I wanted to share our experience with Holganix Bio-nutritional products. These products have been in our rotation for 2 years now, and I believe that we have some good results that could help others. If you have never heard of this product, please head to their website at www.holganix.com.
How I came to use Holganix
A couple of years back, I was working on ways to decrease our fertilizer inputs on the property. We had amazing, dense turf, but I wanted to be able to reduce the nitrogen inputs and cut back on mowing. I have always been interested in how we can impact soil biology, but I have always been turned off on products that contain “dormant” bacteria and mycorrizae. I want to see live organisms in these products. So may times, “dormant” meant dead. I was turned on to Holganix at a seminar, and after testing, started using the product on the whole property.
Lets start off with the company’s claims. Saves fertilizer inputs, saves pesticides, deeper roots. As many of you, I was skeptical that a single product would fill all these goals. Lets go through each of them, and I’ll show you our results.
Saves Fertilizer Inputs
Below are two pictures of similar areas of our property. One is from 2012, and the other is from 2016. Both received the same brand of fertilizer, applied the same way. The only difference is that the 2012 picture received 4 lbs N/M and the 2016 picture was applied with 1.86 lbs N/M. Skepticism aside, I cannot argue with the results.
I decided to further test this theory this year to see how low I could go with my Nitrogen inputs. The plan was simple. We only put out fertilizer once a year, so we would skip the application on different areas of the property. The plan was to monitor these areas weekly, and when there was a noticeable color difference between the treated and untreated areas, I was planning on putting out a half pound of nitrogen.
My hypothesis was that I would end up putting out about 1.5 lbs N/M. This would still be a win, and then I would try to further reduce the area the next year. As always, real world applications do not always go as planned.
The above picture is of one of our test areas. Can you see the treated vs untreated areas? I can’t. The right side of the turf was not treated and the left was. The line is just to the right of the center. As of August 11th, we still have not applied fertilizer to these areas. I also have no plans to.
So whats next? Obviously I cannot expect these results to repeat themselves next year. Or can I? We will find out. I plan to continue this study. I will probably drop the rest of the property to 1.5 lbs N as well.
I have seen some good results when mixed with herbicides for spot spraying, but we do not broadcast apply pesticides on the property. So I cannot confirm results on this claim. I would advise looking at some of the university data they have on their website and try it for yourself. Let me know the results!
Hands down confirmed. For background purposes, we have non-certified 419 Bermuda. Our soils are rocky clay, and we have poor drainage. When dry, you cannot dig a hole without a pick axe. There was no topsoil brought in for these areas. Before we started using Holganix, our roots averaged 4-6 inches. I credit this to our aggressive aerification program. I did not expect Holganix to increase them anymore than that. At best, I was hoping for a little more density.
The results have floored me. Below are a couple of sets of pictures. The first just shows the density and depth around an irrigation head. The second set shows a 29 inch root that we found when we dug up an irrigation line. I have never seen 29 inch roots on Bermudagrass. Obviously this is deeper than we aerify and much deeper than we irrigate. Without a tape measure on it, I would not have believed it.
To me, Holganix works. It is not cheap, but our costs are mostly offset by the reduction of fertilizer. Our roots are deeper, grass is darker green with less nitrogen, and we use less water to maintain it. Give it a shot. Try it on your worst area that has some hope of recovering.
We have also found that it has an interesting effect on spring green up in Bermudagrass. The picture below shows our test area from the spring of 2016. The green area on the left received Holganix in 2015, the dormant area on the right did not. Speaks for itself.
I truly believe that Holganix helps us reach our sustainability goals and helps us to reduce our impact on the environment. Let me know how it works for you and go to their website (www.holganix.com) to learn more about the product and the ways they can help your logistics.