton blooms, and in turn zooplankton (which feed off of phytoplankton). When phytoplankton and zooplankton waste decomposes, oxygen is used faster than can be replaced, leading to the formation of dead zones. According to NOAA, “Dead zones are biological desserts.”

Dead zones can form naturally, but human activity can play a role, contributing to the growth and severity of dead zones.

 

Where do they occur?

The Virginia Institute of Marine Scientists estimate that over 400 dead zones exist worldwide. The second largest dead zone is located in the Gulf of Mexico covering 7,500 – 8,500 square miles. While size fluctuates throughout the year; it has doubled in size since the 1980’s. Other U.S. dead zones are located in the Chesapeake Bay, the Great Lakes and areas along the east and west coast of the USA. According to the NCCOS, “over half of the U.S. estuaries now experience natural or harm-induced hypoxia conditions at some time each year and evidence suggests that the frequency and duration of dead zones have increase over the last few decades.”

 

What does this mean?

Marine organisms occupying areas where dead zones occur are at risk, affecting their physiological stress, growth, reproduction and survival. For those marine organisms that cannot escape, dead zones are deadly. Dead zones can have a drastic effect on commercial and recreational fisheries. According to NOAA, “based on experiences in other coastal and marine systems, worsening hypoxic conditions could lead to a serious decline of ecologically and commercially important species.”

 

What can you do to help?

If you're a homeowner, you can be part of the dead zone solution by being careful which products you or your lawn care service utilize to maintain the health of your lawn. By choosing to incorporate organic practices into your lawn care maintenance ritual or by purchasing lawn care services from companies using organic products, you can help limit the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that run into our local waterways.  Thanks for doing your part!

 

Resources

http://www.scientificamerican.com/media/inline/2008-08-15_bigMap.jpg

http://www.noaa.gov/factsheets/new%20version/dead_zones.pdf

https://www.lakeforest.edu/academics/programs/environmental/courses/seniorseminar/springbreak/students/burke.php

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/deadzone.html

http://www.cop.noaa.gov/stressors/pollution/

 

http://www.balticnest.org/balticnest/activities/news/news/deadzoneshaveincreasedbymorethan10foldinthelastcentury.5.3186f824143d05551ad52e7.html

http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/lessons/files/2013/05/Credit-Tom-Archer-Lake-Erie-algal-bloom-P1010679.jpg

http://www.vims.edu/research/topics/dead_zones/  

 

Register for the webinar: Digging into the soil food web

 

Tags: holganix, the science behind holganix, organic fertilizer, fertilizer, environment, deadzone, dead zone, environmental footprint