The Holganix Blog

7 Ways Holganix Bio 800 GROWS Healthier Turf & Ornamentals

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Reader's Note: This blog has been updated & republished from it's original format

Holganix Bio 800+ is an organic plant probiotic that harness the power of over 800 species of soil microbes to optimize soils and grow healthier, more sustainable plants. But, there are a lot of ways Holganix grows healthier turf and plants! Here are our top seven favorite ways Holganix Bio 800+ GROWS healthier turf and plants.

 

1. Holganix Bio 800Balances the Soil Food Web

The Soil Food Web is the circle of life within the soil. The big “Bugs” eat the smaller “Bugs,” and those smaller “Bugs” eat even tinier “Bugs.”

When the soil food web is in balance, soil microbes go to work breaking down nutrients within the soil, fortifying plant health and stimulating plant growth.

The soil microbes in Holganix Bio 800increase the diversity and population counts within the soil food web. If a certain segment or species within the soil food web is weak, adding microbes from Holganix Bio 800will help strengthen that segment.

soil_food_web.pngPhoto above from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services. http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/soils/health/biology/?cid=nrcs142p2_053868  

 

2. Holganix Bio 800Builds Strong Roots

Houses have foundations that support the entire structure.

Plants and turf do too! The roots act as the foundation that supports a healthier overall plant.

When your plants have strong root systems, they are better able to withstand environmental stresses from disease, insects, traffic and weather. A stronger root system with long roots is also able to more effectively mine for nutrients, minerals and moisture within the soil.

improve turf roots

Holganix Bio 800+contains several ingredients that influence root growth, including:

Are users seeing good rooting with Holganix Bio 800+? Most of our customers see a considerable improvement in rooting. Check out the roots submitted on social media above to see some of results.

 

3. Holganix Bio 800Reduces Inputs

When using Holganix Bio 800+, you increase the effectiveness of synthetic inputs like fertilizers and pesticides, allowing you to reduce inputs. That means when you use Holganix Bio 800+, you’re using a greener product that differentiates you from your competitors.

How much can you reduce your inputs? Check out our compatibility list here for rate reductions and recommended components to use with Holganix Bio 800+.

 

4. Holganix Bio 800Increases Water Efficiency

When your plants need less water, you can cut back on irrigation and help survive tough weather conditions like droughts and summer heat. Holganix Bio 800isn’t a drought cure-all, but it can help your plants go into dormancy later and come out of dormancy stronger!

Holganix Bio 800+ affects water efficiency in four ways:

  1. Increases root mass

  2. Allows roots to mine for nutrients

  3. Provides access to water that roots can’t reach alone

  4. Acts as a soil conditioner and wetting agent

One of our favorite stories regarding water reduction is Ed Smith Stadium, the spring training field for the Baltimore Orioles. Check out their story here.

 

5. Holganix Bio 800Increases Stress Tolerance

Because Holganix Bio 800builds stronger roots, your plants are better able to defend against environmental stresses and more easily recover when attacked by disease, insects and weather.

Holganix Bio 800also contains microbes that eat pathogenic microbes and release antibiotics in the soil that defend the plant from harm.

Check out Manada Golf Course in PA, then read their case study here.

manada golf course

 

6. Holganix Bio 800Increases Seed Germination

Thinking about doing a little overseeding? Holganix Bio 800can help with that! Customers that apply HolganixBio 800during seeding see an increase in seed germination rates.

Can you guess which pot was treated with Holganix Bio 800+? This test was conducted by Sam Whitehouse of Whitehouse Lawn and Landscape in PA.

turf seed germination

Seven Holganix Bio 800ingredients enhance seed germination. These seven ingredients are:

  1. Kelp Extract

  2. Mycorrhizae Fungi

  3. Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria

  4. Trichoderma

  5. Humic and Fulvic Acids

  6. Amino Acids

  7. Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria (PGPB)

 

7. Holganix Bio 800Reduces Transplant Shock

Holganix Bio 800reduces transplant shock by mending a disrupted soil food web, making the plant’s new environment a happy and healthy one! It also builds strong roots so the new plant can better “root” into its new home. And because of specific soil microbes contained in the product, Holganix Bio 800+ increases stress tolerance so your plant is better able to handle the stress of moving into its new home.

