The Holganix Blog

Why does Clay DuBose use Holganix?

Tucked amid some of the best course the Grand Strand has to offer, championship course, Tradition Club in Pawleys Island strives to deliver a challenging yet playable course. It was originally designed by famous Florida architect Ron Garl and was awarded 4.5 stars by Golf Digest in 2008.

General Manager and Superintendent, Clay DuBose CGCS takes pride in the way he nurtures the course and that is one of the many reasons why he has been utilizing Holganix at Tradition. Some of the top results he’s seen to date are: rooting, playability, soil health and overseeding. Check out his webinar below to hear why he is speaking up about his Holganix experience! 

Bionutritional Summit

Tags: organic golf course management, organic turf products, golf course, organic fertilizer, overseeding, organic golf course, Clay Dubose, rooting, Tradition Club at Pawleys Island

Meet Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow!

Healthy Grow Infused with Holganix: A carbon based fertility option

Something special happens every time Holganix joins forces with another amazing turf care product. This is especially true when you introduce living, breathing Holganix with the organic matter- filled Healthy Grow by Pearl Valley Farms.

Over the past 18 years, Pearl Valley Farms has perfected the art and science of composting and manufacturing Healthy Grow by adopting the philosophy, “The Way It’s Made Matters.”

That’s why Holganix has partnered with Pearl Valley Farms to produce Healthy Grow Infused with Holganix. This granular fertilizer comes in several different analysis and can be fully organic or a hybrid (organic with some synthetic nutrients) depending on the analysis.



What is Healthy Grow?

Healthy Grow is a granular, organic based fertilizer created from egg laying poultry manure. H

ealthy Grow has an ACCM (Aerobically Composted Chicken Manure) base, which means the manure is aerobically composted over a 45 – 60 day period. After composting, it is further processed with other organic and traditional ingredients to create a nutrient rich, biological, and user-friendly fertilizer. Ultimately, this means Healthy Grow isn’t pasteurized (doesn’t inhibit living biology) and the smell associated with manure-based fertilizers is kept in check.

What else is so special about Healthy Grow? Healthy Grow is packed with organic matter containing carbon sources.


Organic matter contains carbon and other nutrients

Organic matter is dead and decomposing plant and animal matter within the soil.

When in excess, organic matter produces thatch layers that hinder growth at the surface and black layers that strangle and limit root growth below the surface. Yet, because organic matter contains a carbon source, it remains critical in helping to produce a vibrant soil ecosystem. Organic matter and soil contain nutrients and micronutrients important to plant health, but are often locked in a form that can’t be utilized by the plant. Carbon is a food source for microorganisms.

Ultimately, the microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, etc…) eat the carbon, which allows them to convert nitrogen and other nutrients locked in organic matter and elsewhere in the soil, to plant-useable forms. 

Take nitrogen as an example of a locked nutrient found in organic matter. Aerobic, heterotrophic bacteria are responsible for decomposition and mineralization. These bacteria help to decompose the plant remains and turn nitrogen that was locked within the organic matter into ammonium (NH4+), which is a plant-usable form of nitrogen.

The same can be said for phosphorus (PO42-), potassium (K+), as well as every other plant-usable form of nutrients necessary for plant growth.

Often when we look at our turf programs, we focus on nitrogen as a key element.

While nitrogen is crucial, the key question is: How much urea do we need to put down to make the grass green while still being cost effective? 

The thing to keep in mind is that nitrogen is just one piece of the puzzle. Phosphorus, potassium, calcium and certain other micronutrients are also pieces of the puzzle.

However, because the microbiology within the soil is able to eat the carbon found in organic matter and then unlock nutrients, carbon supplies many different pieces of the soil environment puzzle, not just one.

Healthy Grow contains all the wonderful aspects obtained from having an organic matter and carbon source base. At the same time, the poultry base contains small doses of naturally occurring NPK!


What happens when Healthy Grow meets Holganix?

Holganix is a 100% organic, bionutritional product teeming with living microorganisms whose job is to naturally promote plant health. Other ingredients contained within Holganix include but are not limited to: endo and ecto mycorrhizae, beneficial nematodes, meleluca oil, yucca and kelp extract as well as humic and fulvic acids.

With Holganix, plants grow beneath the soil in addition to above it.

“Highway” systems of roots dig deeper and weave between one another, creating the perfect support system for the plant. With healthier root systems, plants are better able to uptake moisture and withstand environmental stresses like drought and winter injury.

At the same time, with Holganix you’re feeding the plant and the soil, because when you have a healthy soil environment you have a healthy plant. That means your plants need up to 75% less nitrogen fertilizers and 25% less pesticides than through traditional synthetic programs.

