The Holganix Blog

Holganix Case Study: Reducing Sod Harvest Time By 40%

lakeside sod

When I sat down with Mike Braddell, Farm Operations Manager at Lakeside Sod Supply Co in Buffalo, New York, he proceeded to tell me about how Holganix Bio 800+ Lawn has helped him produce a better sod crop and reach harvest more quickly, all while improving his soil health. Mike has been using the product for the past three years on his Bentgrass and Bluegrass. His company also distributes the product to local lawn and landscape companies in the Buffalo region.

Below is a summary of his results while using Holganix Bio 800+ Lawn. For a full description of his results, watch the 27-minute video at the bottom featuring a conversation between Mike, Holganix Sales Manager, Rob McCoy and Holganix Director of Plant and Soil Science, Dr. Robert Neidermyer.


Reducing harvest time by an average of 44%

Lakeside Sod Supply Co reports a 43% reduction in the time to harvest on bentgrass and a 45% reduction in the time to harvest on Bluegrass. On the bentgrass, they applied Holganix Bio 800+ Lawn at 10 ounces per 1,000 square feet 3 times throughout the growing season, starting with seeding. On Bluegrass, four applications were made, also starting with seeding.

“Like most sod farms, there comes a time when you need to push your sod to get to harvest faster,” explains Mike. He originally started looking at Holganix products to (1) increase the harvest time and (2) build their soil health to invest in the long-term health of the farm.

Recently, Mike had the opportunity to push his harvest goals to the maximum due to surprise orders placed by two golf courses. “We planted the bentgrass that they needed labor day weekend and by the following April we were harvesting. It was because of the Holganix Bio 800+ Lawn that we were able to harvest faster.”


Using Holganix Bio 800+ Lawn at Seeding

“We apply Holganix Bio 800+ Lawn at 10 ounces per 1,000 square feet at seeding,” explains Mike. “We do get better germination and more consistent germination. It’s not that the speed of germination jumps out of the ground, but it is more uninformed and helps the turf start out right.”   

 

Reducing Fungicides and Herbicides

“I pull back on our herbicides especially on my bentgrass and I still get really good results,” reports Mike. “I also have some reduction in our fungicides on both turf types and we are seeing really good results with rust and dollar spot.”


Dig in Deeper; Watch The Video

To learn more about Mike’s Holganix experience, including information on his fertilizer program, watch the 27-minute video interview below. It also includes scientific explanations of each result by Holganix Director of Plant and Soil Science, Dr. Robert Neidermyer. If you are reading this blog via email, click here to access the video.

 

soil food web

Tags: reviews, holganix reviews, holganix review

3 Ideas To Grow Your Lawn and Landscape Business [VIDEO]

grow your lawn care company

Are you looking to grow your lawn and landscape business this year? “I would urge all lawn and landscape companies to review three crucial levers to their business in order to maximize growth - People, Sales and Marketing, and Cash”.


People - If you don’t get “people” right, your lawn care business with suffer. 

 

Watch the 16-minute video above or read the synopsis below. If you're reading this blog via email, click here to access the video.

“56% of lawn and landscape companies said that quality labor was their NUMBER ONE concern going into the new year,” according to Lawn and Landscape Magazine’s State of the Industry Report. Quality labor consistently is a chief concern for lawn and landscape company owners over the past several years. It doesn’t matter which state you are located in, it is hard to not only locate quality labor but also to pay quality labor.

People are one of the most important foundations for running a successful business. It doesn'tmatter how well you sell or how immaculate your services are, if you don’t get “people” right, business growth often stalls.

While we can’t solve all of our labor problems in a video or blog like this, we can talk about two ways to increase what we get out of our labor: (1) Empowering employees, and (2) Increasing employee efficiency by measuring success.

 

Empowering Employees

Happy Lawn of America

Happy Lawn

In a previous business, Holganix CEO and Founder, Barrett Ersek was building a fast growth lawn care company called Happy Lawn in the Mid-Atlantic Region. “We had big growth goals and you can see in the picture above that this was about mid-way through that growth. The problem was that if our team wasn’t working towards a common vision, it was really easy to steer off course… wasting company resources.”

That’s when Happy Lawn introduced its Dream On initiative. “To really empower our team, we helped them set personal goals and plans to reach those goals. We brought in a goal setting consultant who ran seminars each month. Managers knew the personal goals of each direct report. We then helped them understand that by striving to reach the company’s growth goal, they could earn bonuses and commissions that would directly fund their personal goals.”

