The Complete Guide to Grow Tents
Choosing a grow tent is one of the hardest (and most expensive) parts of building your dream grow room. It doesn’t help that there are literally thousands of grow tents on the market to choose from, and each one advertises all kinds of features. “Superior reflection” this, “Heavy-duty” that, and don’t get us started on brand names and prices.
It’s enough to give up your dream of the ultimate grow room before you buy your first plant. That’s where this guide comes in handy.
This guide will help you weed through all of the sales jargon and fluff to help you find the best grow tent for you and your plants. We’ve broken down everything you need to know to start building the grow room, from size to construction to those special features you’re always hearing about.
Grow Tents 101: The Basics
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of grow tents, it’s important to share with you three questions we hear every grower ask before they start shopping for one. They may seem basic, but they clear up a lot of confusion when it comes to what these tents are and how they can help you start getting the yields you want.
For starters, what is a grow tent?
Simply put, a grow tent is an enclosed space that’s used to grow plants. They help create the optimal space for plants to grow in while giving you much more control over your garden then, say, growing outdoors. A good tent will be able to insulate conditions like heat and humidity, and offer plenty of reflection for total light coverage around your garden- both being vital to quality harvests.
Why would you want to use a grow tent instead of just growing plants outside?
While it may be a lot more cost-effective to grow outside, growing outdoors isn’t 100% reliable. Some don’t even have the room to grow outside, so growing outdoors isn’t an option. An indoor grow tent is perfect for people in apartments or homes without yards that want to grow their favorite plants but don’t have space outside to do so.
Even if someone can grow outside, outdoor environmental conditions aren’t stable enough to guarantee quality results harvest after harvest. The weather can go all over the place at any time of year. That means fluctuating temperatures, humidity, and CO2 levels: all things needed for high-quality yields. Depending on the lighting and outdoor conditions from season to season, you’re also limited to the types of plants you can grow throughout the year. With a tent, those issues are pretty much eliminated.
Grow tents help give you control over your grow room’s environment, and a stable environment is critical to high-quality yields. Reflective material assures your plants get full light coverage the entire time your grow lights are on. The cover helps keep your garden’s temperatures and humidity levels insulated so they can grow in an environment that’s best for their growth. All in all, with a grow tent you have the ability to have full control over your garden’s environment.
How do you put these tents together?
Assembling a grow tent is pretty simple. All you have to do is connect the frame together and put the cover over the frame. Easier said than done, we know, but pretty much all tents go together the same way:
- Each frame pole connects into either a pole or a connector.
- Those poles and connectors come together to build the square/rectangular skeleton of your tent.
- The cover goes around the frame, then zips up to enclose your garden.
See? Three (somewhat) easy steps to assembling pretty much any plant growing tent on the market. Now, another part of assembling a grow tent is setting up grow lights and ventilation equipment for an optimal growing environment. There's lots to that, so while we can’t go over everything in this guide we’ve written extensively on those subjects, including:
- How High Should Your Grow Lights Be Above Your Plants?
- How Many Grow Lights Do You Need in Your Grow Room?
- Grow Room Temperatures: Inside & Out
These are just a few of the resources you’ll need once you’re growing in a tent. For now, we’ll begin our dive into grow tents by looking at everything you should consider when you’re looking for the best grow tent for you and your plants.
Name and price alone aren’t the most trustworthy traits to focus on when looking for a grow tent. Most up and coming tent manufacturers start by taking ideas from bigger tents brands around. It’s not uncommon to find a lesser-known, less expensive growing tent with similar– if not identical– traits to well-known, more expensive brands.
When you’re looking for a tent for your plants there are lots of features to take into consideration. While cost and even branding can be indicators of the quality of a tent, those two things alone don’t always mean you’re getting the tent you need.
Instead, we suggest looking into the construction of a tent to make sure it’s at the quality you and your plants need. Knowing how your tent’s made and what it’s made from will give you a better idea of how well it can help your plants grow. From insulating their environment to holding the equipment you need to grow - like your lights, fans, carbon filters, and grow pots- construction is vital in ensuring the success of your grows.
You’ll also want to keep in mind how many plants you’re trying to grow and space you have available for your tent. The amount and size of your plants will let you know how much room you’ll need to grow them. In the end, this will determine the potential size of your garden and its harvests each season.
