The Holganix Blog

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

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

grow your lawn care company

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


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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Empowering Employees

Happy Lawn of America

Happy Lawn

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

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

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

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


GrowinGreen Lawn Care

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

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

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

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


Measuring Employee Effectiveness

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

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

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

>>Download the FACe chart


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cash - The Limiting Factor To Growth 

 

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

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

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

Marketing ROI = Gross Margin / Cost Per Sale

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

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


Want To Access Free Marketing Tools To Grow Your Business?

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

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

WHAT IS IN THE BOX?

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

2. Poach website copy that talks about Holganix

3. Loot blogs written specifically with the homeowner in mind

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

5. Pirate social media posts

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

New call-to-action

Tags: lawn care, holganix reviews, marketing hints and tips

10 Inspirational Quotes On Soil

North Bound-991591-edited

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

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

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


 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Download Our Soil Science eBook

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

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

Download this book to explore:

1. How the soil food web supports healthy plant

2. The power behind soil microorganisms

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

soil food web

Tags: behind the science of holganix, 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

6 Fabulous Infographics about Soil Health [INFOGRAPHIC]

soil health image

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

 

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

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

>>Source: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

danforth-infographic-soil-health


2. A Soil Health Strategy And Its Interaction With Soil

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

1. Soil life, biodiversity

2. Soil structure

3. Chemical status, fertilization

>>Source European Commission For Agriculture and Innovation

soil_health_soil_disease

3. The Soil Food Web

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

>>Source: NRCS

 

soil_food_Web


4. Unlock The Secrets In The Soil

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

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

>>Source USDA

 

soil_health_USDA


5. Soils Are The Foundation For Vegetation

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

1. Crops

2. Pasture

3. Forests

>>Source FAO

 

soil-foundation


6. How Does Holganix Bio 800+ Work?

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

  1. Stimulate healthy growth in foliage and roots

  2. Convert and release nutrients to the plant

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

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

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

Holganix Holganix Bio 800+ Works

soil food web

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

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!

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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, science behind holganix

5 Facts About Soil Microbes [SlideShare]

Understanding the power of soil microbes is still a novel and new concept in the industry. Over the past few years, new exciting studies have proven the effects soil microbes can have on plant and soil health. We've compiled 5 fun facts in a SlideShare about soil microbes for our readers.

Click the SlideShare to flip through the facts, or skip the SlideShare and just read our facts below. If you are reading this blog via email, click here to access the SlideShare.

 

#1 Losing Soils

President D. Roosevelt once said, “a nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”

Yet despite its importance, we have lost about half of the topsoil on the planet over the last 150 years. According to University of Sydney Scientific Director, Dr. John Crawford in an interview in Time Magazine, “a rough calculation of current rates of soil degradation suggests we have about 60 years of topsoil left. Some 40% of soil used for agriculture around the world is classed as either degraded or seriously degraded.”

 

#2 Microbes Are Everywhere!

There are more microbes in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth. In fact, according to this Ohio State article, “Soils contain about 8-to-15 tons of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, earthworms and arthropods.

 

#3 Fertilizer Factories & Shields

“Microbes are like mini Fertilizer factories,” explains Dr. Robert Neidermyer, Holganix Director of Plant & Soil Science.

For example, microbes like Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria and Phosphorus Solubilizing Bacteria release nutrients locked in the soil and make them available to the plant. Fungi like Mycorrhizae, travel across large swaths of soil to hunt down nutrients and water for plants. Further, having a diverse amount of bacteria and fungi allow the microbes to help protect plants from harmful pathogens.

 

#4. Largest Organism On Earth

Mycorrhizae Fungi form synergistic relationships with trees. In exchange for sugars excreted by the plant, mycorrhizae produce thousands of linear miles of “hyphae” in soil to mine nutrients and water for plants. In fact, the largest organism on earth is a 2.5 mile-wide Honey Mushroom (Armillarea ostoyae).

To learn more about the power of mycorrhizae and their relationship with trees, watch the 1.5-minute video below from National Geographic.  

 

 #5 We Are More Bacteria Than Human

Humans are about 95% bacteria and 5% human. The consortium of all microbes that live on and within humans is called our MicroBiome.

 

Want to Learn More About Soil Health and Soil Microbes?

Download our 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: behind the science of holganix, lawn care, sports turf, golf course, agriculture