The Holganix Blog

Holganix Case Study: Harmony Hill Nursery Discusses Roots, Harvest and Plant Resilience

Harmony Hill Nursery

I would recommend the Holganix product line to others because it builds a healthier, stronger plant and... during installs the plants don't just survive, they thrive.” - Chris Uhland, PCH, Harmony Hill Nursery LLC


Chris Uhland, PCH is the COO and Co-Founder of Harmony Hill Nursery LLC, located in Downingtown, PA. Harmony Hill focuses on growing strong trees and shrubs for landscape contractors in the surrounding area.

In this blog, we’ll explore the results Chris has seen with Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub over the years with a reflection by Holganix Director of Soil & Plant Science, Dr. Robert Neidermyer on the science behind those results.

What is Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub? Holganix Tree & Shrub is a member of the Bio 800+ family of products. It harnesses the power of over 800 species of soil microbes to build soil health, stimulate root growth and grow stronger plants that require fewer fertilizers and pesticides to be healthy. It also allows freshly installed plants to better root into their new home so plants don’t just survive, they thrive.

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Discussing Results At Planting

Holganix: Chris, can you tell us the results you have seen with Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub when planting your liners?

 

Chris Uhland, PHC: When I was growing up working at my father’s farm, we would take our liners plant them and water them in. That’s how much of the industry operates. At Harmony Hill, we take it an extra step by root dipping the plant material into a 300 gallon slurry of Holganix Tree & Shrub and water for 20-to-30 minutes before it’s installed into our fields. The whole process of root dipping and installation takes us about 45 minutes. Taking the time to root dip, allows the plant to get rooted into and and adapted to its native soils faster. As a result, the plant is able to manage seasonal stresses, like a spring dry spell, much easier.


Holganix: Dr. Bob can you tell us what’s going on scientifically when we use Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub at planting? And, why we get the results we do?

 

Dr. Bob: When it comes to installing new plant material, stimulating root growth is your number one prerogative. There are several microbes in Holganix Tree & Shrub that contribute to root development but one of the most important classes is Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria (PGPB).

PGPB are bacteria, fungi and protozoa that live in a close and mutually beneficial relationship with roots. Roots secrete sugars and in response, PGPB produce plant hormones that do all kinds of things like stimulating root growth.

Having a thick, web-like root system early after planting ensures the plant has a better chance at survival when going through seasonal stresses. It also allows roots to more easily find nutrients and water in the soil to strengthen the plant.


Holganix: Dr. Bob can you tell us what you recommend for nurseries and landscape contractors looking to use Holganix Tree & Shrub when installing new plants?


Dr. Bob: Because the production needs for a nursery and a landscape contractor are different, there is really two sets of directions. If you’re a landscape contractor installing a new landscape, we recommend simply watering the plant in with Holganix Tree & Shrub or Holganix Bloom after install. If you’re a nursery installing new plants, consider mirroring Chris’ practice of creating a slurry to soak the roots in before planting, then watering it in with Tree & Shrub after install.


Download Your Holganix Directions!

If you’re a landscaper looking to use Holganix Tree & Shrub at planting, download our Holganix Plant Start directions here. If you’re a nursery looking to use Holganix Tree & Shrub, watch our short video demonstration of a root dip at Muirfield Golf Club.

Harmony Hill Nursery

Shortening Time to Harvest

Holganix: Chris, can you tell us how Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub has allowed you to shorten your time to harvest?


Chris: In spring of 2017, we had mechanical, labor and weather issues. Normally I have all of my liners planted in early-April, but because of the issues, we planted in mid-May. That's a catastrophe for me because that's my livelihood.

We did Holganix Tree & Shrub applications in June and July. I was hoping our losses would be minimal and was expecting them to come in at about 20%-to- 30%. One year later, our losses came in at 7-to-8%, much less than expected.

Most of our material we line out at planting is 1-to-1.25 inches and we typically try to get a half-inch of growth out of each tree, each year. But, because of the Holganix Tree & Shrub applications, we also saw our trees reach a 2-to-2.25 inch caliber. We were harvesting in less than a year, and under a normal cycle that would be a two year harvest time. Not only did it save us time, and trees from being lost, it made us money by trimming off 1-to-2 years in our production cycle. 

Holganix: Dr. Bob, can you tell us how Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub would allow Chris to shorten the harvest time?


Dr. Bob: It really comes back to supporting a healthy root system with the soil microbes in Holganix Tree & Shrub. If you can promote a healthy root system that root system will be better positioned to care for the plant. The roots will become more efficient in finding nutrients that lead to growth. There are also other microbes in Holganix Tree & Shrub that promote the availability and uptake of nutrients.


Results During Disease and Insect Pressure

Holganix: Chris, can you tell us what kind of results you have seen with Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub with disease and insect pressure?


Chris: A big thing that I noticed - and I was shocked to see it - was that our insect pressure isn’t as bad as others’ in the region. I attribute that to Holganix Tree & Shrub developing a stronger plant that may be less susceptible to insect pressure. Also, when disease pressure runs high we often need to do an extra fungicide spray applications. We haven’t had to do that once with Holganix Tree & Shrub. 

Holganix: Dr. Bob can you tell us why Chris is seeing less disease and insect pressure with Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub?

 

Dr. Bob: There are certain microbes that form a synergistic relationship with the plant. Soil microbes will signal to the plant to put up it’s natural defense systems called Induced Systemic Resistance (ISR) and Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR) that combats pathogens. Those natural defense systems also allows the plant to better handle stressful situations like dealing with a drought or an overabundance of water. What happens between the plant and the microbes is a kind of chemical dialogue. Microbes also help through competitive displacement by occupying space around and on the plant that might have allowed pathogens close to the plant.


Additional Conversations with Chris @ Harmony Hill Nursery

If you want to learn more about Chris’ results with Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub, check out the below video topics.

1. Production Methods - Chris describes his application methods and how he uses Holganix Tree & Shrub from harvest to delivery to a customer.

2. Recommendation - Does Chris recommend Holganix Tree & Shrub?

3. Push It To The Limits - Holganix Tree & Shrub helps Chris push it to the limits with an order for a customer.


Download Our Ingredient List

Want to learn more about the Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub product, download our ingredient list using the link below and be sure to give us a call at 866-56-EARTH to get in touch with one of our horticulturists!

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

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