In this next section here’s what we’ll be going over so you can find the right size, brand, and quality grow tent you’re looking for:
- Plant Count
- Space Available for Your Grow
- Tent Construction
The first important component to finding the right grow tent for your needs is to figure out what size you’re going to use.
To start, you’ll want to figure out how many plants you want to grow. You don’t want to buy a grow tent that’s too small for yield you want. At the same time, you don’t want to get a tent that’s unnecessarily big if you only want to grow a few plants.
An efficient way to calculate how many plants you can fit in your grow tent is by giving yourself about a 1-2 square feet per plant of room to grow. By doing this you can map out both how many plants you can fit in an area and how large of an area you need for the amount of plants you want to grow.
Not sure how that would work? Here’s a quick rundown of this rule in action:
- 2x2ft. Grow Tents- These can fit around 2 mature plants in 5-7 gallon pots.
- 2x4ft. to 3x3ft. Grow Tents- These tents can fit 2-4 plants in 5-7 gallon pots.
- 4x4ft. to 4x5ft. Grow Tents- These are able to fit 4-6 plants comfortably in 5-7 gallon pots.
- 5x5ft. Grow Tents- These tents can fit around 5-6 plants comfortably in 5-7 gallon pots.
- 6x6ft. to 7x7ft. Grow Tents- These grow tents can house 6-8 plants comfortably in 5-7 gallon pots lined.
- 8x4ft. Grow Tents- These grow tents can house up to 8-10 plants comfortably in 5-7 gallon pots.
- 8x8ft. to 9x9ft. Grow Tents- These can house around 14-16 plants comfortably growing in 5-7 gallon pots.
- 10x10ft and Larger Grow Tents- These can hold up to 30 plants comfortably that grow in 5-7 gallon pots.
Of course, there are exceptions to these rules. We’re sure you’ve seen tents crammed full of more plants than suggested here and some that are a lot less. Here are a few common deviations from the norm that can make these numbers a little uneven:
- Hydroponic flood tables will take up space in your grow tent and limit the amount of space you have around and above your plants.
- Growers can train plants to grow wide instead of growing tall, limiting the amount of room you have in between each plant.
- Some plants, like autoflowering plants, tend to stay smaller throughout their lives. In this case, you can fit 25-50% more plants inside of your growing space.
If you’re not sure how many plants you should grow and can’t figure out exactly what size you should grow with, that’s okay. You can make things easy on yourself and work with what you do know: how much space you have for a grow tent.
Figuring out how many plants you want to grow can be a little hard mathematically, so another great approach to figuring out what size tent you need is by looking at the space you want to use for your grow tent.
From bedrooms to closets, basements to garages, you have a limited amount of room to use a grow tent. That means you’ll want to maximize your growing space. When we’re thinking of maximizing the space you’ll use for growing, here are two questions you should ask yourself:
Will you be using a closet, an entire room, a basement, or a garage? Where you place your tent is almost as important as how you run the plants inside of it.
- A) Closets are usually smaller spaces of around 2x2ft. to 2x6ft. Grow tents from 2x2ft. to 2x4ft. would do great in most closets.
B) Rooms are a bit trickier because no two rooms are ever the same. Master bedrooms are bigger than guest rooms, living rooms are bigger than dens, and that’s before you take furniture into account.
If you’re going to use a room for your grow tent but you’d still like to use your furniture, we suggest setting aside an area of 5x5ft to work with. If you do that, you’ll be able to grow in a 3x3ft. to 5x5ft. grow tent.
- C) Basements tend to have a lot more open space than rooms, especially horizontal space. Smaller basements can utilize 4x6ft. tents and larger basements can fit wider 4x8ft. grow tents.
D) Garages may not be as big as basements, but they tend to have a lot more available space than most rooms in a house. Depending on if you use your garage for storage, we suggest going with 5x5ft. to 7x7ft. grow tents for a nice, even growing space.
How many tents are you going to use? This one may be a little advanced, but it’s a vital question for any grower to ask themselves. It may seem a bit confusing, but there are actually some good reasons why you would want to use more than one tent in a growing space:
Plant Segregation: The sex of some plants, like cannabis, will determine the type of material you want harvested. Female cannabis plants, for example, produce the buds that are used medicinally, whereas males produce material for hemp fiber. If a female plant is pollinated by a male plant the result is seeds, which is great for breeding and plant production, but detrimental to bud production. If you’re concerned with cross pollination, you may want to consider growing in separate tents.
