The Holganix Blog

5 Types of Soil Microbes And What They Do For Plants

 

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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

Top 5 Things to Know About Armament Technology [SlideShare]

Armament Technology enhances nutrient utilization by protecting the nutrients and keeping them in a plant usable form. That means you get more out of the fertilizer you apply on turf and plants! 

Armament can be found in several Holganix products including Holganix PreBiotic 2-10-20, PB1 2-0-0, PB1 LTO 4-0-2, PreBiotic 0-0-23, Grow, Flower and Calmag.

To learn more about Armament Technology check out our SlideShare below or if viewing via email, click this link: https://www.slideshare.net/KaitlynErsek/top-5-things-to-know-about-armament-technology 

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, golf course

Top 5 Plant and Soil Science TED Talks

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At Holganix, we are self-appointed soil geeks. Learning about new trends, research and theories that are happening in the field makes us tick. We bet it gets you excited too!

Here are our top 5 favorite plant and soil science TED Talks. Warning! Some of these are crazy, unique ideas that will make Holganix almost seem ordinary! If you know a good TED Talk we are missing, post it in the comments of this blog. We’d LOVE to check it out!

If you are reading this on an email, video function will not operate. Click on the link to watch each TED Talk. 

 

Humus – The Essential Ingredient

Humus is what is left after soil microorganisms have decomposed organic matter. It holds nutrients and moisture and provides a great structure for planting in. Humus is essential for food production and is being gradually depleted. Learn more in Graeme Sait’s TED Talk.

 

Healthy Soil, Healthy World 

If you pick up a handful of soil, you will be holding more microorganisms in your hand than the entire number of people who have ever lived on earth. Think about that for a moment. Can you imagine the quantity of living things in your grasp? Soil is FULL of life. In this TED Talk you’ll have the opportunity to explore the soil from a microorganisms’ point of view.

 

Putting Carbon Back Where It Belongs

Good news! Plants can quite literally change the face of the earth. By growing more plants, we can capture more carbon dioxide, water, production, biodiversity and profit? In fact, a 1% change in soil organic matter across just one quarter of the world’s land area could sequester 300 billion tons of physical C02. Check out Tony Lovell’s TED Talk here.

 

Stop Treating Our Soil Like Dirt!

Healthy soil is not dirt! Healthy soils are critical for keeping water clean producing food and buffering the effects of extreme weather. Soil plays a fundamental role in our lives in three key ways… Watch Karen Wynne’s TED Talk here.

 

Soil – From Dirt To Lifetime 

Did you know there are more living organisms beneath the soil then there are above it? Soil scientists can’t even come to an agreement about how many microbes are actually in the soil. Check out Fred Kirshenmann’s TED Talk here.

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course, marketing hints and tips, agriculture

Does PB1 REALLY Work? Don't Ask Us. Ask Our Customers!

Our PB1 product line has been a hot topic in the green industry – and it should be! It’s a high-quality plant probiotic that contains 4+ species of soil microbes and Armament Technology – a nutrient enhancer that optimizes nutrient uptake and plant resilience. It’s also super convenient for users since it can be used with low-volume spray equipment and is non-refrigerated. But, does the product line really work?

 

Woodhaven Country Club sees healthier turf and roots

PB1 Results

According to Josh Adams, Superintendent for Woodhaven Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky, “If you aren’t using PB1 2-0-0, you are missing out! I’ve seen healthier turf because of an increase in root density. When you have healthy roots, you have healthy turf.”

Josh says his top three results with Holganix PB1 2-0-0 are:

1. “We’ve seen 4- to 6-inch roots all season long”
2. Reduced disease pressure
3. Increased playability, firmer greens and less ball marks

 

Ritenour Custom Lawn Care increases color and seed germination with PB1 LTO

Ritenour Custom Lawn Care is a second-generation family-owned lawn care service in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to CEO Rick Ritenour, “I like to do things differently and I think that biological products are the way of the future.” However, when Rick was shopping for a biological, selecting a product that was convenient to use was of the utmost importance and that’s why he was drawn to PB1 LTO 4-0-2.

According to Rick, the top results he has seen with PB1 LTO are:

1. A pop of green when combined with his fertilizer program
2. Faster seed germination when applying PB1 LTO 4-0-2 to his aeration and overseeding program

 

Social media says it all

Looking for extra verification on who is using the product and what results they’re seeing? Posts and tweets from our users on social media say it all! Here are some of the highlights:

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 Want to learn more about Holganix PB1?

Want to dig deeper in the science and results seen with Holganix PB1 products? You’re in luck! Register for our upcoming webinar on PB1 featuring an interview with our partner George Murray.

Register for the PB1 Webinar

Tags: lawn care, holganix reviews, golf course, holganix review, PB1

Meet Our PB1 Product Line

After several years of testing with our friends and partners at ENP Solutions, Holganix is proud to announce the launch of our PB1 Product Line featuring targeted probiotic solutions to turf and plant health. The Holganix PB1 product line consists of Holganix PB1 2-0-0 and Holganix PB1 4-0-2.

Holganix PB1 products function as bio accelerators when used in combination with Holganix Bio 800+ products (the refrigerated products), allowing users to reduce their rate of Bio 800+.

However, Holganix PB1 products can also be used as stand-alone probiotic solutions for green industry professionals that value the convenience of using low-volume spray equipment and the lack of refrigeration.

 

Why use Holganix PB1 products?

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PB1 enhances nutrient uptake by the plant, nurtures the plant and facilitates root growth through specific microbes and ArmamentTM Technology. Results have shown an increase in playability and enhanced plant tolerance of stress from weather, disease and insect.