For example, one employee - a college dropout, wanted to purchase a BMW M3, another employee - a new immigrant to the U.S. - wanted to purchase a home for his family. In both instances, they reached their goals.

“We got a much higher level of commitment and engagement out of our employees by helping them realize their personal goals and helping them to understand that their personal goals and our company goals were tied together.”


GrowinGreen Lawn Care

In another example, Jonathan Rigsbee, CEO and Founder of GrowinGreen Lawn Care describes how he empowered technicians to make decisions about their routes. “We are all facing the same challenges with a tight labor market and that’s not going to change anytime soon,” explains Jonathan. “A few years ago, we changed our mindset to how can we get more out of what we have?”  

For Jonathan that meant investing in the people (specifically his technicians) to empower them to make decisions about their route. As a result, most technicians have been with GrowinGreen for over 5 years. It also meant organizing better routing, investing in better trucks and equipment and working on educating his technicians.

In addition to lowering tech-turnover, Jonathan says he’s reduced his customer cancel rate from 19%-to-15%, while increasing his revenue per truck by 60%.

>>To learn more about GrowinGreen and how they empowered their employees, watch this 7.5-minute video.


Measuring Employee Effectiveness

If we don’t measure our employee’s output, we can’t manage or direct them to do better. Each employee should have a KPI - Key Performance Indicator, that measures whether they had a successful day and week.

For example, a production technician might have a KPI around how much revenue they can do in a day, or the cancel rate on their route. A salesperson might have a KPI around the revenue they book, their cancel rate or the profitability of their sales.

You can utilize the FACe exercise listed below to help you visualize how to measure and get accountability for each function of the business. The FACe exercise comes directly from Scaling Up - a model for fast growth companies by Verne Harnish.

>>Download the FACe chart


Sales and Marketing - How Do You Target The Appropriate Customers? 

 

Watch the 6-minute video above or read the synopsis below. If you're reading this blog via email, click here to access the video.

If you want to grow your lawn and landscape business you have to set growth goals and track those goals. Ultimately though, growth comes from creating the appropriate lead list. There are five sources you should consider to create your lists.

  1. Cancelled Customers - If you listen to your cancelled customers and generally look to solve their problems, you can close about 20% of your cancelled customers.  

  2. Estimates - Even if a lead received an estimate from you and decided to go with another business, these leads are an excellent source for your sales and marketing campaigns. You never know why or when a lead might decide it is time to try a new lawn and landscape company.

  3. Current Customers - Find services that your customers need and upsell them. Doing such, provides extra value for your customers and increasing your margin on each customers.  

  4. Partnering Companies - For example, if you only do lawn fertilization, you can partner with a mow-only company and refer each other business.

  5. Referrals - And, of course referrals from your customers are often the easiest sale you can make!

If you look at your lists, also consider that not all leads are equally valued. Some leads are worth more than others… not just because they have a larger property, but also because of their proximity to current customers.

As you think about maximizing the efficiency of your marketing - consider the Golden Street Strategy. The Golden Street Strategy asks the question, Which one-to-four neighborhoods do I want to “own”. Consider which neighborhoods or subdivisions that have over 100+ homes, have a higher value homes, and are newer (usually 10 years or younger). Your goal is to reach a 20% saturation point that provides high customer density, increasing production efficiency and driving your profit per truck.


Cash - The Limiting Factor To Growth 

 

Watch the 7.5-minute video above or read the synopsis below. If you're reading this blog via email, click here to access the video.

Many people want to grow their business, but are concerned they don’t have the cash to invest into marketing and sales. One way to fund your business is to get your customers to prepay. Offer customers a small discount to prepay upfront and then deploy that cash into marketing.

When you do decide to invest cash into marketing and sales, it is important to measure your marketing ROI. Your marketing ROI tells you how long it takes you to recoup marketing costs.

Marketing ROI = Gross Margin / Cost Per Sale

Another important metric is your cost per lead and specifically your cost per lead by marketing campaign. This will help you measure which marketing and sales campaigns produces the best results.

Cost Per Lead By Marketing Campaign = Total Number Of leads Generated/ Money spent on a marketing campaign


Want To Access Free Marketing Tools To Grow Your Business?

