In the past we’ve focused on grow tents: different brands, various sizes, looking at tents critically to help your garden thrive. But one big question we have to ask is, “Do you even need a grow tent to grow?”
As growers we know sometimes you don’t need to buy a more expensive tent for a better grow. Sometimes approaching your grow in a different way will be better for your garden. In this article, we’ll be going over the different ways you can house your plants to see what's best for you and your garden. We'll explain the advantages and disadvantages to using a grow tent
, converting your room into a grow, using a greenhouse, and growing outside in a natural setting to help you decide if you're housing your plants the right way or if it's time to make a change.
Closet/Indoor Grow Rooms
Lots of growers ask us, "Can't I use my closet to grow? I don't need a tent, do I?"
While you don't need a tent, you'll want to make sure of three things before converting your room: And
Are you allowed to grow in your space? When you use a closet or you deck out your entire living room, you first want to make sure that you can grow in your living space. For the most part, house plants like spider plants aren’t a problem for renters, but fruiting plants usually aren't allowed in rented spaces. They bring pests and can have scents that can stick to walls and carpets, so if you plan on growing flowering plants make sure you're safe to do so.
Do you have the ventilation you'll need? Next, you'll need to make sure you have proper ventilation in your growing space. Closets usually don't have windows so if you’re in an area with little access to fresh air you’ll have to get duct fans and ducting to get fresh air in and out of your garden, along with a couple of fans to help circulate air in there. Alternatively, if you want to use a room that has windows, you may be able to use only a couple of oscillating fans while leaving windows open to circulate air.
Can your breakers handle that much power? The last big hurdle to jump over is power. Each breaker in a house can only handle so much power, and depending on how many plants you're growing, how many lights you'll need, and all of the equipment you need to run your grow you might need a controller or a compressor to make sure your breakers can handle all that power.
There's a lot to consider when using a room or part of a room to grow, but if you and your home can handle it, why not use it
? There's nothing wrong with using what you have and investing your money into other things like genetics, better nutrients, or for all those electric bills you're going to come in to.
Now if you want to grow indoors but you can't exactly convert your room into a garden you'll want to use a grow tent. Assuming you have the room in your house or apartment for a grow tent you want to use, there are a few things you want to consider before setting it up:
Make sure your tent fits comfortably in the area you want to use it in- We can't tell you how many growers don't measure their rooms and end up buying a tent that's too big for them.
Make sure the area you want to use has access to power- We don't recommend using too many extension cords if you can help it. While there's certainly nothing wrong, you don't want to trip over any cords and accidentally short any piece of equipment you're working with.
Make sure you have time to work inside of your garden- More control means you may need to invest in more active equipment to get air in and out of your growing space versus rooms with windows that passively allow air in. You'll also need to invest more time and knowledge into controlling and combating environmental issues, like temperature and humidity fluctuations, mold prevention, and of course pest control in an enclosed environment.
When the time comes to pull the trigger and start growing, using a tent is a convenient way to keep your plants all in one place and control the environment they grow in. You'll have superior control over plants which results in a superior quality harvest compared to simple outdoor grown plants.
If you can’t grow indoors you have to take your plants outside, but growing outdoors has its set of challenges. When it comes to growing outdoors you have two options: growing in the dirt outside or you can grow in a greenhouse. Today we’ll focus on planting directly into the soil and using your own yard or plot of land as a garden. Growers who find themselves needing to plant their garden outside either grow plants that are too big to fit inside comfortably
or simply too many plants to fit indoors comfortably
. Those growing trees, flowering bushes, or growers with lots of medium-sized plants that have the potential to grow tall and bushy (like hemp) natural conditions can be beneficial to your garden. While these can definitely be grown inside, we’ve seen that large plants and large quantities of plants do well in outdoor conditions. In a natural setting you’ll likely have all the airflow you’ll need and all the light your plants can handle without spending a dime on extra equipment to get the job done. Compared to a room or tent that can have little to no proper ventilation, and weak or over-powered lighting, growing outside can give you plants your indoor setup might have trouble giving you. Here’s the tricky part: can you imagine a season where every single day was the same? Probably not, and that’s because there isn’t one. While conditions may stay in the same range from season to season, not every day will have the same amount of light (like cloudy days), airflow, available CO2, and pretty much any other aspect you can control inside. Aside from feeding, pruning, and pest control, you’re leaving your garden at the mercy of the elements which could be a good thing in the right conditions and bad in the wrong conditions. So if you plan on growing outside, expect few harvests each year. That is unless you use a greenhouse, and we'll be going over that tomorrow
Greenhouse Grow Rooms
So you’ve exhausted your options trying to get your garden growing: you can’t grow inside but outside’s not quite good enough for your plants, consider using a greenhouse. Whether you want to use supplemental equipment or you just want to use the elements to your advantage, a greenhouse can be the perfect solution to your growing needs. It's virtually like bringing a grow tent outside and growing plants with the power of the sun-
Unlike open-air growing, a greenhouse has the potential to keep environmental conditions instead of losing elements like heat or humidity to nature. Fill in growth gaps like lighting, temperature, and humidity by adding some supplemental equipment to your grow-
Not getting enough light or just want to give your plants a little extra as the sun sets? Hang an HID or LED grow light
above them! Temps rising or lowering too much? Adding a cooling, heating, or simple vent system in your greenhouse will give you the harvest you’re looking for but at a fraction of the energy cost as growing inside and with more precision than outdoor growing. Thinking about it, greenhouses sort of combine the best elements of growing outside and inside, so why haven’t more growers been doing so? Well… greenhouses aren’t the smallest things to put together. In fact, most quality greenhouses take a lot to put together. The easiest tents require lots of tarps that are often pretty heavy and takes a lot to roll over their big frames, whereas the more difficult greenhouses involve inserting window panes and some decent construction to pull off. If you’ve got the room in your backyard and the willingness to put in the work to construct a greenhouse, you have the potential to harvest plants all year round without paying all that money you do growing inside.