The Holganix Blog

10 Soil Health Terms Explained In Simple English!

WWW.hOLGANIX.COM (12)

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

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

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


Soil Structure

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


Soil Degradation

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

DegSoilMap

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

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

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


The Soil Food Web

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

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

The Soil Food Web

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

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


Soil Microbes

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Beneficial Soil Bacteria

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

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


Beneficial Soil Fungi

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

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

 

Cation Exchange Capacity

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

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

>>Read our case studies on improving CEC


Soil Organic Matter

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

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

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

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

>>Read our case studies on improving SOM


Humus

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

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

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

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

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


Regenerative Agriculture

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

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

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


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

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

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

Download our eBook to explore:

1. How the soil food web supports healthy crops

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

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

soil food web

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

Soil Testing: How Do You Do It AND Why?

Soil test

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

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

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

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

 

Measuring key elements to plant growth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Looking at soil pH

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

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

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

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

 

Cation Exchange Capacity

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

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

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

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

 

Soluble salts

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

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

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

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

 

How and where do you conduct soil tests?

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

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

 

soil food web

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

Holganix Agriculture: Data & Building The Case For BioDiversity

holganix ag

For growers using Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture, an increase in yield and soil health has led to an increase in ROI on crops.

Earlier this week, we sat down with Holganix President of Agriculture, Dave Stark, PhD to discuss the commercial and university field trial results from over the past few years. We also discussed the importance of selecting a microbial product that is high in diversity, and it’s no secret that Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture is the most complete, diverse blend of microbes available on the market.

In this blog, we’ve compiled Dr. Stark’s two key points from that conversation. The concepts are available below in video clips and summarized highlights. If you are reading this blog via email, please click here to have access to the videos.


Building The Case For BioDiversity - Selecting A Microbial Product

Watch the above 10-minute video or read a quick synopsis below.

Why do soil microbes matter? It’s plants and microbes that work together to build a healthy, functional soil. Soil Microbes build organic matter that build soil structure, allowing soil to hold onto water, retain nutrients in forms the plant can use, and let air into soil.

Bacteria, fungi and protozoa all work together to build soil health. These soil microbes function like a car’s engine; each single component is important, but being out of balance can cause problems like diseases, plant stress, and more.

When it comes to microbial products, the microbe count is important, yet diversity can be even more crucial. By having a product filled with a diversity of life, the soil and plant are prepared for whatever hurdle it needs to face.

Think of it as your equivalent to a multi-vitamin. Instead of a magic bullet, Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture parachute in an army of specialists, each of which is capable of filling in gaps to balance the biological requirements of the soil.

Consider the environment you are asked to grow plants in. Are the soils the same from property-to-property? Do the climate conditions change day-to-day or hour-by-hour? Are the pathogens and stresses that are attacking your plants changing? Don’t you want to give your plants every possible advantage to adapt and respond to all of these changing challenges?  

Whereas a single microbial strain would be able to assist with one single, targeted problem, a microbial product with a huge diversity of species is better equipped to handle problems in a changing environment.

Just as a car can’t be fixed with a single screwdriver, Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture is an entire toolbox of microbes adept to handle numerous problems


The Data Does The Talking - Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture Provides an ROI for growers 

 

In the above 8.5-minute video, Dr. Stark explores different trial results from different crops. Watch the video for the full explanation of each trial or read the bulleted highlights below.

  • On corn, the recommended application rate is 0.5 gallons per acre at planting (or as close as you can). We are seeing yield increase ranges on corn from 3-to-22 bushels per acre with typical results ranging from 6-to-11 bushels.

  • On soybeans, the recommended applications rate is also 0.5 gallons per acre at planting (or as close as you can). We are seeing typical yield increases of 2-to-6 bushels.

  • Additional crops including berries, cucurbits, tomato, potato and others are reviewed in the video.


Want to dig in deeper?