New to the Holganix community? Or, just looking to add Holganix to your marketing strategy? Great! This marketing box is for you.

Communicating Holganix to prospects and current customers can be difficult. The Holganix launch box includes content that helps you communicate why your lawn and landscape company is special for using Holganix.

WHAT IS IN THE BOX?

1. Swipe our free brochure that talks about the benefits of Holganix from a homeowners' prospective

2. Poach website copy that talks about Holganix

3. Loot blogs written specifically with the homeowner in mind

4. Ransack designs for postcards, yard signs and door hangers

5. Pirate social media posts

6. Steal a letter designed to announce Holganix to current customers

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Holganix Agriculture: Data & Building The Case For BioDiversity

holganix ag

For growers using Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture, an increase in yield and soil health has led to an increase in ROI on crops.

Earlier this week, we sat down with Holganix President of Agriculture, Dave Stark, PhD to discuss the commercial and university field trial results from over the past few years. We also discussed the importance of selecting a microbial product that is high in diversity, and it’s no secret that Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture is the most complete, diverse blend of microbes available on the market.

In this blog, we’ve compiled Dr. Stark’s two key points from that conversation. The concepts are available below in video clips and summarized highlights. If you are reading this blog via email, please click here to have access to the videos.


Building The Case For BioDiversity - Selecting A Microbial Product

Watch the above 10-minute video or read a quick synopsis below.

Why do soil microbes matter? It’s plants and microbes that work together to build a healthy, functional soil. Soil Microbes build organic matter that build soil structure, allowing soil to hold onto water, retain nutrients in forms the plant can use, and let air into soil.

Bacteria, fungi and protozoa all work together to build soil health. These soil microbes function like a car’s engine; each single component is important, but being out of balance can cause problems like diseases, plant stress, and more.

When it comes to microbial products, the microbe count is important, yet diversity can be even more crucial. By having a product filled with a diversity of life, the soil and plant are prepared for whatever hurdle it needs to face.

Think of it as your equivalent to a multi-vitamin. Instead of a magic bullet, Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture parachute in an army of specialists, each of which is capable of filling in gaps to balance the biological requirements of the soil.

Consider the environment you are asked to grow plants in. Are the soils the same from property-to-property? Do the climate conditions change day-to-day or hour-by-hour? Are the pathogens and stresses that are attacking your plants changing? Don’t you want to give your plants every possible advantage to adapt and respond to all of these changing challenges?  

Whereas a single microbial strain would be able to assist with one single, targeted problem, a microbial product with a huge diversity of species is better equipped to handle problems in a changing environment.

Just as a car can’t be fixed with a single screwdriver, Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture is an entire toolbox of microbes adept to handle numerous problems


The Data Does The Talking - Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture Provides an ROI for growers 

 

In the above 8.5-minute video, Dr. Stark explores different trial results from different crops. Watch the video for the full explanation of each trial or read the bulleted highlights below.

  • On corn, the recommended application rate is 0.5 gallons per acre at planting (or as close as you can). We are seeing yield increase ranges on corn from 3-to-22 bushels per acre with typical results ranging from 6-to-11 bushels.

  • On soybeans, the recommended applications rate is also 0.5 gallons per acre at planting (or as close as you can). We are seeing typical yield increases of 2-to-6 bushels.

  • Additional crops including berries, cucurbits, tomato, potato and others are reviewed in the video.


Want to dig in deeper?

If you are looking to dig deeper into the results behind Holganix Agriculture, be sure to check out this blog which goes into detail on several university and commercial grower trials. Or, feel free to reach out to Holganix directly by emailing David Stark P.h.D., the President of Agriculture, at dstark@holganix.com.

soil food web

Tags: the science behind holganix, agriculture

10 Inspirational Quotes On Soil

North Bound-991591-edited

To help start your morning off on the right foot, we’ve compiled advice from 10 different authorities, philosophers and public figures on soil health and the importance of soil. Flip through the SlideShare for 10 inspiring quotes from people like: Mahatma Gandhi, Charles E. Kellogg, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

And if you’re feeling especially inspired by these quotes, you can dig in deeper and download our FREE eBook called Soil Science 101 to learn more about the importance of soil.

If you are reading this blog via email, click here to view the SlideShare.  


