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

Top 3 Benefits of Using Holganix PreBiotic 2-10-20 In Landscapes [INFOGRAPHIC]

Soil Amendment

Looking to increase seed germination results? Or, looking to increase root growth of turfgrass, trees, shrubs or ornamentals? Then Holganix Prebiotic 2-10-20 is the product for you!

Holganix PreBiotic 2-10-20 contains a rare combination of high-quality phosphorus and potassium ingredients, layered with a long chain poly-amino-acid and molasses.

The combination of ingredients is designed to increase root growth and seed germination directly through the use of nutrients, and indirectly by increasing nutrient uptake and by supporting the soil microbes in the soil.  

Check out our infographic below on the top 3 benefits of using Holganix PreBiotic 2-10-20, or skip the infographic and read the written article instead. 

Seed starter fertilizer

 

"I would Recommend Holganix PreBiotic 2-10-20"

“Holganix PreBiotic 2-10-20 helps us boost seed germination during aeration and overseeding applications,” says Justin Johonnett of Vivid Lawn.

“We also use Holganix PreBiotic 2-10-20 in our fertilizer program as a complement to Holganix Blue Sky 21-0-0 and Holganix Bio 800+ Lawn. The combination allows us to provide a well-balanced fertility program with all the added benefits from the biology in Holganix Bio 800+ Lawn,” explains Justin. “I would recommend Holganix PreBiotic 2-10-02 to other lawn and landscape companies.”

 

Want to learn more about Holganix PreBiotic 2-10-20?

Download our Holganix Soil Smart Program to learn how to use Holganix PreBiotic 2-10-20 in a turf fertilization program for your region. Or skip the Soil Smart Program and click the links below to access our technical information.

>>Download Your Holganix Soil Smart Program

>>Download The PreBiotic 2-10-20 Label

>>Review The Holganix PreBiotic 2-10-20 Product Page

Tags: lawn care

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

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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

Holganix Case Study: Allentuck Landscaping Reports Improved Plant Resilience, Soil Health and Roots

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Award-winning, Allentuck Landscaping focuses on serving residential customers in the Clarksburg, Maryland market. Over the past three years, Allentuck Landscaping has been using Holganix Bio 800+ Tree and Shrub to service their plant health care customers.

Holganix Bio 800+ Tree and Shrub is an organic plant probiotic that harnesses the power of soil microbes to increase soil and plant health while reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides.

According to CEO and Founder, Bruce Allentuck, “I believe in Holganix… it has been a great tool for our tree and shrub service”. In this blog, we sit down and interview Bruce Allentuck about how he runs his business and why he chose Holganix.


Why Did You Start Allentuck Landscaping?

I grew up in an entrepreneurial household, my dad had his own business, and I always knew I would start a business at some point in my life. Back in high school, my friend and I started a little company doing odd jobs, many of those jobs were in the landscaping space. We shut down our company in college, but that experience encouraged me to pursue a degree in landscape design and horticulture.

I started Allentuck Landscaping in 1986, shortly after getting my degree. We serve residential customers and offer design-build and landscape management services.


What Makes Allentuck Landscaping Unique?

The biggest thing that makes Allentuck Landscaping unique is our laser focus on customer experience. I look at companies with great customer experience, like Marriott and Starbucks for ideas on how to continually improve the way we communicate and serve our clients. I try to express this feeling of genuine warmth and care to our clients. When they do business with us, I want our clients to feel like they are calling a customer service business that just so happens to be in landscaping.

For us, good customer experience means truly knowing the individual client. We can standardize practices, but every client is different and it is important that we tailor our services and communication style directly to that client’s needs. It really comes down to empowering our account managers with the authority to make customer experience decisions.

One way we tailor services is through notices on our services. For example, some of our clients want to get noticed on every detailed service we do on their property, while others don’t. We understand the level of granular communication the client needs, and then we make sure we deliver on it.


Why Did You Start Using Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub?

We started using the product about three years ago. The first year we did a lot of testing, but it has been actively used on properties over the past two years.

I’m always looking for ways to make Allentuck Landscaping more sustainable and I liked that Holganix Bio 800+ Tree and Shrub helped us not only reach sustainability goals but agronomic ones too. Specifically, I like that Holganix Bio 800+ Tree and Shrub focuses on promoting root growth and soil health. When you have healthy roots and soil you can really keep a lot of stress problems like pathogens in check.


What Results Have You Seen With Holganix Bio 800+ Tree and Shrub?

On our client properties, the biggest and most important benefit has been reduced disease pressure because we are creating healthier soil and roots. It also means we’ve been able to reduce a lot of our inputs, especially pesticides and fungicides, without sacrificing results.

In addition to our client properties, we use the product at our “farm” - the nickname for our office. It’s a large property with vegetable gardens. Those vegetable gardens allow us to really dig into some of the results with Holganix Bio 800+ Tree and Shrub because we see them every day, and we can do things like dig up roots that we can’t do on client properties. With the vegetables, we have seen a really good root system, and overall healthier looking crops with less stress from the disease.


What Do Your Customers And Technicians Think Of The Product?

The feedback we get from our clients has been positive and our technicians like that the product is easier to apply and tank mix compared to other inputs.

Want to learn more about Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub? Download Our Key Ingredient List!

Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub is filled to the brim with beneficial soil microbes, microbe food, and nutrient enhancers to build HEALTHIER plants that need less fertilizer and pesticides.

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

Tags: lawn care, holganix reviews, holganix review

3 Tools to Make 2019 A Successful Year in Lawn Care

lawn and landscape company

Don’t wait until the spring lawn care season to think about your 2019 marketing and sales strategy. Take advantage of the preseason lull in sales to strategize and map out your plan for successful growth this upcoming year.