- Growing Clones and Mature Plants at the Same Time: Clones and mature plants- vegging ones, at least- may run on the same light schedule but they definitely can’t take the same amount of power. If you have the need to grow clones and mature plants back to back, consider growing clones in a small tent, using a T5 outside of your tent, or using a multi-chamber grow tent like the Yield Lab 2-in-1 Full Cycle Reflective Grow Tent.
- Growing, Vegging and Flowering Plants at the Same Time: Giving too much light to a plant during the flowering stage will stunt a plant’s growth. Not giving plants enough light during the vegging stage will cause them to be leggy and weak. If you have the need to veg and flower at the same time, you’ll find the safest way to do that is growing in two separate tents. A multi-chamber grow tent would also work for this application, so long as the wall separating each chamber is lightproof.
Of course, if you just want to grow from seed to harvest without multi-tasking, taking it one season at a time with a single grow tent is the way to go.
Once you know how large of a tent you need, you’re ready to start getting into the critical stuff: what your grow tent’s made of and how it’s put together.
From the frame to the cover and to extras, the more information you have about how a tent’s made and what it’s made of, the better decision you’ll be able to make for your garden.
The frame of a tent will hold its cover in place, and more importantly will hold the weight of your grow lights and your ventilation equipment (fans, carbon filters, lightweight CO2, etc) safely over your plants.
The difference between a high-quality frame and a poorly constructed one all comes down to its individual components. Here’s what you should be looking out for:
Are the tent’s connecting poles made of metal or plastic? Don’t be fooled: there’s good plastic and bad plastic, strong metal and weak metal. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, as well as its levels of quality.
Metal frames tend to keep their shape much better than plastic frames. Each pole isn’t thicker than 1mm, yet they can hold a surprising amount of weight. Gorilla Grow Tent frames, for example, tout a 300 lb. weight limit. Even better, each pole of a Yield Lab Grow Tent frame is made to hold up to a whopping 110lbs.
Metal frames tend to outlast plastic ones, though if they’re not coated with a rust proof finish they will eventually snap. When that happens it can send your equipment crashing down onto your plants, ruining your crop and your growing equipment.
Plastic frames are much lighter than metal frames and can still hold a good amount of weight (around 100-150 lbs. total). Plastic poles tend to be thicker than metal poles, but they’ll still be the same weight as- if not lighter than- their metal counterparts. They’re also inherently rust proof, so the only thing you have to worry about are the poles bending and breaking.
Though they may not rust, they will bow, and bowing can lead to breaking. Bending poles will also cause your lights and equipment to hang lower to your plants, which can have negative effects on their growth.
- Standard (or tapered) poles and connectors make assembly super simple. You just slide each tapered pole into its connector, put all those together, and you’ve got your frame. Look for a tent with poles that offer a deep taper so that if bending occurs over time your poles won’t slip out of their connectors and each other.
Button-locked poles are poles that connect by sliding into each other and locking in place with a metal button. These are offer a more secure hold than tapered poles, but only if they’re of good quality. Poorly made button-lock poles have buttons that won’t lock or unlock when needed, which can lead to poles slipping out of each other and ruining your equipment and garden.
- Metal connectors offer a more permanent shape and hold over plastic connectors. Just make sure they’re rust-proof, because moisture loves to collect in corners and you don’t need connectors rusting on you.
Plastic connectors are super lightweight, which makes the frame that much lighter and easier to assemble. Well constructed plastic connectors rarely break, and if they do they’re very inexpensive to replace.
A grow tent’s cover is just as important as its frame. Without a quality cover your tent will let light leak into your plants when they’re supposed to be in darkness (the best way to hinder growth), and most importantly, won’t keep your garden insulated.
A good quality cover and a bad one will be pretty difficult to spot just by looking at it, so here are some aspects you should look into when looking for your perfect grow tent:
- Is this cover made of Oxford Cloth or Canvas? The material your cover’s made out of will make all the difference between a quality grow and a struggling one. From the breathability of the material to its tear-resistance, it’s important to understand what’s going to work for you and more importantly, what’ll work best for your plants.