 

1. “Essentially, all life depends upon the soil… There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.” - Dr. Charles E Kellogg, Soil Scientist and Chief of the USDA’s Bureau for Chemistry and Soils

 

2. “To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” - Mahatma Gandhi, Indian activist

 

3. “How can I stand on the ground every day and not feel its power? How can I live my life stepping on this stuff and not wonder at it?” - William Bryant Logan, Award-winning writer, faculty member at the New York Botanical Garden, and practicing arborist

 

4. “We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot.” - Leonardo Da Vinci, Artist and inventor

 

5. “Land is not merely soil, it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants and animals.” - Aldo Leopold, Author, philosopher, scientist and conservationist

 

6. “To be a successful farmer one must first know the nature of the soil.” - Xenophon, Ancient greek philosopher and historian, student of Socrates, Circa 430 - 354 BC

 

7. “The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself.” - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of The United States of America

 

8. “... I cannot conceive of the time when knowledge of soils will be complete. Our expectation is that our successors will build on what has been done, as we are building on the work of our predecessors.” -  R.S. Smith, Director of the Illinois Soil Survey, 1928

 

9. “The farther we get away from the land, the greater our insecurity.” - Henry Ford, Entrepreneur and founder of The Ford Motor Company

 

10. “Keep your eyes on the stars, keep your feet on the ground.” - Theodore Roosevelt Jr, 26th President of the United States of America


Download Our Soil Science eBook

Digging Soil Science 101: Beginners Guide to Understanding the Soil Food Web

Within the natural world, there exists a complex balance among living organisms known as the soil food web. Plants, animals and microorganisms are all instruments in an orchestra; each plays a crucial part in the natural symphony of life. If even one of the players is out of tune, the whole soil food web suffers. However, when everything is in order, the results are beautiful. 

Download this book to explore:

1. How the soil food web supports healthy plant

2. The power behind soil microorganisms

3. Soil types and how to improve the health of your soil

soil food web

Tags: behind the science of holganix, the science behind holganix

Holganix Case Study: Top 3 Take-Aways From GrowinGreen Lawn Care

jonathan rigsbee

 

This is a special blog written by Holganix Founder & CEO, Barrett Ersek

In 2013 Jonathan Rigsbee reached out to tell me about test results with Holganix Tree & Shrub (A Bio 800+ product). Jonathan - Owner and CEO of GrowinGreen Lawn Care and Tommy Cowett -  horticulturist, were testing over 30 products to see which products would help them strengthen evergreens hit by imprelis damage earlier that year.

Imprelis was a DuPont manufactured herbicide that had the adverse effect of doing serious damage to evergreens across the USA. Jonathan’s company, like many at the time, were hit hard by damages.

According to Jonathan, those Holganix tests had “brought trees back from the brink for us.”  

Jonathan has been a customer ever since, using Holganix products in both his tree and shrub program and lawn program; he’s also become a friend of mine.

I’ve had the opportunity to watch him grow his business over the years. Jonathan is passionate about running lean, efficient businesses. He believes in empowering his technicians to own the route, make agronomic decisions and get to know customers. He invests in his employees to the point where most technicians have been with the company for over five years.

There’s a lot our industry can learn from Jonathan.

I had the opportunity to interview him in a webinar last week about his results with Holganix products and also his philosophy on running his business.

Below are my three key take-aways from the interview. For the full version of the webinar click here.


GrowinGreen Reduces Nitrogen and Increase Root Mass 

I once heard Jonathan say, “You can spot a GrowinGreen Lawn because it has Holganix on it.” Jonathan reports that he has better, more consistent color on his turf compared to competing companies, and he has reduced his fertilizer inputs by 50-to-70% depending on the lawn.

Check out the 12-minute video above for a story about how GrowinGreen went up against a National Competitor on color and won. If you're reading this blog via email, click here to access the video.


GrowinGreen Reports Healthier Trees and Shrubs 

Aside from the Imprelis story, GrowinGreen has utilized Holganix Tree & Shrub to improve overall plant health and to ensure they don’t get “Flare Ups” from insect or disease damage.

Check out the 11.5-minute video above for Jonathan’s experience with trees and shrubs. If you're reading this blog via email, click here to access the video.


Jonathan On Building A Lean, Efficient Lawn Care Business

“We are all facing the same challenges with a tight labor market and that’s not going to change anytime soon,” explains Jonathan. “A few years ago, we changed our mindset to how can we get more out of what we have?”  