 

Want to Learn More?

Learn more about the seven ways Holganix Bio 800grows healthy plants by watching our webinar featuring Holganix’s Director of Plant and Soil Science, Dr. Neidermyer. Then, download our soil food web ebook to learn about the importance of soil health.  

 

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, the science behind holganix, golf course, greenhouses

Installing Landscapes? Holganix Plant Start Reduces Transplant Shock, Grows Strong Roots

4 Tennessee Lawn Care Companies (1)-3

Contractors that install plants - whether flowers, trees, shrub, sod or seed - have a challenge on their hands. In essence, they take perfectly healthy plant material from a greenhouse or nursery and install it in dead soil that is common in new subdivisions. The plant suffers from transplant shock and will either struggle to take root and adapt to its new home, or eventually it may die.

Don’t risk new plants! Use Holganix Plant Start applications to ensure your plants thrive. By using the Holganix Plant Start Applications, contractors can expect:

  • Reduce transplant shock
  • Grow strong roots
  • Boost color

 

What is the Holganix Plant Start Application?

Contractors simply water their freshly installed plant in with any Holganix Bio 800+ product and the plant will grow strong roots, that allow the plant to not only survive, but thrive in its new home.

Plant Start

 

Watch Our Video Demonstration

Watch the below below for a demonstration on how to use Holganix Bio 800+ products during plant start applications. If you are reading this blog via email, click here to watch the video. 

 

Download A Copy Of The Plant Start Directions

Click the button below to download your copy of the Plant Start Application directions. Spanish versions of these directions are pending.

Download:  Plant Start Application Directions

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course, science behind holganix

10 Soil Health Terms Explained In Simple English!

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Soil health has become an important benchmark for all growers - regardless of whether you are growing corn, berries, turfgrass or ornamental trees and shrubs. Yet for many, soil health definitions and terms are new and confusing! In this blog, we focus on providing simple and concise explanations for 10 key soil health terms.

To “short-cut” the article, you can select any term you would like to explore using the list below.

>> Soil Structure >> Soil Degradation
>> The Soil Food Web >> Soil Microbes
>> Beneficial Soil Bacteria >> Beneficial Soil Fungi
>> Cation Exchange Capacity >> Soil Organic Matter
>> Humus >> Regenerative Agriculture


Soil Structure

Soil structure influences water and air movement, soil microbe activity, root growth, and seedling emergence. In short, it is the arrangement of pore spaces and solid soil particles that are glued together by sticky substances created by bacteria and root hairs. Good soil structure has 50% soil particles and 50% pore spaces occupied by air and water.


Soil Degradation

Soil degradation is the decline in soil quality; specifically, it is the decline of the soil’s physical, biological and chemical state. Depending on the severity of degradation, the soil can still be used for crop production. According to the USDA, the “productivity of some lands has declined by 50% due to soil erosion and desertification.”

DegSoilMap

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy found that 75% of our lands are degraded. Their assessment took three years and included more than 100 experts from 45 countries. Check out the image above from GRID Arendal (A center collaborating with the United Nations Environment Program) which demonstrates degraded land worldwide. 

Soil degradation can be caused by improper land use through agriculture, pasture urban or industrial purposes.

>>Looking to learn more about Soil Degradation? Check out the U.N. to combat desertification


The Soil Food Web

Within the natural world there exists a complex balance among living organisms known as the “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.

A healthy soil food web is very similar to the food web we all learned in middle school (see image below from the National Resources Conservation Services).

The Soil Food Web

One of the functions of a healthy soil food web is to hold nutrients in non-leachable forms so they remain in the soil until the plant requires them. The plant triggers the right soil microbes to convert nutrients into forms the plant can uptake (but which are typically very leachable), in exchange the plant provides sugars for the microbes. When the correct ratio of fungi and bacteria to protozoa (prey to predator) is present, the soil pH, structure and nutrient cycling occur at optimum rates, producing the right form of nutrients for the plant when the plant needs them.

>>Watch our 3.5-minute video on the soil food web to learn more


Soil Microbes

Soil microbes recharge soils, that ultimately leads to improved yield, root growth, and crop resilience against stress. Increasing beneficial microbe populations and diversity in the soil is an important component to improving soil health. In fact, it is impossible to build topsoil, soil structure and convert plant and animal debris into nutrients without microbes.

