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Author Archives: Joel Simmons

Soil First Foliars

At EarthWorks, we believe that the health of the soil is imperative in producing quality turf and by promoting the health of the soil, we can reduce inputs.

Since the conception of EarthWorks in 1988, we’ve believed that both granular and liquid products are important tools to build a good carbon profile in the soil. Granulars build the base and liquids provide the versatility and soluble carbon to keep microbial populations active in the root zone.


What is Foliar Feeding?


Liquids have been a key part of successful turf managers’ fertility programs for some time now. Since effective chelation technologies were developed in the early 1990s, cleaner and easier to use liquid products have become available to Superintendents. Along with liquid fertilizers came the idea of “foliar feeding”— the concept of feeding nutrients into the plant through the surface of the leaves.

Years of extensive soil tests have supported our belief that a strong liquid program delivers to the plant what the soil cannot easily provide. However, we also know that as much as 80% of liquids sprayed on low cut turf rolls past the blade of grass into the root zone, becoming unavailable for foliar uptake.

To maximize nutrient availability, we worked to build the Soil First Foliars line of liquids to provide nutrients to the plant through the leaf ; and beyond that, through the soil. The soluble carbon in these products stimulates the microbial population in the soil to activate nutrient uptake and build a healthier soil.


The Key Is Quality Humic Acids

“Humic Substances are the dark colored substances that remain after the natural biodegradation of biomatter, and whose distinct characteristics are their relative resistance to further biodegradation and highly heterogeneous molecular structure. They play critical roles in ecosystem function and health.” – HPTA


The most important aspect of our Soil First Foliars is our proprietary humic acid complex developed in part by Lawrence Mayhew.

Mr. Mayhew was instrumental in the formation of the Humic Products Trade Association (HPTA), which is dedicated to promoting truth in marketing regarding humic acid claims and enforcing standards of quality. We feel very strongly that with the help of the HPTA, EarthWorks has the strongest humic acid complex available

Originally called “snake oils”, humic acids may be one of the most misunderstood materials in our industry. We now find humic acids used in many products including by a few large conventional synthetic fertilizer companies. Why? Because they work! However, we are also seeing many companies making claims that are not up to the standards established by the HPTA. Claims of larger percentages than possible, or claims in “derived from” statements that simply cannot be true, are prevalent.

Humic acids do not feed the plant but they do make feeding possible. They help with the uptake of phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium and trace elements by preventing nutrients from reacting in the soil or leaching out, making them more available. They also help manage and hold water in the root zone for the plant.

Humic acids help to flocculate the soil, and in fact, have been used by the oil drilling industry for years to help open the hole in front of their drill bits. They are very effective at promoting good root growth allowing roots to grow wider and deeper in the soil. A good humic acid complex just makes the soil work better!


The Benefits of Soil Testing


Most of the EarthWorks Soil First Foliars were developed based on a need discovered through the evaluation of thousands of soils tests run annually from across the country.

Our Soil First Foliars liquid products, CalVantage and MagVantage, were developed as a solution to consistent deficiencies of soluble calcium and magnesium identified in soluble soil tests. CalVantage and MagVantage include multiple forms of calcium and magnesium respectively as well as all the co-factors that allow the plant to take up these key nutrients when the plant needs them most.

Developing an EarthWorks product starts with water that comes from a reverse osmosis process, so there are no unwanted chemical interactions in our manufacturing. We use modern chelation technology to stabilize all the nutrients in the formula, and then wrap that with our proprietary humic acid complex and up to as many as 20 other carbon-based materials.

What this does is allow the leaf to hold nutrients for extended periods of time, but more importantly once in the soil, all that carbon stabilizes the nutrients, keeping them from reacting or leaching out. That carbon brings the microbes to the table, and they start feeding on the soluble carbon making the core nutrients more available, and the product more efficient.

The Soil First Foliars are the first liquid products in the industry that feed not only the plant, but maybe more importantly, they feed the soil. The EarthWorks 555 program uses five ounces per thousand square feet of turf of three products:

Trilogy – a phosphorous, potassium and trace nutrient product
Protein Plus – a complete nitrogen product
CalVantage – a formula that increases calcium mobility for better nutrition

This simple and cost-effective program allows our clients to produce quality turf. It yields deep roots, accelerated recovery and opulent color. Most significantly, it takes the highs and lows out of your fertility program.


A Deeper Respect

Members of the HPTA since 2016


Because of our respect for the professionals who nurture and maintain turf, we devote ourselves to engineering carbon-based products that help make their lives more rewarding and their work more fruitful.The company’s approach to Carbon Based Fertility allows Superintendents to produce quality turf.

For more information on the complete line of Soil First Foliars, please go to http://www.earthworksturf.com and contact one of our distribution partners.


Sand and Nutrient Mobility

Last year, EarthWorks consulted on over 12,000 soil tests from all across the country, something we have been doing for many years now.  When one sees this much soil data, trends appear. We see how things change and how they impact the success of the people we have so much respect for.  Over the many… Continue Reading

Think Dynamically

This is a story that I tell often… because it perfectly depicts how EarthWorks was built, why we do what we do, and the type of relationship Jerry Brunetti and I had from the birth of our company in the late 1980’s. To preface, from the beginning Jerry had a clear vision of why we… Continue Reading

Remembering Jerry Brunetti

Remembering Jerry Brunetti

It is with a very heavy heart that I write of the passing of our co-founder Jerry Brunetti.  He was my mentor, my business partner of 26 years, my friend but most importantly Jerry Brunetti was my inspiration. Jerry was one of the most unique and brilliant minds of our time.  He formulated most of… Continue Reading

EarthWorks Replenish 3-4-3 is OMRI Certified

EarthWorks is proud to announce that its Replenish 343 is OMRI certified.  The Organic Materials Review Institute is a leader in organic standards and compliance.  EarthWorks has always been a leader in organic fertilizer and is excited to be certified with the nations leader in organic standardization. Continue Reading

Myco-Replenish now available in Greens Grade, 50# bags

Earth Works is pleased to announce that Myco-Replenish 3-3-3 Organic Fertilizer with Mycorrhizae is now available in a Greens Grade formulation, as well as in convenient 50-pound bags. Myco-Replenish combines the high quality of EarthWorks Replenish natural organic fertilizers with root stimulating endo and ecto mycorrhizae fungi. Continue Reading

Brooklyn Bridge Park… Spectacular!

Every once in a while a very cool project comes along that’s a little out of the norm.  The work going on at the Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of those, and it is spectacular!  A few weeks ago I made contact with an old friend of EarthWorks, former golf course superintendent Paul Sutter, who… Continue Reading

Everyone is an “Organic Guy”!

I was recently invited to speak at a distributors’ meeting taking place at a golf course.  As I waited for my turn to speak, I asked the distributor if our host superintendent was using EarthWorks products.  He responded “No, he’s not an organic guy”!!!  Not an organic guy, I thought – and it really hit… Continue Reading

Fall is for Feeding … The Soil.

Just as I’m about ready to get back into the pool… Summer is over! In the turf business, fall has got to be everyone’s favorite season; it means we survived yet another tough summer.  I travel, a lot, and I see a lot of golf courses and a lot of athletic fields all over the… Continue Reading

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EarthWorks Natural Organic Products • 30 Morgan Hill Road Easton, PA 18042

1-800-732-TURF (8873)