For Jonathan that meant investing in the people (specifically his technicians) to empower them to make decisions about their route. As a result, most technicians have been with GrowinGreen for over 5 years. It also meant organizing better routing, investing in better trucks and equipment and working on educating his technicians.

In addition to lowering tech-turnover, Jonathan says he’s reduced his customer cancel rate from 19%-to-15%, while increasing his revenue per truck by 60%.

Watch the 7.5-minute video above for additional advice on running a lean, efficient lawn care business. If you're reading this blog via email, click here to access the video.


Want to learn more?

If you want to learn more about GrowinGreen Lawn Care, how they have grown their business and the results they have seen with Holganix products, click the button below to watch the full 51-minute webinar recording.

Watch Jonathan's Video Interview

 

How can you start implementing Holganix products into your lawn care or tree and shrub program?

If you’re interested in implementing Holganix products into your lawn care program, I recommend downloading your region’s Holganix Soil Smart Program. Holganix Soil Smart Programs are turn-key and consist of all the products needed for a fertilization program including fertilizer, herbicides and of course, your Holganix plant probiotics. However, unlike a traditional fertilizer program, the Holganix Soil Smart Program requires fewer fertilizers and pesticides to create a green, weed-free lawn.

Soil Smart Fertilizer Program

If you have any questions about designing your fertilizer program, or if you want to build a tree and shrub program with Holganix products, feel free to speak with one of our local experts at Holganix. You can schedule a meeting with a Holganix expert by clicking the button below.

Speak With A Holganix Representative

Tags: lawn care, holganix reviews, holganix review

6 Fabulous Infographics about Soil Health [INFOGRAPHIC]

soil health image

If you're a soil dork like the team here at Holganix, you need to dig into the below six infographics. From plant communication (yes, plants communicate!), soil disease suppressiveness, soil consistency and soil microbes, each infographic describes a unique aspect of soil health and what it means for plant health. 

 

1. Hidden Half Of Plants: Developing More Robust and Sustainable Crops

This infographic tells the story of how the soil rhizosphere - the soil surrounding the roots - functions to promote plant health. It also discusses how roots interact with one another - communicating with other roots and microbes to cycle nutrients and respond to stress.

>>Source: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

danforth-infographic-soil-health


2. A Soil Health Strategy And Its Interaction With Soil

Created by the European Commission for Agriculture and Innovation, this infographic describes the unique relationship between soil health and soil borne disease. According to the European Commission, there are three key factors influencing soil borne disease:

1. Soil life, biodiversity

2. Soil structure

3. Chemical status, fertilization

>>Source European Commission For Agriculture and Innovation

soil_health_soil_disease

3. The Soil Food Web

This infographic is a classic and Holganix fans know it well - The Soil Food Web infographic by the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) describes the synergistic relationship between organisms within the soil.

>>Source: NRCS

 

soil_food_Web


4. Unlock The Secrets In The Soil

According to this infographic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “healthy soil is key to feeding 9 billion people by 2050.” The infographic describes how soil is made of about 45% minerals, 25% water, 5% organic matter and 25% air. Plus, it gives tons of cool facts about the life beneath the soil’s surface!

For example, did you know healthy soil “has amazing water-retention capacity. Every 1% increase in organic matter results in as much as 25,000 gallons of available water per acre.” Or, that “all of the soil microbes in 1 ac/ft of soil weighs more than 2 cows!”

>>Source USDA

 

soil_health_USDA


5. Soils Are The Foundation For Vegetation

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released this infographic when the United Nations named 2015 the “International Year Of Soil”. In this infographic, the FAO describes soil’s relationship with:

1. Crops

2. Pasture

3. Forests

>>Source FAO

 

soil-foundation


6. How Does Holganix Bio 800+ Work?

That’s right - we are very biased when it comes to infographics, our own infographic just HAD to make the list too! In this infographic, we discuss how Holganix Bio 800+ harnesses the power of over 800 soil microbes to:

  1. Stimulate healthy growth in foliage and roots

  2. Convert and release nutrients to the plant

  3. Promote the plant’s tolerance from stress, including weather, disease and traffic

  4. Balance the soil ecosystem, providing a healthy habitat for a healthy plant

Want to dig in deeper? Check out our Holganix Bio 800+ product line!