There are 5 types of soil microbes: bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes. Each type conducts a unique job to improve soil and plant health.

Growers and turf professionals can increase their soil microbe populations and diversity by:

1. Applying a microbial product like Holganix Bio 800+ - Holganix Bio 800+ harnesses the power of over 800 species of beneficial soil microbes that improve: (1) soil health, (2) plant resilience against stress like disease and traffic, (3) crop yields, (4) root depth and density, and (5) turf professionals can reduce their use of fertilizers and pesticides.

2. Supporting microbes already present in the soil with microbe food - Applying sugars, using compost, reducing your tillage and incorporating cover crops are all ways to feed the microbes already present in your soil, or those you apply to your soil through microbial products. However, deep freezes, flooding, tillage, and some chemicals can harm the soil’s microbiome, so it’s not just important to support the microbes already present in the soil but to also supply a diverse concentration of microbial species.

>>Check out this 4.5-minute video on the top 5 most interesting soil microbes

 

Beneficial Soil Bacteria

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), states, “bacteria may well be the most valuable of life forms in the soil.” Beneficial soil microbes are the crucial workforce of soils and are charged with breaking down nutrients and releasing them to the root zone for the plant. Some species like Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria, release plant hormones that encourage plant growth.

>>Check out this 5-minute read on Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria


Beneficial Soil Fungi

Like bacteria, fungi also live in the root zone and helps make nutrients available to plants. For example, Mycorrhizae fungi facilitate water and nutrient uptake by the roots and plants to provide sugars, amino acids, and other nutrients. Other beneficial soil fungi like Trichoderma help the plant fight disease and improve root growth. 

>>Check out this technical article on the benefits of Mycorrhizae

 

Cation Exchange Capacity

Think of the soil as the pantry for plants, storing the necessary nutrients to feed the plant and ultimately boost plant health. The Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) is the soil’s ability to maintain and release nutrients to the plant. So, the higher the CEC, the larger the pantry and the more “food” the soil has the ability to store and feed to the plant. 

How can you increase CEC? Check out this blog on how superintendents like Shannon Easter at Broken Sound Golf Club and Matt Boyd at Orchid Island Golf and Country Club, are using Holganix Bio 800+ Golf to drive CEC.

>>Read our case studies on improving CEC


Soil Organic Matter

Soil organic matter (SOM) is made from carbon and once-living plants that are broken down by soil organisms like bacteria, fungi, and earthworms. Soil organisms utilize SOM as food, and when digested, exude nutrients and humus. Once SOM has been efficiently broken down, SOM becomes humus.

Increased SOM in soil promotes improved soil structure, biological activity and an increased ability to hold and release nutrients and water in the soil. Good, healthy soil contains 3 -to-5% SOM. Low SOM is a sign of soil degradation.

So, how can you increase SOM? Combining Holganix Bio 800+ to provide a diverse set of microbes, with practices the feed soil microbes (think no-to-low till, cover crops, compost, etc), will allow you to slowly build SOM.

Check out this blog on how superintendents like Shannon Easter at Broken Sound Golf Club and Matt Boyd at Orchid Island Golf and Country Club, are using Holganix Bio 800+ Golf to improve SOM.

>>Read our case studies on improving SOM


Humus

According to National Geographic, “Humus is a dark, organic material that forms in the soil when plant and animal matter decays.”

When plants drop leaves and other material to the ground, it forms leaf litter. As animals die, their remains contribute to the litter. Over time, the litter decomposes to its most basic chemical elements. These chemical elements “are important nutrients for the soil and organisms that depend on soil for life, such as plants.”

After the litter decomposes, the thick brown or black substance that remains is called humus.

National Geographic states that “Humus contains many useful nutrients for healthy soil. Some experts think humus makes the soil more fertile. Others say humus helps prevent disease in plants and food crops.”

>>Learn more about humus by visiting this National Geographic blog


Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture describes farming and grazing practices that focus on regenerating topsoil, allowing farmers to maintain crop yields, improve water retention and nutrient uptake, increase farm profitability, and support biosequestration, among other benefits.

The backbone of regenerative agriculture is a focus on strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil. The key is that regenerative agriculture “Does no harm” to the land, and in fact improves it using technologies to build soil health like compost, recycling waste, limited-to-no-tillage, among other practices.

