A grow tent is a fabric box lined with light and heat reflective material and equipped with light and ventilation. This ingenious device makes it possible to grow all kinds of plants indoors year round. With outdoor gardening, you are at the mercy of the weather. When you use a grow tent you have absolute control over your growing environment because you can enhance it through the use of:
- Air conditioners
- Humidifiers to control relative humidity
- Lights – High Pressure Sodium, Grow lights, Metal Halide
- Exhaust Fans and Circulation Fans
With a grow tent, your success with all types of plants in every season is only limited by your growing practices and abilities. No matter what the weather outdoors, with the right tent setup, a little practice and experience, you can grow fruits, veggies, flowers and herbs indoors any time of year.
This goes beyond using merely growing under lights. These “grow rooms” are a complete system.
You may also hear of these plant enclosures referred to as “grow closets”, “grow rooms” or “plant bays.” The various terminology usually describes variations in the size and shape of the tent. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using a plant growth enclosure, outline the various options available and make some sound recommendations to help you choose just the right plant environment to suit your needs. Read on to learn more.
Are Grow Tents Worth The Expense?
These days, with excessive heat being problematic in many parts of the world, the ability to protect your plants against scorching sun and record high temperatures can mean the difference between growing a successful home garden and squandering your time and money with nothing to show for it.
Even though your grow tent can represent a significant initial investment, it can save you money in the long run. This is because it costs less to provide water, nutrients, and light to your plants with a grow tent.
Because of the reflective mylar interior coating, your return on your investment in lighting is multiplied many times over. Plants receive life and health giving light from every angle for exactly the right amount of time every day.
Because you completely control the growing environment, you will not experience water waste caused be excessive sun and the wind. You will not lose supplements to runoff caused by rain and flooding.
What Can You Grow?
A grow tent setup can be turned into the perfect environment for any crop. Your only limitation is if you plan to grow more than one type of plant, you should create a collection of plants with similar needs in terms of light, temperature, and humidity. Many growers produce only one crop in their grow room – medical marijuana.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Grow Tent?
1. Boosts photosynthesis: The reflective mylar interior “walls” of a grow tent ensures your plants get plenty of high-quality light from every angle. This eliminates problems with yellowing lower leaves and/or weak and failing stems and branches that do not face a light source. Every surface of every plant will receive generous exposure to light. The tents are “light proof” or “light tight”so you control the lighting exposure your plants receive.
2. Controlled environment: With a grow tent; you have complete control over the temperature and humidity levels so you can focus on establishing the perfect growing conditions for any plant you desire.
3. Save money: It is far less costly to control climate and ventilation in a small grow tent than in an entire room.
4. Control odors: When you apply fertilizer or chemicals to your plants, you will not need to worry about the odors affecting your indoor air quality. They will remain confined to the grow tent.
5. Control noise: The best quality tents will actually muffle sound. If you subscribe to the theory that music, white noise or other sounds are conducive to successful plant growth, you can provide this ambiance for your plants and prevent having these sounds enter your living environment if you purchase a high quality grow tent with sound buffering capabilities. Conversely, if you have a noisy household, your plants will not be disturbed by your chaotic environment.
Things To Think About When Choosing
Indoor plant enclosures are so popular today that the market is just booming with choices. This can make shopping very confusing. Here are a few things you should determine before you embark on your shopping trip.
1. What Size Growing Enclosure Do You Need?
Think about your space, the type and number of plants you want to grow and the amount of room you will need inside to maneuver. If you just want a few shelves of small plants, you may do fine with a setup allowing you to reach inside to care for them without actually entering.
If you are growing a small veggie garden, you will naturally need to be able to work among your plants. You’ll need an enclosure you can enter and move around in comfortably or at least access freely from all sides.
2. How Tall Will Your Plants Grow?
It’s very important you choose a grow tent tall enough to accommodate the maximum height your plants will attain, plus a foot or so. You want plenty of headroom for your plants, and you want the light to reflect off all surfaces well. For the most variety and flexibility, look for a unit with adjustable poles or an extension kit so you can set the height perfectly for any plant you decide to grow.
3. Where Do You Plan To Set Up Your “Grow Room”?
If you plan on keeping the growing area indoors or in a sheltered area, such as a garage, you won’t need to be quite as exacting regarding materials and durability.
If your tent is required to fend off the elements, you should naturally seek a unit made of the toughest possible materials. Check the construction to be sure stitches are tight to keep out drafts, pests and inclement weather.
Be sure to measure your intended location carefully and select a tent that will fit perfectly. You can get small, tabletop tents for cloning and starting seeds that may fit perfectly in the corner of a room. If you plan on dedicating a closet space to your project, you may be able to find a closet sized grow tent that fits just perfectly.
A tent that’s large enough to free-stand will need to have ample ground space and overhead space. Be sure that the doors of the unit you choose will work with the space you have. You must be able to set your tent up in such a way that you have easy access.
Most growers recommend placing the grow tent in an area with a waterproof floor.
4. How Will The Tent Ventilate?
To maintain good ventilation and control temperature and humidity, you need to be able to circulate air well. This will require an electrical port or connection of some type. If you are setting up your tent indoors, be sure you have a window or other opening available to set up your exhaust fan vents.
Be sure the fresh air intake vents and the hot air exhaust vents are located in such a way as to correspond with the openings you have in place in your building.
5. What Accessories & Features Do You Need?
If you plan to add extra lights or hang some of your plants, you want to be certain your tent comes equipped with strong support bars in the top. These are also handy for hanging ventilation fans and securing air ducting.