Holganix Holganix Bio 800+ Works

soil food web

Tags: the science behind holganix

5 Tips For Planning Your 2019 Fertilizer Program

Fertilizer Program

With only two months to go until the new year, now is the perfect time to strategize what 2019 will look like for your lawn and landscape company. In specific, what will your agronomic program look like, and are you adding any new services this year like tree and shrub applications or aeration services? These are the two big questions we’ll explore in today’s blog.


Planning Your Agronomic Program

Most of the time, agronomic programs fluctuate throughout the year based on weather. For example, too much rain causes problems with disease, and two little could spell for a nasty summer. Regardless of Mother Nature’s whims, it’s important to strategize what your ideal agronomic program looks like to ensure a successful year. Here are three tips from Dr. Bob, our Director of Soil and Plant Science.

 

1. Nutrients Matter

We all know those three numbers on the bag stand for Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, and while getting the appropriate quantity of each nutrient is important, quality may matter even more so. Not all forms of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are created equally. Here are two items to consider when looking at your nutrients.

Looking at Timing: Slow vs Quick-Release

Is your nutrient source a quick- or slow-release? For example, when it comes to the source of nitrogen are you using a quick-release urea or a slow-release methylated or triazone urea? Or some other source entirely? There are instances when you are looking for a quick green up, but often a program containing slow-release urea will provide a better, long-term green up.

>>Learn more about the difference between slow and quick-release nitrogen sources on this blog.

Compare Use Rate to Understand Cost

When comparing two fertilizer costs don’t just compare the cost of one bag to another, factor in the use rate of each fertilizer to get to cost per round. Cost per round will be your “True Cost” for that fertilizer.

 

2. Going Organic? Going Hybrid-Organic?

Are you looking to create a hybrid-organic program or a fully organic program? Many Holganix customers prefer to utilize a hybrid-organic program that provides the quick results associated with a traditional, synthetic program and the long-term benefits of an organic one. Often, a hybrid-organic program provides benefits like a green, weed-free lawn, increased soil health, less surge growth and the ability to market your earth-friendly message to homeowners.

If you’re interested in going with a hybrid-organic program, be sure to download your Holganix Soil Smart Program!

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 9.10.11 AM-1

Holganix Soil Smart Programs are turn-key and consist of all the products needed for a fertilization program including fertilizer, herbicides and of course, your Holganix plant probiotics. However, unlike a traditional fertilizer program, the Holganix Soil Smart Program requires fewer fertilizers and pesticides to create a green, weed-free lawn.

>>Download Your Holganix Soil Smart Program

 

3. Speak With a Local Expert!

If you have any questions about designing your 2019 fertilizer program, feel free to speak with one of our local experts at Holganix. You can schedule a meeting with a Holganix expert by clicking the button below.

Speak With A Holganix Representative


Adding Additional Services in 2019

Are you currently offering lawn fertilizer applications and looking to branch out into additional services to increase your revenue and gross margin. Adding additional services is a great way to increase your revenue per customer which in turn should increase your margins. These are services your customers are often either receiving from a competitor or are DIYing. Here are two services to consider adding in 2019.


1. Tree and Shrub Programs

On average you can expect 10-to-30% of your current customers to sign up for a tree and shrub program. That’s like new found money. If you’re anxious to get started because (1) you don’t know how to sell it, (2) you don’t know how to price it, or (3) you don’t know how to build a tree and shrub program, don’t fret - we’ve got your back!

Download the Holganix Tree and Shrub Box for tools on how to price out a tree and shrub program and free marketing pieces to help push the program to customers. You are also welcome to leverage one of our horticulturists or local lawn care experts for help designing a program.

>>Download Your Tree & Shrub Box


2. Aeration Services

Why should you market aeration services to current customers? Not only is it additional revenue with high margins, but by aerating the turf, you’re providing a better soil ecosystem for the lawn. For help getting started, download our Holganix Aeration Box containing several tools to help you market and sell aeration services to customers.

>>Download Your Aeration Box


The Big Take-Aways

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Make sure you take advantage of the next two months to plan out your 2019 agronomic program and any additional services you may offer in the coming season. Also, to help you get started, leverage the free resources we listed above or any others provided by distributors. And lastly, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Holganix if you have any questions, we are here to help!