>>Check out this 5-minute read for more information on the benefits of regenerative agriculture


Are you interested in soil health and want to dig in deeper? Download our Soil Science eBook

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

We know regenerative agriculture and long-term sustainability of farmland hinges on the health of soils. But, how do soils work? And, what does healthy soil look like? Dig deeper into soil science with by downloading our FREE eBook by Holganix Director of Soil and Plant Science, Dr. Robert Neidermyer.

Download our eBook to explore:

1. How the soil food web supports healthy crops

2. The power behind soil microbes and what they do to build resilient crops

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

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, the science behind holganix, golf course, farmer

Soil Testing: How Do You Do It AND Why?

Soil test

When was the last time you took soil tests at your property? Are your plants looking a little worn out? Are your turf and plants not taking to fertilizer applications?

Soil tests provide the key soil health metrics you need to better prescribe a fertility program for your property.

On a basic level, soil tests indicate nutrient deficiencies and pH levels. However, more advanced soil tests are available that also indicate Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), soluble salts and other important soil health metrics.

What is each of the soil health metrics you can expect from a soil test, what do they mean and what practices can you put in place to improve results?

 

Measuring key elements to plant growth

According to the University of Minnesota Extension, “There are at least 17 essential elements required for plant growth: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum, chlorine and nickel.”

While elements like hydrogen, carbon and oxygen are taken from air and water, the remaining elements are derived from the soil. When the soil is lacking in a key element, adding a fertilizer is key.

The three most important nutrients for plant growth include: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

1. Nitrogen is responsible for stimulating strong plant growth and promoting green coloring of foliage (it helps with chlorophyll production). Nitrogen is often present in the soil; however, it may be locked in a form that isn’t utilized by the plant. Adding a fertilizer containing nitrogen will directly supply the nutrient to the plant. You could also add a probiotic containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria that will unlock nitrogen already present in the soil, making them available to the plant.

2. Phosphorus is responsible for assisting with the growth of roots and flowers. It also helps plants withstand environmental stress and harsh winters. Just like with nitrogen, phosphorus is often contained in the soil but may be locked in a form the plant can’t use. Adding a fertilizer containing phosphorus or adding a probiotic containing phosphorus-solubilizing bacteria can increase the supply of available phosphorus.

3. Potassium strengthens plants, contributes to early growth and helps retain water. It also affects the plant’s disease and insect suppression. Adding a fertilizer containing potassium will offset any imbalances in the soil.

>>For information on the six essential nutrients for plant health, read our blog here.

 

Looking at soil pH

Soil pH is a measure of soil acidity. A pH of 7 is neutral; anything below a 7 is acidic and anything above is alkaline.

According to the University of Minnesota Extension, “A soil pH is an important chemical property because it affects the availability of nutrients to plants and the activity of microorganisms in the soil.”

On average, most plants prefer a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 and most turf grasses prefer a pH of 5.5 and 6.5. However, pH can differ depending on the plant and turf grass you are growing.

Adding a lime is one common practice to raise the soil pH. Tools that lower pH include but are not limited to: sulfur, iron sulfate, aluminum sulfate, acid sphagnum peat and ammonium sulfate/urea.

 

Cation Exchange Capacity

Think of the soil as the pantry for plants, storing the necessary nutrients to feed the plant and ultimately boost plant health. The Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) is the soil’s ability to maintain and release nutrients to the plant.

So, the higher the CEC, the larger the pantry and the more “food” the soil has the ability to store and feed to the plant.

To increase CEC levels, adding a product with high microbial populations will stimulate the digestion of organic matter, increasing humus levels, which thereby increases CEC levels.

>>Dig deeper into Cation Exchange Capacity and how Holganix boosts CEC levels

 

Soluble salts

Soluble salts are the ions that are dissolved in soil water.

Why are soluble salts important? “High soluble salts can reduce water uptake by plants, restrict root growth, cause burning of the foliage, inhibit flowering, and limit fruit and vegetable yields.” 

Some soils naturally have high soluble salts, however human practices like over fertilizing, pet urine, or using snow salts on sidewalks/streets can all increase soluble salt levels.

To correct soluble salt problems, look at incorporating gypsum and leaching the soil with good quality water.

