How to Choose the Right Size Grow Tent

If you’re like me, you’re an indoor gardener, not a carpenter, so it doesn’t make sense to go drilling holes in to your walls and ceiling for light hangers and exhaust vents. So if you’re dying to grow (just like I was) a grow tent would be the best option for you: no drilling, no sizing, just setting up the tent and installing the equipment.

But before you go grabbing a grow tent you’ll first want to make sure you measure out your growing space.

Your growing space must include:

  1. The canopy of your garden
  2. Grow lights (both their size and the distance above your plants)
  3. Ventilation equipment (carbon filter, intake/exhaust fans, clip fans)
  4. Accessories and tools (reservoirs, pumps, soil, nutrients, shears, etc…)

Once you have your desired growing space you’re ready to start looking for a grow tent. You and everything vital to your garden need to fit in your grow tent comfortably, so let’s get started on figuring out how we can do just that:

Part 1: Planning Out Your Grow

Before setting up your dream grow tent for your future harvests, you’ll want to draw out a blue print of the growing area you think you’ll need, including a list of equipment. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but a nice visual always helps with the setup process. Make sure you have the following:

blue print diagram grow tent setup
Your blueprint doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be detailed enough to understand what/where everything is

Also make sure you know how much electricity you need to run your room. A standard home breaker has 15 amps and you should never max them out. Only use 80% of the breaker for electric surge prevention. Check the breaker for that room and make sure there are no useless appliances attached to it. You should have that breaker exclusively for your grow room. Consider purchasing a separate 100 amp sub panel if you need extra amperage for your setup. This is not only safe, but smart.

The last thing to consider before setting down your equipment is making sure you know what you’re going to do with your water run-off (soil) or refilling reservoirs for hydroponic systems. If you already have a sink in your grow area, consider installing an industrial sink. If your water is going to be supplied in another room, make steps to turn the process for throwing water waste and refilling easy on you.

Setting up a Grow Tent Area | Step by Step

Once you chose your location, dedicated an electric breaker, and figured your watering process…

  • Calculate the materials and costs for equipment and accessories (reference your blueprint).
  • Make sure the room is clear of anything you’re not using for your grow area. This means any furniture, curtains, pets, rugs, desks, etc..
  • Whether hydroponics or soil, set up the system and determine the spacing for your pots or buckets. Make sure you leave yourself enough room to work in and around them.
  • Designate a location for nutrients, spare grow light bulbs, pruning shears, and other accessories. I like to keep mine in a plastic storage container.
  • Find a spot in your grow area to put the grow tent. If you’re planning on exhausting or pulling air from an outside source (or both), consider a window or a crawl space from the roof. Place your grow tent near the exhaust/intake locations, this is an important thing to consider when you start installing your grow tent equipment.
unorganized grow tent
Don’t do this– Keeping a dirty Grow Area

What NOT to do in your Grow Area

It’s important to know what can punish your grow room. These are things that you should avoid at all cost to keep you from getting a headache during your grow season:

  • Keeping your grow tent and grow area dirty. Any trash and litter should be off the floor and away from your grow tent. Trash is a hotbed for potential pests to find a home in your grow tent and on your plants. Prevent any pest infestation by keeping a clean and tidy space.
  • Not being organized by cluttering your equipment and accessories. Cross contamination is a very common issue and you can be transferring some bad stuff if your used ducting touches your pruning shears that you use to snip off leaves. Do not leave clutter and junk laying around. Remove empty boxes and designate your grow equipment to keep things organized and safe.
  • Bringing outdoor equipment inside your grow tent. This means ladders, hoses, trash cans, or anything that’s stored outside. Keep it out of your grow area. You give outdoor pests, like spidermites, a chance to find its way into your grow tent and feasting on your plants. A common infestation that’s extremely difficult to destroy and manage are aphids. Don’t do this to yourself– keep outdoor equipment where it belongs, outdoors.

Once you decide on how you want to use your space, the next step is figuring out which grow tent will help you move forward into setting up the right grow tent.

The Small Square Base (32x32x63)

I love this grow tent, especially when you’re starting small (whether you want to or for necessity). It gives you more than enough venting options and can grow two mature plants which is roughly 4-5ft tall from the top of the grow pot. It has double line zippers for zero light leaks giving you complete darkness for your night time schedule.

From the diagram above, this grow tent includes the following:

  • 5x 6in. duct ports for intake and exhaust options.
  • 2x 4in. duct ports for cable, pipes, and wire management.
  • 3x streamlined rectangular air vents for easy air exchange and humidity control.
  • 1x pocket poach for easy access to common accessories like pruning shears, meters, and sunglasses.
  • 1x sealed window to watch your plants without disturbing the grow tent environment.
  • 3x beam roof supports for grow lights systems, carbon filter attachment, and any nice goodies you like to hang.

The 6″ ducting includes double draw string vent and duct holders. The top 6″ duct hole are usually used for exhausting. You either attach a fan at the top or run ducting through it from a fan that’s inside the grow tent. If you have an air cooled hood that you would like to run with an additional exhaust fan, you have the two 6″ duct holes at the top to do so. Just attach ducting on both sides of the air cooled reflector and install a fan on the other side.

Here’s a video that shows you how it looks to scale as well as setup. Keep in mind, this is an older grow tent that we used to carry, but most of the descriptions are still the same.

 Small Rectangular Base (48x24x60)

Because it is so slim, it fits better in wide closets (like ones with sliding doors). This particular grow tent is 48 inches wide, 24 inches in length, and 60 inches in height. With this grow tent, we recommend either fitting three full sized plants or 8 small plants (clones, herbs, early vegging growth, etc..).