Utilize these three FREE marketing tools to ensure you are ready for 2019.

 

1. Holganix Launch In A Box

If you are looking to plan campaigns to educate prospects and customers about Holganix and soil health, look no further than the Holganix Launch In A Box. This tool contains 12 “Stealable” tools for you to incorporate into your 2017 marketing campaigns.

What are some of the tools provided? Some of our favorite tools include three articles to use in your blog and/or email newsletter, postcard designs, social media posts and website content. All materials are 100% stealable.

>>Download your Holganix Launch In A Box here

 

2. Webinar: Marketing to the "Whole Foods" Consumer

Organic isn't a fad - in fact, according to the Organic Trade Associate (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.  

Check out our webinar recording on how to market to the "Whole Foods" Consumer and take advantage of the growing organic trend. 

>>Watch for the webinar

 

3. Ebook: How to GROW Your Business with Tree and Shrub Services

Consider growing your business by offering tree and shrub services to current customers. Did you know that you could expect 10-to-30% of your current customers to sign up for tree and shrub applications Not to mention the fact that adding an additional revenue source to current customers means boosting profit margin. It's like new found money! 

Your current customers are your low hanging fruit. Think about it. Your customers already know and trust your brand; they also care deeply for their landscapes or they wouldn't be paying for lawn fertilization to begin with.

Download this book to learn explore: 

1. How to market your tree and shrub business to current customers

2. How to price out tree and shrub applications

3. What materials you will need to get started!

>>Download the ebook

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips

What The Best Lawn Care Pros Do (And You Should Too!)

lawn care company

One of the biggest advantages of working at Holganix is that you have the opportunity to learn from hundreds of lawn care companies and take note of best practices in the industry. That's why we have curated 4.5 tips based on how some of the best lawn care pros run their businesses.

If you have a suggestion for another tip that you see missing, be sure to include it in the comments of this blog.


Calibrate Your Equipment

Often, as lawn care companies get busy they forget to calibrate their equipment. The risk of not calibrating is that you may use either too much or too little product, that also means the results you are providing for customers can be at risk. Start off the season right by calibrating your equipment and be sure to continue calibrating each week. 

Don’t know how to calibrate your equipment? Don’t sweat it, we have a blog and video that will walk you through equipment calibration step by step.

>>Click to access calibration instructions


Make A Plan, Then Adjust

Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin once stated, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” If you want to grow your business this year, be sure to spend time planning out your marketing and sales strategy. But, also be okay with checking in on your goal, and adjusting it higher or lower as the year progresses.

>>Looking for tips on growing your business, check out this blog and video from Holganix CEO & Founder, Barrett Ersek on his top tips for growing a lawn care company.

Aside from planning your business growth, it is important to plan out your yearly fertilizer plan so you are organized on your rounds and have products in hand. Also, understand that Mother Nature throws curve balls and that your plan may need to be adjusted based on weather. We suggest proactively planning for weather problems by building a 1-to-2 week buffer between rounds, giving you ample time to catch up if you fall behind schedule.

Looking for tips on planning your lawn fertilization program? Consider checking out Holganix’s Soil Smart Program which includes a recommended fertilizer program for your specific region.

>>Download Your Soil Smart Program


Scheduling And Organizing Routes

Inefficient routing can lead to reduced profits. Keeping routes tightly grouped together means your technicians spend more time servicing customers and less time driving from neighborhood-to-neighborhood, ultimately spending excess money on labor and fuel.

Consider utilizing software like Real Green System’s Routing Assistant to maximize your routes.

Also, consider ranking your neighborhoods so you and your team understand where your VIP customers live. When scheduling gets difficult, organize your routes so your VIP customers are serviced ahead of your B or C customers.

>>Want to learn more about this customer ranking concept? Check out this blog on a process called Golden Street Approach.


Research New Technology & Trends

To make sure you are providing the best possible results for your homeowners, and doing so in a way that is efficient for your business and your piggy bank, stay abreast of new technology and trends in the industry.

How do you stay in the loop on new technology and trends? Consider subscribing to an industry magazine, finding blogs (like this one!) that offers quality content, and attending trade shows and conferences. Also, consider stepping outside of our industry bubble and subscribing to magazines or newsletters like Fortune, Inc, and Entrepreneur to keep you in the loop on macro trends in the U.S. You never know when inspiration for your business will strike.

Speaking of trends and new technology, here are some of the trends we are following.

Soil Health - This is an increasingly big trend in the food and agriculture industry that we suspect will (and is!) trickling down to the landscape industry.

Transparency - This is a trend affecting nearly all industries with thanks to the Millenial and Gen Z generations. Consider, how can you increase transparency at your lawn care company in order to best serve these new generations.

Microbes - The food and agriculture industry is going crazy for microbes. Indigo Ag raised more than $650M to fund their business which has a focus on microbe technology, among other products. You can expect that harnessing microbes to care for turf will start to become big news. Check out this webinar for information on the results your company can expect by harness Holganix microbial product - Bio 800+ Lawn.



This Too Shall Pass

When spring hits and the dandelions pop, your phone will be ringing off the hook with customers requesting extra service calls or just looking to complain. Understand that this too shall pass. If you have 300 customers, and 30 complaints, that means you have 270 happy customers! Don’t let the complaints drive you crazy, stay positive and do the very best you can.   


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.

he 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' perspective

2. Poach website copy that talks about Holganix

3. Loot blogs that are 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

New call-to-action

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips

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: 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

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