 

How and where do you conduct soil tests?

Results from soil tests often take a couple weeks and possibly a couple months depending on the test. Most university extensions offer soil testing.

Utilize a sampling tube and take several samples at each location of your property. Look at taking 3-inch to 6-inch deep soil samples. Remember to label each tube with the location from your property from which it was taken.

 

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, the science behind holganix, sports turf, golf course, agriculture

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

5 Types of Soil Microbes And What They Do For Plants

 

5_types_0f_microbe

We are all feeling the pressure to do more with less. Each state is talking about restricting fertilizer and phosphorus, and although these things are great for the environment it can also make it difficult to reach our needs when it comes to plant growth. What can we do to help both our plants and ourselves?

Read our blog article below for information about (1) how much fertilizer actually goes to the plant and (2) the role microbes play in fertilizer. If you’d rather dig deeper into this topic, skip the text and watch our webinar featuring Holganix President of Agriculture, David Stark Ph.D. If you're reading this blog via email, click here to watch the video.

 

How much fertilizer actually goes to the plant?

Did you know that only 40 to 60% of the fertilizer we apply actually goes to the plant, the remaining is lost to run off into our waterways, volatilization to the air or is tied up in the soil. This is why soil health is such an imperative piece of plant health. Functional soil is a soil embedded with organic matter and soil microbes that work together to hold onto nutrients in the soil and convert nutrients locked in the soil.

Beneficial soil microbes form symbiotic relationships with the plant. In fact, the plant will exert as much as 30% of its energy to the root zone to make food for microbes. In return those microbes not only protect the plant from stress, but also feed the plant by converting and holding nutrients in the soil.


What are the different types of soil microbes?

There are five different types of soil microbes: bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, protozoa and nematodes. Each of these microbe types has a different job to boost soil and plant health.


Bacteria

Bacteria is the crucial workforce of soils. They are the final stage of breaking down nutrients and releasing them to the root zone for the plant. In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization once said “Bacteria may well be the most valuable of life forms in the soil.”


Actinomycetes

Actinomycetes were once classified as fungi, and act similarly in the soil. However, some actinomycetes are predators and will harm the plant while others living in the soil can act as antibiotics for the plant.


Fungi

Like bacteria, fungi also lives in the rootzone and helps make nutrients available to plants. For example, Mycorrhizae is a fungi that facilitate water and nutrient uptake by the roots and plants to provide sugars, amino acids and other nutrients.


Protozoa

Protozoa are larger microbes that love to consume and be surrounded by bacteria. In fact, nutrients that are eaten by bacteria are released when protozoa in turn eat the bacteria.


Nematodes

Nematodes are microscopic worms that live around or inside the plant. Some nematodes are predators while others are beneficial, eating pathogenic nematodes and secreting nutrients to the plant.


Want to keep digging into soil science?

Within the natural world there exists a complex balance among soil microbes known as the soil food web. Plants, animals and microbes 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 our Digging into Soil Science ebook to explore:

1. How the soil food web supports healthy plants
2. The power behind soil microbes
3. Soil types and how to improve the health of your soil

soil food web 

Tags: lawn care, golf course, agriculture, science behind holganix, farmer, sports field

3 Ways Roots Enhance Turf Health

TURF_ROOTS

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.

Root 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.

 

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:

 

1. 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.

 

2. Absorbing and conducting water and nutrients through the plant

Nutrients and water enter the plant through the roots. In turf, 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.

 

3. 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 with plant probiotics like Holganix Bio 800+. In fact, Holganix Bio 800+ contains several ingredients that influence root growth including: plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB), trichoderma fungi and more. 

To dive into best practices and additional information around the science of roots, download our free ebook: Turf Roots using the link below.

Turf roots

 

Works Cited:

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

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

Tags: lawn care, the science behind holganix, golf course

5 Facts About The Organic Fertilizer Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

Organic isn’t a fad – in fact, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA) 82% of U.S. households buy organic with millennials representing the largest group of organic buyers in America. That may not seem like a large number to you, but consider that today 25% of millennials have families and that in 10-to-15 years, that number is expected to increase to 80%. Can you consider how these new families will affect the consumer market – whether it’s groceries, cleaning products or lawn care, buying organic matters to the millennial consumer.