Speak With A Holganix Representative

Tags: lawn care

Holganix Case Study Maximizing Playability And Sustainability At Broken Sound Club

Shannon Easter Blog

Shannon Easter, Director of Sustainability and Golf Maintenance at Broken Sound Golf Club has been using Holganix Bio 800+ Golf for 5 years now. According to Shannon, Holganix Bio 800+ Golf has served as a tool to meet his sustainability, soil health and agronomic goals at the two courses he manages at Broken Sound.

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

Both a written section and video clips are provided from the interview for your use. If you are reading this blog via email, click here to access a copy of the article that contains videos.

What is Holganix Bio 800+ Golf? Holganix Golf 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.


Meeting Sustainability Goals at Broken Sound with Reductions in Fertilizer, Fungicide and Irrigation

Broken Sound Golf Club isn’t new to the world of sustainability. In fact, the exclusive, award winning country club was “the second golf facility in the US and the 14th in the world to be GEO certified - the sustainability assurance of the international non-profit Golf Environment Organization.” Broken Sound has also received Audubon Sanctuary Certification for both of their golf courses and established the first industrial composting project in Florida. In addition, Broken Sound has been recognized for recycling 96% of its solid waste. “In the state of Florida, we are the second largest recycler - just behind Waste Management,” says Shannon Easter.

In 2016, Shannon accepted the coveted Environmental Leaders in Golf Award (ELGA), presented annually by GCSAA and Golf Digest in partnership with Syngenta and Rain Bird’s Golf Division.


Holganix: Shannon, can you comment about how you use Holganix Bio 800+ Golf to reduce your fungicide, fertilizer and irrigation needs on both courses?


Shannon: Holganix Bio 800+ Golf allows us to maximize the fertility in the soil and make it available. Overall, we have reduced our fungicide inputs by 30% and our use of nitrogen by 20%. Our irrigation has also been reduced by 12%; that’s because Holganix Golf has allowed us to grow a deeper, more web-like root system.

We create tailored programs for each course because of their different soil types. For example, the old course is predominantly sandy soils and the new course has richer soils. In the old course we apply 4 applications via fertigation and on the new course we apply just 3 applications.

We haven’t just backed off rates on our turf, but also on our annuals. We mix the Holganix Golf with our compost and use it when planting annuals. Over the past 3 years we haven’t needed a single fungicide application on our annuals and I attribute that to Holganix Golf.  

Holganix: Dr. Bob, can you tell us about the science behind Holganix Bio 800+ Golf and why Shannon has been able to reduce his inputs?

 

Dr. Bob: The microbes contained in Holganix Bio 800+ Golf are going to conduct three core activities in order to help maximize Shannon’s use of fertilizer, fungicides and irrigation.

1. Microbes in Holganix Golf promote root development which will allows roots to better access nutrients and water in the soil. A class of microbes known as Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria (PGPB) form a synergistic relationship with the plant to build plant roots. PGPB stimulate direct root growth of the primary roots - those roots that grow down into the soil, others stimulate root growth of the secondary roots - those roots that grow laterally or horizontally in the soil.

2. Microbes in Holganix Golf unlock primary and secondary nutrients already in the soil.

3. Microbes in Holganix Golf trigger the plant’s natural defense system called Induced Systemic Resistance (ISR) and Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR) that combats pathogens or allows the plant to better handle situations like a drought or dealing with an abundance 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.


50% Increase in Root Mass Leads To Healthier Turf That Requires Less Irrigation

Holganix: Shannon, you alluded to the fact that you were able to reduce your irrigation because of the root mass. Can you talk to us about what you have seen with Holganix Golf and roots? I know you were our 2015 Holganix Roots For You winner for having the most impressive root mass in the golf industry.


Shannon: Take a look at the two pictures below.

turf roots

The one on the left is with celebration turf on the new course. The turf is just 4 weeks old in that picture and it is growing in sandy soils. Those roots wound up being 22 inches long! It is pretty impressive.

The picture on the right is from turf just 11 days old. That area received a second application of Holganix Golf, so it really shows the potential if you can double up your application rate.


Holganix: Dr. Bob, can you tell us what about Holganix Bio 800+ Golf that allows Shannon and other turf professionals to get such a deep root mass?


Dr. Bob: It comes back to the PGPB and the plant growth hormones they release to grow primary and secondary roots.


Enhancing Soil Health Means Big PayOffs in Turf Performance

Holganix: You had sent us a bunch of data regarding a bump in soil health with Holganix Golf. In specific, you pointed out an increase in your cation exchange capacity (CEC) and a decrease in your soil organic matter. Can you tell us a little about those results?