When you combine Holganix with Healthy Grow, it’s like giving Healthy Grow Red Bull and as the saying goes, Healthy Grow “gets wings” and results are amplified.

Not only do you get the benefit of adding a carbon source to your roster of turf products, but you also get all the holistic benefits contained in a jug of Holganix.

Healthy Grow provides the carbon sources (food sources) to the living biology within Holganix. The beneficial microorganisms then go to work converting locked nutrients in the soil and organic matter into plant useable forms.


What does Healthy Grow Infused with Holganix mean for you?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to achieving an effective and sustainable way to manage turf grass. The Healthy Grow Infused with Holganix program can be marketed as an organic based program.

Furthermore, because Healthy Grow Infused with Holganix has 180 and 90 SGN options, it won’t affect play on fairways, approaches or putting greens.

Overall, a carbon-based, living bionutritional fertility program allows professionals to return nature back to their properties and provides a more sustainable solution for the unpredictable future of the green industry. 

soil food web

Tags: organic golf course management, organic fertilizer products, granular fertilizer, organic agriculture, organic sports turf management, lawn care, holganix, sports turf, golf course, organic lawn care, organic fertilizer, agriculture, healthy grow, holganix granular, organic granular fertilizer

"The rooting is phenomenal!" - Barrington Golf Club

Mark Figurella was born to the golf course industry. His father was a golf course superintendent before him and it was a natural transition to enter the industry himself. He has been a golf course superintendent for 21 years, spending the last 8 years at Barrington Golf Club in Aurora, Ohio.

Barrington Golf Club is best known for its Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. The championship 18-hole golf course winds its way through rolling hillsides, lakes and dense trees that make up the Barrington Estates.

Over the course of his career, Figurella has been testing and utilizing organic materials on the courses he managed. “I’ve been using organics since the 1980s,” says Figurella. So when he came across Holganix Golf, it seemed like the product would be “the perfect fit for Barrington.”

“We’ve had some really great results using Holganix Golf,” says Figurella.

In particular, Figurella has been pleased with rooting results and with the health of his seaside bent turf. When comparing the difference between areas that were sprayed with Holganix to those that weren’t, “the rooting is phenomenal [on the Holganix treated turf]. It was denser. There were white roots and the thicker plugs held together easily.” 

However, Figurella reports that one of the biggest issues that Holganix Golf helped amend was in maintaining healthy grass on the fairways. The fairways at Barrington Golf Club were originally seeded with seaside bent grass in the early 1990s. In the past, the turf has given him a lot of trouble.

“We are one of the only courses left with seaside bent grass on fairways,” Figurella claims. With Holganix Golf, “the seaside has done really well,” says Figurella. “In fact, Jack Nicklaus was here this summer. He was very complimentary of the seaside and how good it looked.”

Watch the above video for Figurella’s full report on his experiences with Holganix at Barrington Golf Club. 

Soil Science  

Tags: organic golf course management, barrington golf club, holganix, bionutrition, holganix reviews, golf course, organic fertilizer, compost tea, holganix review, holganix case studies, golf, holganix golf, golf course management, golf testimonial

Holganix Case Studies: "Dam* that's a lot of roots!"

Turf rootsWe were at the Golf Course Industry Show in Orlando, Florida. Our trade show booth was small but packed with superintendents and golf course management enthusiasts who were either using Holganix products or were interested in giving it a shot.

It was absolute chaos in the best possible way. With more and more golf courses utilizing Holganix Golf and getting great results, our Holganix golf community was taking flight and it was exciting.

Gary Crowell, a visiting superintendent at our booth, strolled up to Nicole Wise (our head of marketing) and grabbed a manila folder from his backpack.

“Nicole, I have a story for you!” he said as he flipped back the manila folder to reveal several glossy prints of stunning turf roots. And he was right; Crowell did have a story for Holganix.

While New Year’s Eve is never a quiet occasion, it was especially chaotic for Crowell, superintendent of Myerlee Country Club in Fort Myers, Florida.

“That night, a couple of kids decided to take their car for a joy ride… on my golf course,” began Crowell. Crowell peeled off the damaged turf and he discovered something unusual: white succulent roots (see image 2).

“Dam*, there were a lot of roots!” exclaimed Crowell. “Typically, our turf doesn’t have good root establishment and the roots are far and few between.” Furthermore, it was January, when root growth isn’t at its best and after a summer that brought in tons of rain.

The best part is that much of the damaged turf healed in properly and didn’t need to be re-sprigged.

injured turfCrowell believes in simple agronomics. He had experimented with microbial products over the past 20 years and was familiar with the science behind Holganix Golf. However, previous products required that you mix several separate components (primarily food sources or nonliving biology), whereas Holganix is an all-in-one solution that contains over 800 species of living microorganisms, microbe food, nutrient enhancers and micronutrients.

