What are the directions for using Tough Love?

Directions for Use: It's as easy as 1,2,3

1.)  Shake bottle vigorously

2.)  Mix 1-2 fl. oz. of Tough Love per gallon of distilled or reverse osmosis water.

3.)  Spray target area and plants thoroughly, achieving complete coverage of the area where target pests reside, and enjoy the wonderful and temporary fragrance of freshness surrounding you and your garden.

*Never treat plants in the presence of intense artificial or natural lighting. HID lights should be turned off during application and drying. Out door and greenhouse application should be carried out early morning before sunrise or during sunset when there is no direct light projected on the target plants.

Why should I use Reverse Osmosis or distilled water when mixing Tough Love and preparing for application?

Tough Love is an Oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion that is emulsified down to a fairly stable nanoparticle size. The propriety methodology of getting the formula into this form is what allows us to achieve homogenous mixes previous to application, which results in even mixing and distribution of the product. Free ions that make up some of the composition of hard water or water that contains large quantities of minerals will disrupt the stability of the bonds in the formula and cause instability and separation. The result is uneven mixing and possible burning due to mixture inconsistency. All oil based, emulsified products that do not use heavy detergents should be mixed with pure reverse osmosis or distilled water.

When should I start spraying my plants?

Always treat and quarantine new plants before acclimating them to your growing environment. Also, prevention is the best measure. Apply Tough Love weekly to keep pest pressure down. Tough Love is an excellent addition to any integrated pest management (IPM) schedule.

How often should I spray my plants?

If pest pressure is high, apply Tough Love every 3 days until pest pressure is reduced. Subsequent to reducing pest pressure, apply once a week as part of a regular integrated pest management program.

Can I spray my plants under lighting?

Never spray your plants in the midst of intense direct lighting or extreme temperatures. If growing in an outdoor environment, spray early morning before direct sun exposer, leaving ample time for the foliage to dry before being exposed to direct light. Additionally, you can apply Tough Love in the evening, after direct sun exposure has diminished and is no longer subjecting plants to direct rays of light

If growing in and indoor environment with HIDs or other forms of intense lighting, turn off the lights before applying Tough Love and leave them off until all droplets of moisture have evaporated.
*see advanced indoor method of foliar applications to achieve best results, especially for flowering plants.

Can I spray my plants in the dark?

It’s best to not spray plants at the beginning of their dark cycle, especially if ventilation is poor or a current environmental concern. This could lead to slow evaporation, excessive and prolonged humidity, ultimately resulting in mold and mildew pressure. The magnitude of a mildew or mold occurrence is drastically increased when flowering plants absorb copious amounts of moisture and sit wet all night.

Will Tough Love burn my plants?

No, not when used correctly. Tough Love was tested rigorously on plants for phytotoxic effects. Plants receiving 3 consecutive applications, 1day apart, of Tough Love at 2 fl. oz. per gal, on multiple occasions, did not experience any detriment; there was no evidence of phytotoxic effects when applied correctly. However, it is important to recognize the individual traits of different plants and ALWAYS test new plants at lower doses and small, single branch portions of the strain to be sprayed. This is common practice and evidence of a skilled and precautions gardener.

Will Tough Love leave a residue, a funny smell or taste on my flowers?

No, nothing that is long lasting or that will carry to harvest. The volatility of the components of Tough Love allows them to be broken down quickly by environmental factors and the refreshing herbal smell of Tough Love diminishes in approx 12-24hrs. I always practice a pre-harvest interval (PHI) of 7 days on any sprays intended for flowering crop use; however, Tough Love can be sprayed up to 2-3 days from harvest if it is an absolute necessity, as it has a PHI of 48 hours. Don’t let anyone fool you with day of harvest application on flowering plants; it’s just not logical to think that all of the residues can be broken down that quickly. Volatile molecules involved in odor or smell can dissipate quite quickly while others take longer, especially oil bases. However, it is absolutely fine to apply Tough Love the day of harvest to fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, and legumes that can be rinsed.

What is the best method of spraying my plants if they are flowering?

I developed a methodical approach to foliar spraying in an indoor environment, early on, that has proven very successful in all stages of plant growth and for all foliar applications, including those of microbial teas, pesticides, and nutrient additives. It is as follows:

Advanced Method for Delivering Indoor Foliar Applications

1.) Allow your lights to fully power up. (This mimics sunrise and is a dependable moment for activated stomata participating in initial morning photosynthesis. This helps with uptake by activated stomata, especially when applying kelp, humic, mineral, or pesticide based products that can be circulated systemically.)

2.) Turn High powered lights off or raise the hoods by +4’. I generally turn the lights off while turning regular ambient lighting on. (This keeps the photoperiod active and plants responding to the presence of light without burning them. Burning is usually due to the magnification of light through spray droplets, and high internal leaf temperatures under exposure to intense light, especially when using oil based sprays.)

3.) Temporarily, turn circulation fans off so that your spray can reach its intended target area and fully cover target pest or be absorbed by stomata.

4.) Let plants rest in foliar spray for 10-15min.


6.) After the plants foliage is completely dry, turn the HID or other forms of supplemental light back on. (This usually takes 1-2hrs. The remaining 10-11 hrs of the light cycle, when flowering, will ensure that no excess moisture is lingering in your flowers, posing the threat of promoting mildew or mold pressure. It’s like a morning shower has graced your plants and refreshed them for the day to come!)

*I have shared this masterful method with gardeners near and far for 15 years and always received positive feedback on the application method. It delivers product to plants with active stomata, increasing uptake, guards against light burn, and guards against prolonged, excessive moisture exposure, drastically eliminating the possibility of creating a hospitable environment for mold or mildew germination. 

Feel free to contact us regarding any questions that you may have about Tough Love:

Info@essentialearthproducts.com or

1-855-EarthAg   (1-855-327-8424)

Great questions will be recorded and updated to the website.