- Oxford Cloth is a fabric that’s wrinkle-resistant, waterproof, and tearproof. Oxford material has a special double-weave that allows for an overall thicker and rougher material than other covers. This keeps your grow room insulated better than single-weave fabrics like cotton. It also adds to the water-resistance, tear-resistance, and helps fight against wrinkles that can have adverse effects on the way light’s reflected onto your plants from the inside of your tent.
Canvas is a tough fabric that’s usually woven with other materials to make it tough and water resistent. Canvas ranges from a thick 210D all the way to a heavy duty 1680D (“D” stands for “denier” which describes the thickness of the threads used in the material). But the stronger the material the heavier it’s going to be, and most canvas for tents is closer to the 1680D range. That means these are usually heavier than Oxford, and that can make assembly a little harder.
- Hammered reflective material allows for light to hit multiple points on the walls, ceiling, and floor and reflect it onto your plants. This material offers a soft yet intense reflection of light compared to diamond mylar. Brands like Yield Lab offer hammered material so that your plants can get all the light they need without being overwhelmed on all side
Diamond reflective material gives your plants the maximum amount of intense light reflection of all reflective materials. Brands like Gorilla Grow Tents and LAGarden ultilize diamond mylar for its intense reflection. It’s so intense, however, that it can cause more hotspots across your canopy than hammered material. When using diamond mylar, be sure to keep an eye on plants to assure they’re not unevenly lit.
- Zipper Material is vital for a quality zipper. The pull, the teeth, and the fabric the zipper is attached to should be thick enough to not break or warp from daily use. If the tent doesn’t have heavy duty zippers all around the tent, stay away.
- Single vs Multiple Zippers-There are advantages and disadvantages to having one or two zippers on a tent:
- A single zipper allows for maximum insulation. However, a single zipper makes getting to your plants a little inconvenient and as the potential to mess with your plant’s environment the most.
- Multiple zippers make it super easy to get in and out of your growing space. They have the potential to let tiny amount of air out if not completely sealed, so you may need to keep an eye on environmental conditions with multiple zipper tents.
- External Pull vs Internal/External Pull- If you’re spending more than 10 minutes in your garden at a time, having an internal pull and the ability to close your tent from the inside is beneficial. You won’t be effecting too much of your grow room’s temperature and humidity levels with the door closed.
- If you’re only spending a few minutes in your garden, external pulls will work just fine because you can leave your door open without effecting your grow room environment too much.
- Threading and Thread Thickness: If you can’t see threads, chances are it’s either sewn with the wrong size thread or the stitching is too close together. Both of these can weaken the strength of the cover’s material.
- Stray/Loose Threads: Too many stray threads shows a lack of detail in stitching. You don’t want your tent literally falling apart at the seams, especially in the middle of a grow.
- Airflow Vents sit toward the bottom of a tent so that air can flow freely into the tent without help from a duct fan, and are covered in mesh to ensure pests and debris can’t enter your garden unwanted.
- Duct ports and airflow vents should be located on the bottom and tops of the walls. This will make airflow into and out of your growing area much more efficient.
- Grow tents should have as many duct ports and air vents as needed to effectively keep the environmental conditions of your grow room. Too few and you can’t run equipment or keep a stable environment; too many and you run the risk of letting air out or harmful pests in.
- It’s common to have 1x 8”, 6”, or 4” duct port and 1x 12” rectangular airflow vent per 2ft of wall, and 2-4x duct ports with 2x airflow vents for the back. This seems to be the amount necessary, as manufacturers from Yield Lab to Gorilla Grow Tents have these setup’s.
Extra’s/Add on’s- Some tents offer extra add-on’s that may or may not be necessary for your grow room. If a grow tent offers extras make sure they make sense with your grow room, budget, and overall needs as a grower. Here are a some examples of grow tent extras we’re seeing these days:
- A) Shelf Racks- These racks are used to turn one growing space into two or more. These shelves are beneficial for clone growers who want to grow multiple tears of plants with low hanging lights.
- B) Height Extensions- Some tents have the option to extend the height of their tent as much as 3 extra feet just by adding an easy-to-fit ceiling extension.
- C) Trellis Netting/Racks- These help you train your plants to grow outward in order to help open your plants up to receive more light.