If you are looking to dig deeper into the results behind Holganix Agriculture, be sure to check out this blog which goes into detail on several university and commercial grower trials. Or, feel free to reach out to Holganix directly by emailing David Stark P.h.D., the President of Agriculture, at dstark@holganix.com.

soil food web

Tags: the science behind holganix, agriculture

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, the science behind holganix

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: the science behind holganix

[Video] Interview On Results With Holganix Agriculture

Holganix Agriculture

In today’s blog, we sit down with Holganix Agriculture President, Dr. David Stark and Holganix CEO, Barrett Ersek for a 3.5-minute interview on the results farmers are seeing with Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture. Watch the video below to hear the conversation or skip the video and read the highlights. If you are reading this blog via email, click here for the video.

 

 

  

Holganix – Dr. Stark, you have been working with our farmers for over two years, what are they seeing in the field?

David Stark, PhD. – Farmers are telling me that Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture is easy to use and goes down well. They are also reporting increased yield and increased rooting - everything you would expect from a Holganix farmer.

Recently, I heard from a midwest farmer growing corn that applied Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture on his worst ground; according to that farmer, it became his best performing ground. I even heard from a strawberry grower in Georgia that called our sales representative and thanked the rep for selling him Holganix. According to the strawberry grower, Holganix saved his season and he saw better yields and an earlier harvest compared to the poor harvest his neighbors’ had.

 

Holganix – Barrett, where do you see the microbial space in the next five years?

Barrett Ersek – It is an exciting space to be in! Today, being a farmer in America is challenging. Farmers have to be innovative and hussle in order to make a profit. Anytime Holganix can help a grower make a return on their investment in Holganix, we know we are doing our job for our farmers. We are seeing farmers make anywhere from a 4x to a 10x ROI on their use of Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture

As an industry, I’ve seen a lot of investment pour into the microbial space. I believe that over the next five years, the industry will see microbes do everything from soil health, crop yield to disease and pest control. At Holganix we intend to lead that revolution.

 

Want to dig into the science?

Looking to learn more about Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture, click the link below to access a more in depth video and article on the science and research behind the product.

>>Watch Our Video

Tags: the science behind holganix, farmer

How Do You Use Holganix Products on Trees, Shrubs and Flowers?

How Do You Use Holganix Products?

Is your company currently providing plant health care services or do you install plant material? Are you looking to ensure that your plants don't just survive, but thrive? Holganix’s unique programs may be the answer you’re looking for. Throughout this post we will discuss how Holganix products help contractors create thriving plants, see real results from contractors using Holganix in the field, and see how to best use these products with trees, shrubs, and flowers. You can also skip the article and simply watch the webinar recording below! If you are reading this blog via email, click here to access the video. 

 

No matter the product or program, Holganix focuses on soil biology as the solution to plant health. At Holganix we believe that the best way to have full, colorful, disease-free plants, is to first take care of their health.  At Holganix we have a variety of products, but what ties them all together is that they ALWAYS start with biology in mind.

Holganix products are used to treat trees, shrubs and flowers using two methods: (1) Plant Start Applications and (2) Soil Smart Program.


Plant Start Applications - Using Holganix Bio 800+ products at Planting

infographic 1

Often, the problem with traditional plant installations is that you take a perfectly satisfied plant and install him in an environment with poor soil quality. As a result, the plant becomes stressed and transplant shock often occurs. However, when you install a plant and water it in with Holganix Bio 800+ Tree and Shrub or Holganix Bio 800+ Bloom during the installation, you ensure your plant not only survives in its new habitat, but it thrives. It’s like insurance for your installation!

Holganix Bio 800+  products are used in plant start applications to:

  • Reduce transplant shock
  • Grow strong plant roots
  • Boost color

The Plant Start installation is easy, and there are a variety of ways to apply your product to your plants. Watch our video below for a demonstration or click here to watch the video if reading this blog via email.

 

Soil Smart Program - Using Holganix Products During Maintenance Program

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 9.10.11 AM

The traditional method for a program incorporates fertilizer and pest control aspects that are synthetic-based. We do get results from these but it seems that we end up using more and more chemicals to get the job done, and in the end, do not necessarily help stabilize the plant’s health.