Shannon: CEC is the soil’s ability to hold onto nutrients in the soil and make them available to the plant. So, the higher I can get my CEC the easier it is for my turf to access nutrients. The data below demonstrates these results, showing a 13% average increase in CEC on fairways and a 27% average increase on greens.

Our Soil Organic Matter (SOM) also decreased with the use of Holganix Golf on our greens. That means the thatch is being minimized and allows us to go longer in between renovations. Overall we saw a 29.55% average decrease in our SOM on the new courses’ greens and tees.Soil Organic Matter Chart broken sound

Bland Cooper who was our PGA Tour agronomist took a pressure test of our greens. It was the first time he got 10 pounds on greens that are over 12 years old. That just shows you how incredible it was to reduce our thatch and increase CECs.  


Holganix: Dr. Bob can you tell us a little bit about why Holganix Golf would be able to provide such a considerable boost in soil health?


Dr Bob: Microbes in Holganix Bio 800+ Golf contribute to soil health because it’s microbes nature to break down organic matter. A healthy soil is dependent upon the soil’s ability to break down organic matter into humus. If organic matter doesn’t break down, disease occurs in the soil. Ultimately, this process leads to improved soil structure which leads to an increase in CEC, moisture movement and soil atmosphere movement.


Shortening the Grow In Period During Renovations

Holganix: Shannon, you used Holganix during renovations in 2014 and 2018. Can you tell us about the results you saw?

 

Shannon: We really saw an increase in the speed that the turf was growing in at. Specifically, in the 2014 renovations we were able to open one course six weeks early and the other eight weeks early. One of the reasons why the courses opened early was because Holganix Golf allowed us to increase our grow in speed.


Holganix: Dr. Bob, can you tell us how Holganix Bio 800+ Golf can help other courses during a renovation?


Dr. Bob: For renovations it comes down to roots. When establishing a new turf - whether it be a lawn or a golf green - success is critically reliant on developing a strong root system. Microbes in Holganix Golf that contribute to root growth include but are not limited to PGPB, Mycorrhizae and Trichoderma.


Additional Conversations with Shannon @ Broken Sound Club

If you want to learn more about Shannon’s results with Holganix Golf, check out the below video and article topics.

1. Nematodes - Shannon discusses results he has seen with an unnamed Holganix Technology and nematode reductions.

2. Soil Health - Shannon digs deeper into results on CEC and Soil Organic Matter (SOM).

3. Plant Installations - Shannon discusses how he uses Holganix Golf when planting annuals and on trees and shrubs to ensure survival at planting and to build overall plant strength.

4. Golf Trends - Shannon goes into two key trends he is seeing in the golf industry that he feels superintendents should be aware of.


Download Our Ingredient List

Want to learn more about the Holganix Golf 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 representatives!

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

Tags: holganix reviews, golf course, holganix review, broken sound country club

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.

If you are reading this blog via email, please click here so you have access to the video portions of this blog.


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!

Tags: holganix reviews, holganix review, greenhouse

Holganix Agriculture Provides a 3-5x ROI

holganix agriculture roi

“With any entrepreneurial farmer, trying a new product comes down to return on investment,” explains Holganix CEO & Founder, Barrett Ersek. “And, securing a return on investment for our farmers is a priority at Holganix.”

Holganix Agriculture harnesses the power of soil microbes to provide an increase in yield, plant resilience and soil health on row crops. “For growers planting corn and soy, the increase in yield combined with the economical cost of our product often provides a 3-4x ROI,” explains Barrett. Over the past several years, Holganix has conducted trials with both a university and commercial growers on several crops including corn and soy, among others.

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 10.52.43 AM

 

How Does Holganix Agriculture Work?

Holganix Agriculture contains over 800 species of beneficial soil microbes that promote growth in crop foliage and roots, convert and release nutrients in the soil and promote the crops’ tolerance to stress like weather and disease. Holganix Agriculture contains the most complete and diverse blend of beneficial soil microbes available on the market.


Want to Dig Deeper?

If you are looking to dig deeper into the results behind Holganix Agriculture on row crops, be sure to check out this blog. Or, feel free to reach out to Holganix directly by emailing David Stark P.h.D., the President of Agriculture, at dstark@holganix.com.