Table of Contents
- 1 How to evaluate Grow tent sizes to match your needs?
- 2 Use space-saving growing techniques
- 3 How to choose the best grow tent?
In this guide, we will review together the basics and help you evaluate the size and different aspects of grow tents, so you can decide for yourself what is the best option when it’s time for you to gear up !
What is a Grow Tent and how can I get the best out of it?
It is basically a box made out of fabric and covered in the inside with highly reflective material, in which you’ll grow your plants. They are designed to allow various setups and offer multiple advantages:
- hide your plants, equipment, and light from strangers
- create a confined space allowing easy climate control
- get the best of your lamps by ensuring maximum light penetration through the canopy
Despite its increasing popularity throughout the world, growing weed is still illegal in many places. So hiding your secret garden from the eyes of strangers might be a good idea depending on where you live. Grow tents usually look like those fabric wardrobes you can find pretty much anywhere and are designed in a very secure way, preventing the light to be seen from outside, and protecting your crops from any uninvited guest.
By acting in a small confined space, you can easily gain control over climatic conditions such as humidity and temperature. Every tent is fully equipped with vents and multiple hanging spots you can use to place your lamps, fans, air extractors and other equipment, making sure your plants are getting the best from their environment. It also allows you to plan your vegetative and flowering cycles on any chosen time-frame by preventing that the daylight comes in.
When placed under a lamp, a dark non-reflective object will absorb a great amount of light, depriving its surroundings of a considerable energy source. On the contrary, various materials are able to reflect and thereby distribute the light back around them, even to some places where the lamp won’t reach, providing energy to the lower parts of a plant. Grow boxes nowadays are usually covered inside with Mylar or Foylon, two very reflective materials.
In order to get the best out of your culture, you shouldn’t spare the necessary equipment. It will help a healthy and rapid growth, ensuring a great yield.
Beneficial growing conditions mean adapted climate. Temperature in a box can rise and fall very fast depending on your light source, outside conditions and other factors. Moisture also needs to be controlled: low humidity isn’t good when plants are small or if you start with cuttings, and too much of it in the final stages can ruin your crop by stimulating fungi. Here are some useful items you may want to use in order to improve grow room ventilation and avoid any nasty surprises:
- a reliable ventilation system, allowing fresh air to flow in and hot air to go out
- a good fan, breezing on your plants and helping air circulation around leaves and buds
- heating / cooling devices, such as heating cables, heaters or air-conditioning units, helping you maintain the best temperature
- Air humidifiers or dryers to adjust natural conditions
Although you can find various complete grow tent kits including all or some of the equipment mentioned before, you may want to purchase them separately in order to customize fully your grow room setup.
How to evaluate Grow tent sizes to match your needs?
We all heard that size matters. Well, in the field of indoor culture it might be very true. Even though a large space is needed for a massive yield, an unadapted size might come unhandy, unadapted and power consuming. That’s why it’s really important to focus on your objectives as much as on the reality of the the preexisting conditions on site. Before you even consider the best grow box setup you want to answer those few questions:
- Where do you want to set it up?
- How much space is available there?
- Do you have power plugs and access to water nearby?
Choosing your setup place
Installing your grow space in the right spot is crucial for a successful experience. It should be some place hidden, so you can open the box without somebody being attracted by the light or air extraction noises. You will also need power plugs to connect your electrical devices ( lamps, fans, etc. ) and access to a water tap around. Once you have the right place figured out, you should
measure the available space, and this will give you a range of sizes to choose from.
What lamp do you plan on using?
When you know more or less from which size range to pick from, you should consider the kind of lamp you plan on using.
A small lamp in a large space will result in a loss of usable growing space but using a big lamp in a small box will lead to light-wasting and potential climate problems as too much heat will be produced by the lamp.
Here is a simple chart to help you picture the space needed for each lamp setup:
|Growbox size||HID ballast wattage|
|2’ x 2’||250 W|
|3’ x 3’||400 W|
|4’ x 4’||600 W|
|5’ x 5’||600 W – 1000 W|
|4′ x 8’||2 x 400 W – 2 x 600 W|
|6’ x 6’||2 x 400 W – 2 x 600 W|
|8’ x 8’||3 x 600 W – 3 x 1000 W|
|10’ x 10’||4 x 600 W – 4 x 1000 W|
Use space-saving growing techniques
It’s been years since space-saving concerned growers started to imagine ways to improve yield production in limited spaces and use their gear at its full potential. Those techniques come in handy particularly in places with limited height.
- O.G (Sea Of Green)
This consist on putting a lot of small plants very close to each other, as much as 4 in a 1’ x 1’ space, veg them for a short period and make them produce flowers while they are still small, in order to obtain a low but dense bud canopy covering all the growing space.
- C.R.O.G (SCReen Of Green)
This starts at the opposite of S.O.G, with few plants forced to grow over a net or mesh until it’s nearly covered. Plants are then forced to flower by changing the light cycle to 12/12, which allows them to produce buds on all of the surface while limiting their growth in height.
Summing up your knowledge
Considering all the above, you should now be able to determine the size that will fit in your setup space. There isn’t one good choice, but many, depending on your project’s requirements and environment.
How to choose the best grow tent?
Choosing the right growing environment for your plants is a matter of the highest importance, so when the times come for you to do it, you shouldn’t take it lightly. There are plenty of grow boxes for sale and one can sometimes be amazed by all the choice he has, ranging from the cheap low quality tents to luxury, fully equipped, furniture-styled boxes nobody will ever suspect. So how to find what you need without being distracted by the rest.
When setting up a grow space, budget is a determining factor. After spending a lot in all the equipment, fertilizers and seeds, the grow box itself is sometimes considered as a secondary priority and people choose a cheap model, thinking that it’s not crucial to put much into it as long as you can close it up and the inside reflects the light.
I wouldn’t personally advise to do so, and would certainly prefer building my own, even if it takes some effort, rather than make a poor investment.
Indeed, low-cost grow boxes are usually poorly designed and finished, using cheap materials, and won’t last long.
However, you can find plenty of different decent models for a reasonable price, and unless you plan on never moving or changing your setup, a grow tent facilitates daily operations a great deal, for all the reasons we’ve seen before.
As we’ve seen it, many different models and brands are on the market, and since the choice is up to you, I strongly recommend you compare a few ones fitting your needs in the first place, and consider the following questions before buying anything:
- What will you grow and what type of culture will you use it for? Some of them are specially designed for mother plants and cuttings for example, others might be more indicated for hydroponic culture.
- Can it be opened on two or more sides or just one, and if so, is the entrance well situated?
- Is there a sufficient amount of air vents and are they well situated according to your project?
- Is there enough room to hang all your equipment and devices?
If you read this guide from the beginning, you should now have some clues and be able to choose the right fit! On this site you can find the best reviews for your growing equipment.