Watch our video below for more reasons to use our PB1 product line. For those reading this blog via email, click here to access the video.

 

 

 

What’s in a jug of Holganix PB1?

Holganix PB1 products contain 4+-targeted microorganisms, microbe food and nutrient enhancers like ArmamentTM Technology.

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What is the difference between Holganix PB1 2-0-0 and Holganix PB1 4-0-2?

PB1 2-0-0 is designed for high-performance turf such as golf courses, sports fields, or high-stress properties. PB1 2-0-0 contains mycorrhizae fungi, which enhances root growth as well as nutrient, mineral and water uptake by the plant.

Holganix PB1 LTO 4-0-2 is designed for lawn, turf and ornamentals. Green industry professionals that select PB1 4-0-2 acquire a higher concentration of amino acids, which increases color response. PB1 LTO 4-0-2 is also recommended for property managers that are looking for probiotics but value cost.

 

How do you use Holganix PB1 products?

The below sample program provides general guidelines for green industry professionals. Contact your Holganix representative to build a custom program to best suit your needs.

 

1. Combining Holganix PB1 products with Holganix Bio 800+

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Because of the targeted microbes, additional microbe food and ArmamentTM Technology, Holganix PB1 products act as bio accelerators, allowing users to reduce the rate of Bio 800+ when applied in combination.

 

2. Combining Holganix PB1 products with PreBiotic Fertilizers

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Holganix PB1 products contain highly targeted microbial populations, acting as a plant probiotic. Like peanut butter goes with jelly and salt pairs with pepper, probiotics can be paired with prebiotics to boost results.

Holganix Blue Sky 21-0-0 and Holganix PreBiotic 2-10-20 are infused with nutrients, microbe food and nutrient enhancers. As powerful prebiotic fertilizers, they act as the perfect companion product to Holganix probiotic products like Holganix PB1 and Holganix Bio 800+.

 

Looking for additional information?

Want to dig deeper into our PB1 Product Line? Download our sell sheets below or call Holganix to speak with a product representative: 866-56-EARTH.

>>PB1 2-0-0 Sell Sheet

>>PB1 4-0-2 Sell Sheet

>>Holganix Product Catalog

Tags: lawn care, the science behind holganix, sports turf, golf course, PB1

Three Reasons to Use Holganix Bloom in Your Fertility Program

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Whether you are a lawn care company owner looking to add an additional revenue source or a golf course superintendent looking to boost the look of your course, taking care of flowers should be one of your priorities. How can Holganix Bloom help?

Holganix Bloom (a Bio 800+ product) is a 100% organic plant probiotic infused with over 800 species of beneficial microorganisms, microbe food and nutrient enhancers that build healthy soils and healthy plants.

Here are the top three product benefits for using Holganix Bloom:

 

#1 Boost Vigor and Color

With Holganix Bloom, you can reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides by up to 75% while promoting vigor, life and color of your blooms. Ingredients in Holganix Bloom such as plant growth-promoting bacteria stimulate plant growth and increased nutrient efficiency.

 

#2 Plant Resilience

Ingredients in Holganix Bloom foster resilient plants that are better equipped when faced with stresses from disease and weather. 

For example, when flowers are faced with severe heat, mycorrhizae fungi contained in Holganix Bloom help flowers better retain moisture and build dense, healthy root systems. Additional ingredients such as yucca extract and sugars assist with water retention. If your flowers are facing disease problems, ingredients such as trichoderma fungi, mycorrhizae fungi and beneficial nematodes help naturally build the plant’s immune system and combat disease.

 

#3 Healing In Flowers During Installations

Flower installs can be a huge stressor for plants and can lead to revenue loss due to plant loss. Ingredients such as mycorrhizae and lignin polymers among others, help break down potting media and nurture healthy roots that will more easily adapt to new habitats. 

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

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

What are plant growth promoting bacteria?

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Plants aren’t as vulnerable as they appear. Soil microbes form symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationships with the plant, offering to boost plant defenses and plant growth in return for food sources.

Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria (PGPB) is a special class of bacteria that occupy the rhizosphere (root zone) of the plant and have the ability to promote plant growth and plant defenses.

 

PGPB directly affects plant growth

PGPB directly affects plant growth by facilitating the availability of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and iron. These nutrients are critical to plant biochemistry, and without them plant growth is limited. While nitrogen, phosphorus and iron may be abundant in the soil, they are often found in a form the plant can’t utilize. PGPB convert those nutrients to the form the plant can use.

PGPB can also produce plant hormones like auxins, gibberellins and cytokinins that stimulate plant root and shoot growth in exchange for food sources from the plant.

 

PGPB protects the plant

PGPB has the ability to protect the plant from pathogens through microbial antagonism. PGPB out-compete pathogens for nutrients and produce antibiotics and anti-fungal metabolites.

PGPB also have the ability to help the plant defend itself from pathogens through Induced Systemic Resistance (ISR). ISR triggers a signal in the plant that activates the plant’s defense system such as reinforcing plant cell walls, producing anti-microbial phytoalexins and synthesizing pathogen-related proteins.

 

PGPB found in Holganix Bio 800+

Holganix Bio 800+ is our product line of plant probiotics containing over 800 species of beneficial microorganisms, microbe food and nutrient enhancers to promote optimal plant health with less fertilizers, pesticides and water needed.

One of the important ingredients in Holganix Bio 800+ is PGPB. In order to ensure that each batch is teeming with PGPB, Holganix uses DNA fingerprinting as a critical function to its manufacturing process.

Watch our video below to learn more about Holganix Bio 800+. If you are reading this blog via email, click here to access the video. 

 

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

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