- D) Grow Tent Windows- These definitely come in handy. Growers don’t need to pop into their gardens as often if they can look at their plants through a window. This limits the amount of times you open your tent, which will bring unwanted air and particles into your growing space that your grow room needs to adjust to.
- E) Flood Trays- If you’ve got a flood tray you don’t have to worry about any leaks or spills flooding outside of your tent in case of an emergency. They’re also an extra source of grow light reflection for the bottom of your plants.
- F) Tool Pockets- These simple but incredibly handy pouches are found on the inside wall of grow tents. You can stash small grow room tools like trimming shears, pH and PPM meters, and small bottles of nutrients in them so you don’t have to always bring them into your tent every time.
What the Experts Recommend
Now that you know the size grow tent you need and you know what to look for in terms of its construction, it’s time to make a decision and get the right tent for you. Even with all the right information, it can be tricky to figure out what size and brand you should go with, so here’s a quick guide on what our expert growers recommend for at-home growers:
Greatest Overall Grow Tent (Editor’s Choice)- Yield Lab Grow Tents- Now if you’re looking for a high quality tent but can’t really afford to drop A1 money on an indoor grow tent, then Yield Lab Grow Tents will give you the best bang for your buck. Here are just a few reasons why:
- Heavy duty, lightweight poles can hold up to 110 lbs. each.
- 210D Oxford Cloth is a heavy duty material that’s thicker than most grow tents on the market. It may not be as thick as premium tents like Gorilla Grow Tents, but it’s heavy duty enough for your needs and isn’t overly heavy like premium brands.
- Hammered reflective surfaces give you softer but effective grow light reflection.
Each Yield Lab tent offers these helpful extras
- Viewing windows
- Sewn-in tool pouches
- Reflective flood trays
Yield Lab growing tents have the best components in its class- like tent poles, reflective material, and covers- compared to cheap, less expensive tents. At the same time, they offer you almost every extra- like viewing windows, high-capacity tent poles, and tool pouches- the more expensive tents do. All this without tacking on a huge price tag is why lots of expert and pro growers are growing with Yield Lab Grow Tents.
Best Premium Grow Tent- Gorilla Grow Tents- If you’re looking for a premium grow tent that’s pretty much indestructible, you’re going to want to go with a Gorilla Grow Tent. When it comes to the tent with the most features, Gorilla Grow Tents are the most top-of-the-line tents around. Here’s why:
- Thick steel poles that hold up to 300 lbs.
- 1680D heavy-duty canvas cover
- Diamond reflective surfaces give you intense light reflection
- Optional height extensions
Note: Before purchasing one of these premium grow tents, ask yourself if it’s worth the money you’re spending on it. Gorilla Grow Tents have some of the best tent features around, but all those features come at a cost:
- More features = higher cost, around 1.5-2x higher than tents on the market.
- Heavy-duty components are physically heavy. Are you sure you’re able to set one of these heavy tents up by yourself? If not, what will it take for you to get this up and running in your growing area?
- High capacity tent poles and heavy-duty covers are helpful, but are they necessary? Do you have so much equipment you need such strong poles, or could you go with lighter poles? If so, Gorilla offers a LITE version of most of their tents that are a little more affordable and come with lighter-weight construction. Check out their like of Gorilla LITE Line Grow Tents.
The Best Tents for Multi-Stage Growing- Yield Lab Grow Tents & Secret Jarden Grow Tents- Whether you want to grow clones and flowers at the same time, veg some of your plants while flowering the rest, or segregate your plants into two rooms, multi-chamber grow tents offer 2x separate grow rooms all in one tent.
Two of the most trusted brands of grow tents for multi-task growing are Yield Lab and Secret Jardin:
- Yield Lab created an entire line of multi-chamber plant growing tents known as their 2-in-1 Full Cycle grow tents. They took all of the aspects you need in a multi-chamber tent (multiple lightproof chambers, clone racks, etc..), improved on them, and made one of the most durable yet affordable lines of multi-chamber grow tents around.
- Secret Jardin was one of the first to come onto the scene with a quality multi-chamber tent, named the Lodge. Being one of the originals, they’re built a reputation as an authority on multi-chamber tents. Check out their line of Secret Jarden Lodge grow tents.
