how to grow earthly
a complete guide to growing chemical-free cannabis
(or anything else)
Plantlife has naturally thrived on this planet for millennia, well before the advent of synthetic nutrients and other chemical additives. Earthly is out to prove that mother nature still knows best.
We have developed a line of products designed to grow cannabis -- or any plant, really -- just the way nature intended.
Earthly's simple, four-part system yields great results without any chemicals--there's nothing in our products you won't find on a walk in nature or a trip to the grocery store. Following these easy four principles, you’ll have no problems going from seed to smoke completely on your own.
Eventually, we'll post an article to cover each step in the growing process from our simple, easy-to-use guide. For now, let's consider the four-part Earthly System the pillars of any all-natural grow.
The Earthly System
“Despite all our accomplishments, we owe our existence to six inches of topsoil and the fact that it rains.”
– Chinese proverb
Home is where the heart is, and good soil is at the heart of any successful grow. It’s essential that your plants have a sturdy foundation from which to thrive. In nature, the soil is home to countless amounts of microorganisms that are constantly digesting nutrients locked in the ground.
Using good soil is all about the quality and freshness of the ingredients that go into making it. Based on scientific research, our soil blends incorporate sustainably-sourced, durable ingredients that are designed to stand up to the test of re-use. We use our fresh worm castings and a number of other premium ingredients to create high-quality, all-natural soils. Most of our soil blends can be picked up within a week at our warehouse in Providence, as well as ordered online.
Ensuring that you have high-quality soil will not only improve your results, but it will also save you a ton of money. As long as you don’t use chemical nutrients, you can reuse your soil for three to four growing cycles -- with even better results each time (just like using a cast-iron pan).
“Water is the driving force of all nature.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
The chlorine used in tap water kills disease-causing microbes, but that’s not all it eliminates. The chemical also kills good ones that help your plants in the same way probiotics help you and I.
That’s why it’s essential that your plants get good water. Most water suppliers use chlorine gas, which evaporates after 24 hours. In this case, all you have to do is let it stand or aerate it for a day and it’s ready for your plants.
If your water supplier uses chloramine, that form does not evaporate and will require a filter to remove, such as:
Reverse Osmosis -- Filters that remove almost everything from your water, including good minerals. These types also get expensive because they generate twice as much wastewater as useable water. For every gallon of water you get out of this process, you dump two down the drain. These are also the mostly costly option and go for around $300.
Small Boy Type -- Similar to reverse osmosis, but they don’t remove the minerals or generate wastewater. These are the most ideal type and retail for around $90.
In-Line Filter-- Boogie Brew makes an in-line filter that we would recommend for use. These filters are designed to operate with a garden hose, so all you have to do is screw it onto the end of your hose and you’re ready to go. These cost around $20.
Of course, rainwater, well water and spring water are always the best for your plants. Check out http://www.findaspring.com/ to find public springs near you.
top dressings (once/month)
“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Good soil and good water are the foundation of a successful grow, and without them you are unlikely to get optimal results. Although they alone can get you through a grow, for best results you'll need reinforcements throughout the growing process, and top dressings are mother nature's simple, but effective way to replenish the soil your plant calls its home
. In nature, organic matter is deposited on the soil surface in the form of leaves fallen from trees, the previous years' vegetation, or even animals leaving droppings as they pass by. Top dressings are a way to replicate this process in any grow, and simply means spreading material on top of the soil surface.
Most of the scientific research on the topic suggests you'll get the best results by using worm castings alongside traditional compost in your top dressings. This is because the compost provides a food source for all the different microorganisms that live in worm castings, who then digest all that organic matter into nutrients your plants can digest.
We like to tell people: "if compost is the gasoline, our worm castings are the fire."
Every 30 days:
1. Place a 1" layer of traditional compost on the soil surface of your potted plant.
For outdoor use, top dress in the drip line of your plants. The drip line is simply the area of soil within the footprint of the plant as viewed from the top down.
2. Place a 1/4" layer of worm castings on top of the layer of compost you just spread.
Then, water according to your regular schedule. Over time, water will transport organic matter, nutrients, and microorganisms down to the roots of your plant. Yummy.
And that's it! Super basic, very simple, but oh-so-overlooked.
We also recommend a thick, fluffy layer of straw on top of your top dressings. The straw provides a layer of insulation that helps the soil retain water, protect roots, and break up the flow of liquid when watering so as to not disturb your top dressings.
Plant TEAS (once/week)
a.k.a actively aerated compost teas (AACT)
'I'm strong to the finish, 'cause I eats me spinach."
Plants excrete certain sugars through their roots and these sugars vary. Different plants prefer different sugars, and a plant knows exactly what microbes produce the food they need.
By implementing a tea, the plant can decide by itself to omit certain sugars and bring in others – in essence determining its own feeding schedule.
Chemical fertilizers don’t afford plants this luxury, instead bombarding your grow with a quick rush of nutrients that doesn’t have nearly the same benefits as teas.
Earthly Teas start with an organic matter source, preferably local compost and worm castings, and a food source for the microbes. While some may recommend molasses, that only allows for the growth of good bacteria and not good fungus as well. Earthly recommends a complex carbohydrate like ground oats and kelp meal.
Teas are then brewed with good, dechlorinated, stone-aerated water. The aeration is critical as the presence of oxygen allows for good microbes to thrive.
Teas are most effective when delivered once per week, and they provide your grow with the added boost it needs. Think of it like Popeye’s spinach for your plants. Everything you’ve done to this point has made your plants strong, but an Earthly Tea can give your plants the boost they need to go to the next level.
Using the tea as a foliar spray can also give your plants a lift because plants can feed through their leaves. By colonizing your plants’ leaves with good microorganisms it makes it less likely bad ones will enter. Think of it as if someone stole your wallet at your local supermarket. If the market is empty, the thief is more likely to get away. If it is full, a good samaritan – or microorganism in the case of your plant – is less likely to get away.
Coming soon: the most easy-to-follow guide to growing all-natural cannabis on the web! Check back soon!