What’s The Best Grow Tent?
Generally speaking, very inexpensive tents will not be well-made enough to support any hanging weight. If you plan on outdoor use, a cheap tent will not work. For these reasons, it’s best just to avoid the lower end of the price range in this product.
Mid-range products are usually quite good. While there are some very costly tent rooms offer lots of bells and whistles, they are typically not really that much better than the mid range to justify the added cost.
Top Choices In Grow Tents
One of the top brands in grow tents is Gorilla Grow. Their products earn high marks across the board from professional growers and hobbyists. The company uses high-quality materials, delivers top of the line construction and provides a solid guarantee.
1. Gorilla Grow
Their Gorilla Grow Tent GGTLT44 is an affordable option that is extremely easy to set up. The unit is equipped with wraparound zippers and multiple doorways for complete ease of access. The ventilation system is equipped with micro-mesh pre-filters specially designed to resist bugs. The ducting ports are amply sized (10”) and feature double cinching for security. This product weighs just over 19 pounds.
A step up in terms of durability is the Gorilla Grow Tent GGT59. This is a grow tent designed for professionals. This tent has an adjustable framework that can extend to a maximum height of ten feet. The frame is an interlocking, solid metal design that is five times as strong as any other design on the market.
This unit is equipped with very tight seals that contain all odors and baffle sound. The floor features a sturdy flood pool that efficiently contains spills and overflow. This heavy duty unit weighs in at 79 pounds.
2. Lighthouse Hydro Hydroponics Grow Tent
Lighthouse GH-T001 is a flexible option. It comes in a generous selection of sizes to suit most spaces and gardening goals. The design provides easy access from three sides of the tent, so placement should not be a problem under any circumstances.
The vent holes are large and easy to work with, and the walls are equipped with handy storage pockets. The downside of this brand is that the frame may not be up to freestanding. Some users describe it as “rickety”. For gentle indoor use in an area where added support is possible, it is a fine choice.
3. Hydroplanet Hydroponic Indoor Grow Tent
Hydroplanet Grow Tent is another nice choice for indoor use. It is especially designed for use with hydroponic gardening. The design is efficient and user-friendly. Maintenance is easy because the fabric skin is machine washable. This is a nice choice for hobbyist, but professionals might not find it tough enough.
4. Best Choice Mylar Hydroponics Plant Growing Room
Best Choice Products SKY843 is a low-priced, light weight, highly portable choice for light, indoor cultivation. Once you put it together, you can move it from room to room with ease. It is a very good choice for setting up a small cultivation area in any room in the house or in a sturdy garage or outbuilding.
5. Hydrobay Mylar Grow Tent
The massively sized Hydrobay, which is four feet high and wide and a little over six-and-a-half feet long is a favorite among professionals and serious growers. It is made of very heavy-duty materials that can withstand years of hard use and even exposure to the elements.
The unit has two port vents with air tight seals. It’s easy to keep an eye on your plant’s thanks to the observation window. Lighting is effective and efficient because of the unit’s Mylar reflective floor pan. This unit weighs about 60 pounds.
6. Apollo Horticulture Hydroponic Grow Tent
Another generously sized choice is the Apollo Horticulture. This is a very popular model and a best seller that is the same size as the Hydrobay. It is also very well made yet weighs only a little over 30 pounds. This unit is easy to construct and install without any tools. The final result is very effective; although, it does not contain light quite as well as the Hydrobay.
7. GrowLab Thermal Protected Indoor Grow Tent
GrowLab Horticultural GL240 is another large-sized tent with lots of flexibility. The cross-members of the roof are moveable so that adjusting accessories and lights is a breeze. It is also easy to add fans and ducts thanks to an innovative drawstring system.
The frame is remarkably durable and constructed of rust resistant, power coated metal. The fabric is thermally protected and offers superior insulation.
8. Vivosun Grow Tent With Observation Window
Vivosun Mylar Hydroponic is practically indestructible. It is constructed of double-stitched, tear-resistant, 600D canvas. The ventilation is excellent thanks to standard venting and several windows equipped with mesh that lets natural air circulate but keeps bugs out.
The frame of the unit is made of sturdy metal rods that connect with durable connectors. This unit weighs in at just under 15 pounds.
9. Milliard Horticulture
The inexpensive Milliard Hydroponic Grow Tent is an excellent choice for beginning indoor gardeners. This is a sturdy, nicely constructed unit that is fully lined in reflective material and features easy to assemble plastic, push-lock corners for simple construction.
The zipper closures are sturdy and reinforced. The unit features multiple ports for hot air exhaust and fresh air intake so positioning should be easy. This unit weighs just over 19 pounds.
10. Secret Jardin
Secret Jardin makes a tent unit called the “Dark Propagator” which is designed specifically for propagation. However some find it the perfect size to use as they call a “Dark Tent” to process wet plant photography.
Get Your Feet Wet!
It’s easy to see that there are plenty of good choices in grow tents no matter what sort of gardener you are. In addition to the individual examples listed above, each of the companies suggested offers ample variations in merchandise to meet a wide variety of needs.
If you are just getting started, you may want to “get your feet wet” with a very simple, inexpensive choice to begin with. This is a smart, affordable way to go because it will allow you to accustom yourself to using this innovative gardening method without investing a lot of money at the outset. Once you’ve had a little experience, you can move forward and make a solid grow tent investment with complete confidence.