When the OTA asked parents why they purchase organic produce over conventional, 30% of parents stated they purchase organic to avoid pesticides and fertilizers. That fact matters to organic farmers but it is also big news for today's lawn and landscape businesses. If parents are purchasing organic produce to avoid fertilizers and pesticides, that attitude translates to how they purchase lawn care services. 

Check out our infographic below for five key stats fertilizer users like you should know about the organic market.

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Market conditions aside, why else should you consider using an organic fertilizer program?

As stated above, market data suggests that consumers either prefer organic or are interested in organic products and services. Market conditions aside, there are several clear benefits to using an organic fertilizer or hybrid organic fertilizer program over a conventional fertilizer program.

Differentiate Your Business – Whether you offer produce, plants or lawn care services, you can differentiate your business from the competition by offering an organic option.

>>Click here to see how UltraGreen is growing their business by offering an organic-based lawn care service

Build Healthier Plants – Organic products often contain additional ingredients like microbe food, microbes and biostimulants. These additional ingredients promote plant development. For example, microbes convert nutrients locked in the soil and atmosphere to foster plant growth. Biostimulants increase the plant’s ability to uptake nutrients, also affecting growth.

>>Click here to learn about the power of soil microbes and how they influence plant health

Better For Soil Structure – Utilizing an organic fertilizer program often means you are infusing the soil with microbes and/or organic matter that will build soil structure. Soil is the foundation for plants – if you nurture plants in unhealthy soil conditions they are less likely to thrive than if you nurture them in healthy soil conditions.

>>Click here to explore the science behind soil health in our science ebook  

Better For The Environment – Fertilizer may runoff into our water ways, potentially depleting marine life or causing pollution to ground water.

>>Click here to learn more about fertilizer runoff

 

Do you want to go fully organic?

When you are looking at incorporating organics into your fertilizer program, you have to consider whether you want to go fully organic or with a hybrid organic program.

Regardless of the product you decide to implement, organics work more slowly than traditional chemical fertilizer products and it is important to set your customer’s expectation accordingly. Looking at a hybrid program allows you to combine the benefits of an organic with reduced amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. That means your customer can still expect the quick results of a traditional program while still maintaining the benefits of an organic one.

Holganix Bio 800+ products allow fertilizer users to reduce the amount of fertilizers and pesticides needed by 50 – 75% while still providing the results at par or better than a traditional chemical program. Bio 800+ products are plant probiotics that team with over 800 species of soil microbes that convert nutrients in the soil and atmosphere. Holganix Bio 800+ also boosts plant tolerance when faced with stressful conditions.

Watch our 1.5-minute video below on the benefits of Holganix Bio 800+ products than click here to explore different product options available.

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

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course, farmer

3 Reasons To Be Thankful For Turf

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As Thanksgiving approaches, we've compiled 3 reasons why Holganix is thankful for turfgrass this season and why you should be too! 

 

1. Turfgrass takes care of pollution

Turf areas represent the largest carbon sink in the US, sucking up and storing greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. Turf also converts carbon dioxide into oxygen. In fact, the grass and trees along the US highway system release enough oxygen to support 22 million people. Turf also helps filter pollutants from run off and can purify and recharge ground water supply, protecting America's water systems from harm.

>>Learn about soil's affect on pollution here

 

2. Turfgrass makes us happy 

Grass areas affect people's moods by creating feelings of serenity, privacy, thoughtfulness and happiness. Furthermore, its yearly cycles of growth and color change lift human spirits and link urban inhabitants with their countryside heritage. 

>>Learn more about turf's affect on happiness here

 

3. Beautiful turf means bigger $

A well-manicured lawn can boost the selling price of your home by 15%! In fact, a Gallup Survey reports that 62% of all US homeowners felt an investment in lawn and landscaping was as good or better than other home improvements.

>>Learn more about the economic benefits associated with turf here 

 

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course

Preliminary results from studies on pathogenic nematodes show big promise!

corn_nematode

“My favorite nematodes are pathogenic Melodogvne (root-knot nematodes) and Heterodera (soybean cyst nematodes),” admits Dr. Kris Nicholas Lambert from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

It may sound strange to name favorite pathogenic nematodes, especially considering that nematodes represent a $100 billion problem in terms of worldwide plant loss, but for a long-term nematode enthusiast like Dr. Lambert, naming favorites is just second nature.