Note: If you’re interested in perpetual harvests or breeding plants, here are a few sizing suggestions to give you an idea of what’s possible in these tents:
- 3x2ft. Multi-chamber Grow Tents can house around 2-3 mature plants in their main chamber and either 2x 10x20in. trays of clones/seedlings or 1-2 vegging plants in the secondary chamber.
- 4x3ft. Multi-chamber Grow Tents can house around 3-4 mature plants in their main chamber and either 3-4 10x20in. trays of clones/seedlings or 2-3 vegging plants in the secondary chamber.
- 5x4ft. Multi-chamber Grow Tents can house around 4-6 mature plants in their main chamber and either 3-4 10x20in. trays of clones/seedlings or 2-3 vegging plants in the secondary chamber.
The Best Tents for People Growing Tall Plants- Gorilla Grow Tents- Experts agree that Gorilla Grow Tents are the best tents to use if you’re growing tall plants. While most grow tents top out around 6ft., the high extensions offered with most of their tents gives you a 7ft. height, perfect for trees and tall flowering plants.
If you’re working with plants that grow over 6ft. tall, make sure your ceiling is adjustable to compensate for the extra room you’ll need. There are two aspects growers need to keep in mind when it comes to growing tall plants:
Plant Count- Because tall plants need extra room to grow, consider reducing your plant count by 1-2 plants per 2sq.ft. For example:
- If you’re using a 2x2ft. space that could fit 2 plants, consider growing only 1 tall plant.
- If you’re using a 4x4ft. space that could fit 4 plants, consider growing 2-3 plants.
- Extendable Ceiling- Plants need room between themselves and grow lights to make sure they don’t burn or get bleached by your light. That’s a pretty tough job if your plants grow a lot taller than normal plants.
- Plant Count- Because tall plants need extra room to grow, consider reducing your plant count by 1-2 plants per 2sq.ft. For example:
Note: If you’re not growing palm trees or in the process of growing huge stocks of industrial grade hemp, chances are you don’t really need a higher ceiling. Most veggies, flowers, and medicinal plants don’t grow over 5 feet or so. You don’t need ceiling height extensions for most plants you’ll grow indoors.
Best Grow Tents for Unusual Spaces- Secret Jarden Grow Tents- The thing about growing indoors is that you don’t always have the ideal spot to grow. Sometimes you have a couple of feet to work with in your room, sometimes you have a virtual warehouse worth of space you want to fill with a grow tent.
When you’ve got an awkward shaped growing area and you need a grow tent that’ll work for it, Secret Jardin has both standard and off-sizing. Here’s a few examples:
- The Secret Jardin Dark Room Twin 90 v2.5 (3' x 3 'x 7') is a skinny tent that’s good for tall closets or tucked in the very corner of a packed bedroom.
- The Secret Jardin Cristal Room 60 (2' x 2' x 2') is shaped like a camping tent and is made for growing your clones pretty much anywhere in any room you have.
- The Secret Jardin Dark Room 600 Wide v2.6 (20' x 10' x 6 2/3') has an insane amount of space for those who need huge production all in one place.
Note: Though there is a Secret Jardin growing tent for any setup, pay close attention to the details of each grow tent. Some grow tents, like the Dark Street and Dark Propagator tents for example, only have 2x duct ports versus the Dark Room series of tents that offers the same amount of duct ports as any other grow tent around.
Best Budget Grow Tents- LAGarden Grow Tents- Let’s face it: sometimes your grow room dreams and your wallet don’t always line up. That’s okay. Though you may have to scale back your expectations, there’s no reason to leave your plants without a home if you can help it.
Whether your budget was geared toward equipment instead of a grow tent, or your budget’s not too high to begin with, you’ll be able to find a reliable tent with LAGarden Grow Tents. They’ve got pretty much every popular style of tent there is (multi-chamber, propagation, standard, etc) and they offer them for around 50-75% of the price of more expensive, big name tents.
Note: Though LAGarden does a great job at mimicking other tents on the market, the quality isn’t as great as their higher-priced counterparts. For example, LAGarden grow tents won’t fall apart at the seems or leak light. However, you may be limited as to the equipment you use because their tent poles can only carry around 88lbs each. Still, for the price you get these tents at, a little sacrifice and rethinking of your grow room will go a long way.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know we just went over a bunch of information with you, so kudos for making it this far. To us, frequently asked questions are the best part of any article. It gives us a chance to give you the answers to important questions you’ve been meaning to ask, and even some you didn’t.