Holganix is a probiotic solution to turf care revolved around nurturing the soil ecosystem, ultimately allowing Mother Nature back to plant care. Crowell believes in getting back to the basics of biology and the soil. “After all, Mother Nature is here for a reason, why not let the plant do what it does best?”

Crowell started utilizing Holganix Blue Sky and Holganix Golf product in tandem with a slow-release nitrogen source and a few other “odds and ends.” He applied Blue Sky every 3 weeks and Holganix Golf every month over a period of six months.

At the end of the day, says Crowell, “I represent a low-budget golf course. If my course can get these kinds of results, so can yours.” 

 soil food web

Tags: organic golf course management, holganix, bionutrition, holganix reviews, golf course, organic fertilizer, compost tea, holganix case studies, golf sustainability, holganix golf, golf course management, golf testimonial

The Science Behind Holganix: Golf Course Industry Update 2013

organic golf course

There has been a dynamic shift in the industry. Scientists and superintendents are shifting their thinking on plant health from a chemistry perspective to a biological perspective. Treating turf no longer revolves around the quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that manufacturers can jam into a bag of fertilizer. Instead, superintendents are focusing on maximizing plant health by capitalizing on the soil environment and by building stronger, more vigorous plants that are better able to resist disease and insect damage.

Dave Heegard, general manager of the professional products division for LebanonTurf, stated in an interview with Superintendent Magazine, “Plant nutrition programs that include bionutritional (a biological) products will soon become the norm rather than the exception” (Superintendent Magazine).

In 2010, when asked in a Lebanon survey whether or not they used biologicals in their turf fertility program, superintendents answered that 51% utilized biologicals in some way (Lebanon Survey).

“We expect that number has risen over the past three years,” states Barrett Ersek, CEO of Holganix, in regards to the Lebanon survey.

Although biologicals have been around for many years, there are three factors that have been propelling the biological movement forward. Economic factors, strict government legislation on turf fertility and insights into the benefits around biologicals and plant wellness has helped increase biological’s popularity.


Maximizing Economics on the Course

In light of the economic recession, Golf Courses have tightened their budgets and placed pressure on their superintendents to deliver superb results at aggressive costs. With the inconsistency revolved around synthetic pricing, superintendents have turned to biologicals to help treat the turf in an economically beneficial manner.

Furthermore, bionutritional products (products that contain large amounts of biologicals) allow superintendents to reduce the amount of synthetics needed to get optimal results.

According to Gary Myers, superintendent of Sagamore Golf Course, by including Holganix (a bionutritional turf and plant fertility product) into his golf program, “I have been receiving the same color and quality of turf despite reducing nitrogen by half.”  That means superintendents like Myers are able to deliver superb results while being cost neutral.


Turf Fertility Legislation Is Trending

Furthermore, the rise of strict government regulations due in part from dire environmental issues caused from NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, nutrients found in fertilizers) run off has led superintendents to search for other means of fertility.

The EPA specifically has called war upon NPK run off, which scientists claim have led to dead zones in America’s oceans, bays and lakes where marine creatures can no longer thrive. Already legislation has progressively become stricter in areas that feed into the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay (where two of the largest American deadzones exist). Over the past ten years, 11 states have completely banned phosphorus, while New Jersey has nearly eliminated the use of phosphorus and restricted use of nitrogen to 3.2 pounds per 1,000 square feet for lawn care professionals and homeowners (Although golf courses are exempt from the NJ law, the government is tightening its leash on golf course management as well).

Bob Raley, agronomist of turgrass and ornamentals at Agrium Advanced Technology, said in a Superintendent Magazine interview that “states will continue to look into regulating turfgrass fertility… superintendents in some states are already seeing limited fertilizer choices because of increased regulations” (Superintendent Magazine).


Fostering Healthy Plants... Naturally

Lastly, the increase in plant health and the exceptional results seen by superintendents when utilizing biologicals have the golf course industry excited.

According to Cory Troyer, superintendent of Otter Creek Golf Course, with Holganix (a biological), “Our turf color is great… We are seeing significant increase in root depth and an overall increase in plant health.”

With biologicals, superintendents are helping to keep the soil food web in balance, ensuring that soil microorganisms are doing their job effectively and efficiently. Ultimately, biologicals contribute to a more robust ecosystem in and around the soil and plants, adding to overall plant health and often reducing the amount of pesticides needed to obtain satisfactory suppression of weeds, insects and diseases. According to The Sustainability Council, “They also help improve the soil structure and nutrient content over time.”  



Tags: golf course industry, organic golf course management, holganix, the science behind holganix, bionutrition, turf care, golf course, golf industry, superintendent, organic fertilier, turf biologicals, golf, organic golf course, golf course management