Holganix Soil Smart Program consists of all the products needed for a fertilization program including fertilizer, pesticides 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 lush, healthy plants. Furthermore, the Soil Smart Program focuses on building strong, resilient plants that is better able to deal with stress.

>>For details regarding your tree and Shrub Soil Smart Program, contact Ed Karpyn at ekarpyn@holganix.com.


Do Holganix Products Really Work?

We have several case studies from contractors using Holganix products on trees, shrubs and flowers. Review some of the highlights from our case studies and click on the article link to read the full story.

 

The Shrubbery Specialist

“We are passionate about Holganix and after the thorough testing we conducted on the product; we know it’s awesome.” - Stephanie Whitehead, The Shrubbery Specialist

  • Roses - 25-30% larger, less disease and pest
  • Boxwoods - less disease (blight)
  • Gardenia - ferer insecticides despite problems in the area with white fly.

>>Click to read more


Benerget Greenhouse

“Holganix places me in a better position to sell something lush.” - Denny Benerget, Benerget Greenhouse

  • Reduce fertilizer by 10-15%
  • Reduce fungicides by 30%

>>Click to read more


Zehrs Garden Center

“I would recommend Holganix Bloom to any growe. There’s a tremendous amount of science behind Holganix products and at the end of the day, the proof is in the plants!” - Mark Van Buren, Zehrs Garden Center

  • Healthier overall plants
  • Less problems with insect and disease

>>Click to read more


Red Diamond INC

“I won’t plant anything without Holganix products!” - Brandon Haley, Red Diamond Inc

  • Fewer fertilizer needed
  • Less disease problems
  • Improved root depth
  • Installs grow in quickly and healthy

>>Watch his interview here


Incredible Edible Community Gardens

“IECG would definitely recommend Holganix to other growers.” - Mary E. Petite, Incredible Edible Community Gardens.

  • Increased flowering on Orchard trees
  • Improved quality of plantings/installs

>>Click to read more


Want to dig into Holganix?

Holganix offers a variety of products that ALL put plant health first. With our easy to use programs, contractors are able to see improvements with installations, year round growth and color. If you would like to learn more on how to incorporate Holganix into your company watch the full webinar recording or reach out to Holganix Horticulturist Ed Karpyn at ekarpyn@holganix.com.

soil food web

Article by Leah O'Neill

Tags: the science behind holganix

How Do You Build Soil Health?

4 Tennessee Lawn Care Companies-2

It is no secret to readers of this blog that the benefits of building soil health are far reaching. From gaining the ability to reduce fertilizer and pesticide inputs, reducing erosion and minimizing weather and disease risk, soil health benefits touch both the economic and environmental needs of growers.

According to a recent report Seeding Soil’s Potential by Wrangler in collaboration with the Soil Health Institute, three core practices - cover crops, crop rotation and conservation tillage - have the ability to add three times more organic matter to the soil, ultimately providing healthier soil that can provide economic and environmental benefits. Let’s explore each of these practices in depth.

healthy_soil_HR-soil-seeding

Above graphic by Wrangler.

 

Cover Crops

According to data released by the USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey, “only 1% of all cropland acreage uses cover crops [in the U.S.].” Yet, cover crops produce biomass and reduce erosion and nutrient loss.

Examples of cover crops include cereal grains, legumes and brassicas - each type of cover crops provides a unique benefit for the grower.

Cover Crop Examples

Above graphic by Wrangler.


Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is an approach for managing pests and diseases. Furthermore, planting diverse crops above the ground leads to a diverse microbial community below the ground.  This ultimately provides a more resilient soil for crops to grow. According to the USDA, “82 to 94% of most crops are grown in some sort of rotation in the U.S.”.


Conservation Tillage

According to an article published by the Washington Post, “plowing and tillage are major sources of soil erosion around the world - they were key factors behind the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.” Furthermore, tilling leads to nutrient loss and releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Conservation tillage includes two methods - no-till and strip till - the later method is a practice where the farmer only tills a narrow stirp of land for planting purposes.