There are a lot of advantages to using a grow tent to grow your garden, and with it come a whole host of questions. Don’t worry, our expert growers have the answers so you don’t have to scour the net for them:
"How do Grow Tents Work?" Grow tents work by utilizing their frame and cover to create the perfect environment for your plants to grow in.
- The frame creates the structure for your entire growing area. It’s what keeps your cover up and surrounding your plants, and it’s what keeps your lights and ventilation equipment hanging safely and securely above your plants.
- The cover is what really helps keep your plants growing. Reflective material inside helps ensure your plants are surrounded by light whenever you turn them on. This ensures you get an even spread of light all around your plants all day, instead of only receiving partial light throughout the day outside.
- Your cover also helps keep your plants’ environment stable. Heavy-duty cloth helps keep warmth and humidity inside. Adjustable duct ports and air vents help you regulate air coming into and out of your garden. Some covers even have viewing windows to look at your plants without disturbing their environment by opening the doors and letting air and humidity out.
"Can I use one tent to grow clones and mature plants at the same time?" Yes and no. This one’s a little tricky because when we say “mature” plants, we should really specify whether those mature plants are vegging or if they’re flowering.
- All plants go through a vegging stage, even when they’re clones and seedlings. That said, while it’s common to light clones pretty much all day, you can absolutely use the same tent to veg very young plants all the way up to flowering plants.
Now, if you have to flower mature plants at the same time as growing seedlings and clones, that’s another story. Flowering plants need much less light than clones and seeds, so to pull off growing them at the same time you’re going to need either a multi-chamber tent or two tents:
- If you’re interested in only using one tent, a multi-chamber grow tent will allow you to flower mature plants in one chamber and grow clones in the other.
- If multiple tents aren’t a problem, tents like the Yield Lab 32" x 32" x 24" Reflective Grow Tent that are big enough to fit 1-2 entire cloning trays and a vegging LED while being small enough to fit in virtually any grow tent.
"Where should I set up my grow tent?" The easy answer to this is setting it up wherever you have room. But just because you have the room for a tent in your home doesn’t mean it’s in the best place for your plants. Now, while there’s no one place in your home to put a grow tent, here’s some key aspects of what your grow tent will need: Plenty of Access to Electricity: A grow tent is useless without the equipment it takes to grow plants. None of that equipment works without electricity, so make sure wherever your grow tent is set up there’s access to power outlets capable of handling all your equipment.
Airflow Access: It’s not the best idea to recycle the stale air in your grow tent, so you’ll need to have access to plenty of air. The ability to get fresh air in and out of your growing area is super important, so make sure wherever your tent is you have access to fresh air. A great spot to consider placing your tent is near a window if possible, as you’ll be able to both bring in fresh air from outside and push bad air outdoors.
- Airflow Access: It’s not the best idea to recycle the stale air in your grow tent, so you’ll need to have access to plenty of air. The ability to get fresh air in and out of your growing area is super important, so make sure wherever your tent is you have access to fresh air. A great spot to consider placing your tent is near a window if possible, as you’ll be able to both bring in fresh air from outside and push bad air outdoors.
"Can I use my grow tent outside?" While you technically could use an indoor grow tent outside, it’s not advisable for a few reasons:
- Little or no access to electricity- Unless you run extension cords all the way to your tent outside, you won’t really have much access to electricity for all of your growing equipment. A generator could work, but with the amount of time you’ll need to run it (at least 8-12 hours a day) that option becomes more of a burden than a benefit.
Fluctuating Weather Conditions: Not only will your garden need to maintain its environment inside the tent, it’ll have to fight conditions outside of the tent, like moisture, extreme heat and cold, and bouts of wind to name a few. When you subject them to harsh conditions, it makes it much harder to do its job at keeping your plants healthy and safe.
"Can I use a grow tent in my garage or shed?" You absolutely can! In fact, most people who want to grow more than 6 plants will set up shop in their garages or outdoor sheds. You’ll just need to keep your garage or shed’s temperature in mind.