This grow tent includes the following:

  • 3x 6in. duct ports for intake and exhaust options.
  • 2x 4in. duct ports for cable, pipes, and wire management.
  • 3x streamlined rectangular air vents for easy air exchange and humidity control.
  • 1x pocket poach for easy access to common accessories like pruning shears, meters, and sunglasses.
  • 2x sealed windows to watch your plants without disturbing the grow tent environment.
  • 4x beam roof support for grow lights, carbon filters, and other goodies you like to hang.
  • 2-Door front entrance to support the wide size.

I have personally used this grow tent for mothers and clones and it’s a solid addition to a grow room. As a standalone, you do not have as much customization because it only comes with 3x 6in. duct ports and none of them are towards the bottom for better intake quality.

 Medium Rectangular Base (48x48x78)

This grow tent is quite bigger than the previous two grow tents we went over. This grow tent is basically 4x4ft in length and 6.5ft tall. For this size grow tent, we recommend fitting 4 full size plants giving you room to work around. You can also fit 6, but that will be a snug fit. You can also fit 16 small sized plants that will grow no larger than 2 feet tall.

This grow tent includes the following:

  • 5x 6in. duct ports for intake and exhaust options.
  • 2x 4in. duct ports for cable, pipes, and wire management.
  • 3x streamlined rectangular air vents for easy air exchange and humidity control.
  • 1x pocket poach for easy access to common accessories like pruning shears, meters, and sunglasses.
  • 1x sealed windows to watch your plants without disturbing the grow tent environment.
  • 4x beam roof support for grow lights, carbon filters, and other goodies you like to hang.
  • 2 side doors (left and right) to easily work around your grow tent. Also works for optional entrances.

This is one of the most popular grow tents ever. The size is perfect for medium sized grow areas and plenty of customization to optimize your growing space. This is a popular grow tent because of the size. It’s not too small and not too big. The two side doors are an added bonus to the whole setup because it allows you to work on your plants without having to go through the front.

You can see it in action in this promo video we made for Yield Lab grow tents:

Large Rectangular Base (96x48x78)

This is one of the largest grow tents GrowAce.com has. This is a commitment for guaranteed larger yields. It’s basically 2x 48x48x78 Yield Lab Grow Tents rolled into one. Serious and dedicated growers know that it will take up most of your room in your grow area so prepare for it. This is 4x8ft in area and 6.5ft in height. For this monster sized grow tent it’s optimal for you to fit 8 full sized plants (4-5ft tall) comfortably. This will provide room to work in and around them. Or if you’re doing a SOG grow or smaller plants, you can fit about 25 small sized plants.

This grow tent includes the following:

  • 4x 8in duct ports for larger intake and exhaust options.
  • 2x 6in. duct ports for intake and exhaust options.
  • 4x 4in. duct ports for cable, pipes, and wire management.
  • 6x streamlined rectangular air vents for easy air exchange and humidity control.
  • 1x pocket poach for easy access to common accessories like pruning shears, meters, and sunglasses.
  • 2x sealed windows to watch your plants without disturbing the grow tent environment.
  • 4x beam roof support for grow lights, carbon filters, and other goodies you like to hang.
  • 2-Door front entrance to support the wide size.
  • 2-Door back entrance to easily get to all your plants.

This massive grow tent comes with maximum customization. You have way more duct ports to allow huge exhausting with 8in high output fans and large carbon filters. Huge open doorways to get to all your plants with no fuss. This is easily one of the best grow tents on the market for serious growers.

BONUS: This next video encompasses all the design options you can do in your grow tents. These are just what we recommend and are definitely not the end-all-be-all of setting up the perfect grow tent. Learn to experiment and have fun with it because it’s your grow room and you know what’s best for your plants. Enjoy!

We hope this post has helped you decide on which grow tent is best suited for your growing needs. Share this if you think it was helpful.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness

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5 thoughts on “How to Choose the Right Size Grow Tent

  1. Thanks for sharing this information. Your article is a very useful one, and I think your ideas are mind-blowing. I really enjoyed your post and I like your ideas more.

  2. Are 2 gallon pots ok for [plants only 2 foot tall and round?]. i normaly use 3 gallon but after when i check the roots its only the very thin roots showing not thick ones as you might expect.So does is sound like i only need 2 gallon pots to you?I look forward to your advice, Thanks.

    • Great question! In our experience, the size of your roots are more related to the nutrition the plant receives than the size of the pot it grows in (though that can be a contributing factor). If you’re not seeing the results you want, look at your nutrition.

      If you’re growing hydroponic plants , make sure you’re giving your plants all of the nutrition they need: no more, no less, as over- and under-feeding plants will stagnate their growth. If you’re growing in soil, make sure your soil has enough nutrition in it to give your plants plenty of nutrients for root growth (old, used soil lacking nutrients will give you slow growth). When your nutrition is spot on and you’re still not getting the root growth you want, you might want to look in to a root accelerator. These types of nutrients will help you get more roots and help the growth of all of your roots

  3. My tent is 24x24x48 and I have a 600 watt led grow light and I was wondering what’s a good size inline duct fan for this size tent.

    • Fantastic question! Shopping for the right size inline duct fan you’ll need for your grow tent is actually a lot easier than you’d think.
      Duct fans have two sizes on them: the duct size and the CFM size. The duct size has to do with the size of the ducting the fan is compatible with and the CFM (cubic feet per minute) corresponds with the area the fan can cover. Given the dimensions of your growing area I’d say you’d need something in the 4″ 190 CFM range. Getting a bigger fan will cause a vacuum of air in your grow tent, which you definitely don’t want.

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