In a 2009 report by USDA, about 35.5% of the country’s cropland had at least some no-tillage operations and 10% practiced full-time no tillage operations.


How else can you build soil health? Incorporating Holganix Bio 800+

Why use Holganix-587110-edited-1

Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture is a plant probiotic that builds soil health by replenishing the soil with microbes. In fact, a jug of Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture contains over 800 species of soil microbes, among other ingredients, to foster soil health, develop root architecture, increase plant resilience and improve crop yield.

soil food web

Tags: the science behind holganix, farmer

How Do You Use Holganix Products?

Holganix products have many different functions for different types of users, but when it comes to the lawn and landscape contractor, there are two key ways to use Holganix products: (1) through plant start applications or (2) through soil smart programs. Let’s explore each.

 

Plant Start Applications - Creating a Thriving Landscape Installation

Contractors that install plants - whether flowers, trees, shrubs or turf - have a challenge on their hands. In essence, they take a perfectly healthy plant 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.

infographic 1

However, there is a solution. Contractors can utilize any of the Holganix Bio 800+ products as plant start applications after installing a new plant. Contractors simply water in the plant with Holganix Bio 800+(That’s the refrigerated product!) and the plant will grow strong roots, that allow the plant to not only survive, but thrive in its new home.

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. 

 

Soil Smart Program - Turn-key, Sustainable Fertilization Programs

For maintenance contractors, offering fertilizer services can be confusing and at times, unpredictable. Traditional fertilizer programs create artificially green turf that is often fragile and susceptible to damage from stresses like weather and traffic among others. 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. Further, the Soil Smart Program focuses on building strong, resilient turf that is better able to deal with stress.

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 9.10.11 AM

 

Why Use A Soil Smart Program?

The Soil Smart Programs are:

  • Turn-key and includes any input needed to create a green, weed free lawn – this means herbicides, fertilizers and your Holganix plant probiotics are all included.
  • Designed regionally to fit your soil and turf types.
  • Reviewed by Holganix PhD agronomists.
  • Provides both a quick plant response and long-term plant resilience.
  • Reduces the need for chemicals so contractors are using a sustainable program.

What does your region’s Soil Smart Program look like? Click the button below to access your Soil Smart Program and start building stronger turf that require fewer fertilizers and pesticides.

DOWNLOAD YOUR PROGRAM

Tags: the science behind holganix

Why Soil Matters To Farmers [INFOGRAPHIC]

case study-1.png

Not only are healthy soils important to nurture healthier, more resilient plants but also healthy soils allow farmers to reach crucial environmental goals. Here are just two reasons why soils matter to farmers.



Healthy soils and healthy plants are synonymous

Soil is a living, breathing entity that is teeming with life. In fact, in a single tablespoon of soil there are more microbes present than there are people on Earth. When soil is rich and healthy, it fosters healthier, more resilient plants with deeper, more web-like root systems. That means plants are more sustainable - in other words they can sustain themselves regardless of the environmental conditions including; drought, cold, too much rain. Rich soil also acts as a reservoir to store nutrients and water so the plant can access them when needed.

Check out our infographic below to learn more about how soil nurtures plant health.

why soil matters infographic.png


Healthy soils help farmers reach environmental goals

Not only does having healthy soils help farmers improve crop health, but it can also help farmers reach environmental goals by reducing erosion risk and by reducing nutrient runoff into our waterways. Soil erosion caused by wind, water and tillage removes organic matter and nutrients from the soils, making soil less productive for growing plants. When nutrients runoff into our waterways, marine dead zones can form causing detrimental problems for marine life. Healthy soils act as reservoirs, holding key nutrients in the soil for the plant to access and minimizing runoff.


How can Holganix help?

Holganix Bio 800+ is a plant probiotic that builds soil health by replenishing the soil with microbes. In fact, a jug of Holganix Bio 800+ contains over 800 species of beneficial soil microbes, microbe food and nutrient enhancers to foster soil health, develop plant root growth, increase plant resilience and improve crop yield.

 

Digging deeper into soil

Want to learn more about soil? 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: the science behind holganix, farmer