- Outdoor temperatures will play a role in plant growth. Your plants are going to face some dramatic conditions and you’ll need to be able to compensate for those conditions. For example, during the winter months the cold air can bring temperatures way down when lights are off, and that can hinder growth if left unchecked.
- If you want to grow in your garage or a shed, make sure you have the equipment and know-how to keep temperatures in check whenever the weather changes.
"Can I use a grow tent in my basement or attic?" Yes you can. Much like growing in a garage or a shed, your grow tent may have to fight extreme weather conditions. Being part of the main house, though, they won’t have to fight too hard. Just make sure that you have enough heat coming into the growing area when it’s cold, and plenty of airflow and air circulation during the hot months.
"How many grow lights can I fit in a tent?" Now this is a little bit of a tricky answer, because the number of lights you can put in a grow tent and how many you should have in there are two different things.
When it comes to putting grow lights in your grow tent, you have to think about their strength and their coverage area. You don’t want to get grow lights that aren’t strong enough to give your plants enough light. At the same time, you don’t want to overwhelm your plants with too much light just because you can fit them in your growing area.
So to answer your question, even though you can fit as many lights as space will allow, you should only put as many grow lights in a grow tent that will safely and effectively grow your plants. Don’t worry, just click here and we’ll show you how to calculate how many grow lights you should put in your grow tent.
"How do you keep a grow tent cool?" Excellent question! Most grow tents offer passive ways to keep your grow tent cool and active ways to cool your garden, too. Here’s what we mean:
- Passive Airflow- When air’s allowed to freely flow into your grow tent, we call that passive airflow. Technically, if it has an opening that allows air to enter a tent it’s passive. You can let air into and out of your grow tent by unzipping the doors or leaving duct ports open, but that usually brings in and lets out too much air. That’s why you’ll usually find airflow vents at the bottom of a tent.
Active Airflow- Active airflow uses fans to bring fresh air into and push stale air out of your tent. With the heat and humidity in your grow tent, you’ll need more than natural air drifting in cooling things down and keeping conditions at optimal levels. You’ll want to have a high output fans bringing air into your tent through duct ports, and fans pushing unwanted air out of your tent through another duct port.
Air also needs to be pushed around your grow tent. Using smaller fans to circulate air throughout your tent will keep temperatures where they need to be.
Note on A/C’s- It should also be noted that A/C’s will keep tents cool when these options aren’t giving you the results you’re looking for. However, these should be used seldomly as they can be powerful enough to drop temperatures to undesired levels.
- Note on A/C’s- It should also be noted that A/C’s will keep tents cool when these options aren’t giving you the results you’re looking for. However, these should be used seldomly as they can be powerful enough to drop temperatures to undesired levels.
"How do I clean a grow tent?" Thankfully when it comes to grow tent you have a lot of water-resistant material to work with, which makes cleaning pretty easy. It’s unrealistic to expect you to clean your tent intensely every couple of weeks, especially during a grow cycle. That’s why when it comes to cleaning your grow tent we suggest doing a weekly once-over and a seasonal deep cleaning:
Weekly Once-Over- This will be really simple work to do each week so you don’t risk having to do big cleaning every month, which will be a huge pain
- Sweep dirt, fallen leaves, and debris at least once a week, especially if you enter your grow tent often (you don’t always know what you’re bringing in with you).
- Wipe down and dry any surfaces with moisture, and don’t forget to get deep into corners where mold can come in.
- Dust air vents and duct ports (especially unused ports), and check duct socks to avoid moisture and/or dust collection on and inside them.
Seasonal Deep Cleaning- Deep cleanings need to be done after every 1-2 harvests before you start a new grow.
- Bug Bomb (Optional, but recommended)- This is to assure there are no bugs hiding in their growing space. If you do this, break down your tent to thoroughly wipe down the inside cover, all tent poles, and their connectors after you finish.
- Wash and dry all mylar surfaces, as well as your duct ports and air vents. You can do this with disinfectant soap and water.
- Lift all seams and make sure there are no bugs and/or eggs hiding under any of them. If they are, use a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol to kill pests, then a wet rag to get rid of dead bugs and whatever they leave behind.
- Wipe down all surfaces and tent poles and ensure they’re completely dry before reassembling.
- Weekly Once-Over- This will be really simple work to do each week so you don’t risk having to do big cleaning every month, which will be a huge pain