Over the last few years, grow tent use has become a lot more common. Since grow tents have a number of advantages when compared to growing cannabis outdoors it’s no wonder that so many people have been convinced of their benefits.
If you’re ready to start growing your own marijuana, you may be thinking about investing in a grow tent. But how do you go about choosing the right one? Not all grow tents are created equal, so you need to find one that fits your requirements while also optimizing your yield. With this in mind, we’ve put together this guide to help you make an informed decision.
Benefits Of Using A Grow Tent
There are a number of benefits that come with using a grow tent. Here are just some of them:
- Simplicity and ease – these days, grow tents are user-friendly and simple to use. You can assemble them quickly and once they’re in place they offer a waterproof, lightproof and even smellproof environment that is durable and tough and yet can easily be dismantled and packed away if not in use.
- Climate control – a top advantage provided by a grow tent is that you can easily control every element of the interior environment. By using a fan, lights and vents, you can easily adjust the environment to suit your particular needs. You can also grow all year round for higher yields without any worries about outdoor elements like cold snaps, floods, heatwaves, pests and wind damage.
- Odor control – one of the most important issues a grow tent can resolve is the unpleasant odor associated with growing cannabis. When you have a grow tent, the odor of the plants will be kept locked away with vented air being free from odor thanks to carbon air filters. Not only does this make living with your grow operation more pleasant, it also makes it more discreet.
- Pest control – being able to protect your plants from unwanted pests is a key benefit of using a grow tent. As the air intake is filtered, there is a very low chance of any pests being introduced to your crop. This means you can grow plants organically without any herbicides or pesticides. When growing outdoors, infestations of insects and bugs can wreck your crop while using chemicals to kill the pests can have a negative impact on the taste of your produce.
- Discretion and security – your cannabis plants are valuable, so keeping them safe is important. A grow tent means that you can keep them away from prying eyes.
How To Choose A Marijuana Grow Tent
It isn’t always easy to choose the right grow tent for you, especially if it’s your first. Here are some key questions to answer when making your decision.
The first question to answer revolves around the amount of space you have to work with. You need to decide where you’re going to put the grow tent so that you can determine the size and number of tents you can buy. A common mistake is failing to allow sufficient space for ducting. You’ll need up to 25cm (0.8ft) of additional space at the side, back or top of your grow tent for ducting depending on which tent you choose.
The Number Of Grow Tents In Your Setup
You may only need a single grow tent, but if you want to optimize our yield, it would be best to get two or even three. One tent can then be used for propagating your plants, another during the vegetative growing stage and then the third for the flowering stage. To get the best result, using separate tents for every growing stage is ideal.
During the propagation stage you won’t require a lot of space – seedlings and cuttings only require low light intensity so a small tent will be fine. During the vegetative growth stage the plants are pretty small still, so again a small tent is ideal since you can maximize your light while easily managing the environment effectively. During the flowering stage, you’ll need more powerful lights and you’ll also need to choose a grow tent which is sufficiently high so your plants can grow to their full height.
If you only have room for a single grow tent you can grow plants for their entire cycle using just one tent but since it isn’t ideal, you will have a smaller yield this way.
Once you’ve determine how many tents and the size of tents you require, you next need to establish your budget. Be aware that if you choose a cheap tent that doesn’t mean you’ll save money in the long run. A well-made tent may be more expensive but you’ll get a better yield and it will usually last longer.
When choosing your tent, your grow lights are a vital consideration. If you’re choosing more intense lights, you’ll need your grow tent to be taller and bigger overall. The minimum height you need with 250W/400W/600W HID lights is 2m (6.5 feet), while for 750W/1000W grow lights you’ll need at least 2.4m (7.8 feet).
If you’re using fluorescent lights, you’ll find a smaller tent will be fine since they are low intensity, producing little heat. If you’re using 240W or 400W lights, a 2m (6.5 feet) high tent will be best. If you’re using 600W lights, a 2m (6.5 feet) high tent will be perfect although you should aim for a 1.2m (3.9 feet) x 1.2m (3.9 feet) floor area for each light. If you’re using advanced lighting solutions or 1000W lights, you’ll need a much taller tent of at least 2.4m (7.8 feet) in height to allow the extra heat to dissipate effectively.
Your grow tent’s shape has to match the footprint of your reflector. Reflectors with square, uniform footprints are best for square grow tents. If you’re going to be using several lights you’ll need reflectors which give you plenty of light crossover so your plants can benefit from more intense light and you’ll get a more uniform growth. On the other hand, if your reflectors will be air cooled you’ll need a tent that has sufficient inlet ports to allow you to use extraction equipment.
Equipment And Grow System
As an absolute minimum, you will need sufficient space to accommodate your grow system, lights and extraction system. You may also require space for fans, heaters, dehumidifiers, humidifiers or other equipment.
Silver Or White Interior
A white lined tent will be extremely reflective, retaining less heat when compared to a silver-lined tent. In silver-lined tents, the peak temperature can be around 1 to 2 degrees Celsius (1.8 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than in a similarly sized white tent. Heat problems can therefore be more common in a silver-lined tent. If you’re using a taller grow tent, silver lining won’t be a problem since the additional head room guards against any temperature problems. Silver linings are also fine in small propagation tents since heat problems aren’t an issue there.
Grow Tent Features
There are a number of useful features that you should look for when buying your first grow tent:
- Make sure your grow tent is watertight just in case an accidental spillage happens.
- High quality zips will ensure that your tent remains lightproof and that the canvas doesn’t become loose.
- Choose a tent with a reflective interior. Remember that for each 1% of light you lose from your tent, your yield will be 1% lower. Reflective interiors minimize the amount of light loss to the grow tent wall.
- Robust corners will ensure the frame is held firmly in place while also supporting the weight of your grow equipment. Metal poles will be strong enough to take the weight of your fans and lights.
- Choosing a tent with more access ports will give you more flexibility to position your equipment according to your needs.
- Make sure to choose a grow tent made of a strong rip-resistant fabric so that noise is reduced, odors won’t escape and pests will stay out of your crop
With these things in mind, you should be able to choose the right grow tent for you to allow you to maximize your yield and enjoy a high quality crop, as choosing the right grow tent is vital for any indoor cultivation operation.