While pursuing his doctorate in molecular biology and biochemistry at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Lambert was introduced to Davis’s Department of Nematology (now referred to as the Department of Entomology). He has since become one of the foremost authorities on pathogenic nematodes in America, and has lovingly devoted his career to the study of controlling and understanding how pathogenic nematodes operate. Today, he is a researcher and associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“When it comes to studying products and their effect on nematodes, you’re lucky if you can persuade Dr. Lambert to take you on,” explains Holganix’s President of Agriculture, Dr. David Stark. “That’s why we were excited when Dr. Lambert agreed to study a specific Holganix technology and its affect on pathogenic nematodes including the root-knot and the soybean cyst nematode.”While studies are still ongoing, preliminary results have shown a 75% reduction in pathogenic nematodes with Holganix technology in a lab setting and a 80% reduction in pathogenic nematodes in a field setting.

 

Why study nematodes?

Pathogenic nematodes may be small microscopic round worms, but they represent a BIG problem for growers and turf professionals. In fact, according to a study published by the Society of Nemtaologists, pathogenic nematodes are responsible for an estimated 14% loss of all economically important crops worldwide, translating to over $100 billion annually.

Pathogenic nematodes feed on plant roots, damaging them and draining nutrients from the plant, decrease yields and increase the plant’s susceptibility to other stresses.

Growers and turf professionals suffering from nematode infestations on their fields are often faced with two options: (1) pay a small fortune to decimate all biology within the soil via a toxic nematicide or (2) ignore the problem, and deal with the consequences. 

 

In 2015, golf courses in Florida began taking notice and talking about results they saw on pathogenic nematodes while using Holganix Golf (a Bio 800+ product). Shannon Easter, the Director of Golf Maintenance and Environmental Consultant for Broken Sound Golf Club in Boca Raton, Florida, saw an average 60% decrease in pathogenic nematode counts and attributes the results to Holganix Golf.

>>Read about Shannon’s case study here

Results on Florida golf courses inspired Holganix scientists to dig deeper and invest in research to better understand the benefits of Holganix technology on pathogenic nematodes.

 

Digging into the results

While research is still ongoing, preliminary results conducted in a lab setting by Dr. Lambert at the University of Illinois are promising. After the first year of studying the product, the team saw a 75% reduction in pathogenic nematodes in the lab.

“It’s complex,” explains Dr. Lambert of Holganix technology. “There’s a lot of things going on in the jug and it is difficult to state with certainty why Holganix technology is producing results.” However, Dr. Lambert does have three theories.

1. Affecting migration to the roots - Holganix technology appears to confuse or incapacitates the nematode so it can’t migrate to the plant and cause harm.

2. Inhibiting eggs from hatching - Holganix technology may be inhibiting soybean cyst nematode eggs from hatching.

3. Targeting pathogenic nematodes - Microbes in Holganix technology may be attacking pathogenic nematodes.

“We are taking a two-pronged approach to studying Holganix technology,” explains Dr. Lambert. “In 2016, we studied Holganix technology in a lab. This year, we are continuing lab testing but we are also studying it in the field.”

So far, field tests have also been promising. After inoculating each crop with pathogenic nematodes and applying Holganix technology, Dr. Lambert reports a 80% reduction in pathogenic nematodes.

Dr. Lambert will need to repeat the lab studies two or three times and the field studies over a minimum of two growing seasons before drawing conclusive results regarding the effect, mechanism and application of Holganix technology when used as a treatment against pathogenic nematodes.

 

What will the future hold?

Dr. Lambert continues to diligently test Holganix technology against pathogenic nematodes and hopes to write a paper about the subject in the near future. At the end of the day, “chemical treatments (nematicides) are extremely expensive for growers and turf professionals,” explains Dr. Lambert. “The fact that Holganix technology is better for the environment, technician and pocket-book is exciting. We are crossing our fingers and hoping for additional positive feedback. Stay tuned!”

Today, Holganix does not offer a registered nematicide product and results on Holganix technology’s influence over pathogenic nematodes are still pending; however, the Holganix team is excited by the results and what those results could mean for the future of Holganix.

soil food web 

Tags: sports turf, holganix reviews, golf course, agriculture