Chances are, you’re reading this article to help you get started growing indoors with a grow tent. While it might look complicated at first, understanding how each component works will help you make an informed decision on how to start growing indoors. While some say there are a lot of considerations, this article narrows it down to the essential points to help you get started.
What Makes a Good Indoor Grow Tent?
When choosing a grow tent, you need to look intoa few points. The first thing to look at is the material used for the tent. It should handle heavy loads, such as grow lights, auxiliary fans, and other equipment you need. The outer fabric should deter bugs and other pets that may try to attempt to enter your tent.
The zippers of the tent should be of high quality. You don’t want something that gets stuck or doesn’t lock properly. The zipper should also prevent light from penetrating, which can disrupt light cycles inside.
Next, the grow tent should have an excellent reflective material inside, ideally 100 percent reflective. The reflective surface plays a crucial role in light distribution, ensuring balanced lighting coverage inside the tent.
Third, a good grow tent must have good accessibility. That means being able to access the farthest corners without moving things and have adequate windows that let you peek inside without opening the zippers. Ideally, a 360-degree wrap works for better access.
Lastly, there should be enough ports for the grow tent. These ports serve as exhaust and intake points for air circulation. There should also be ports to help you run your electricity cables.
Choosing a Tent Size
The first thing you need to set up aGrow Tent for your home is choosing a tent size. The size of your grow tent will be the basis of the whole setup, as the number of plants and the grow lights you choose will revolve around the floor area of your tent, which depends a lot on how much space in your home you can devote.
Unless you live in a house with a lot of space to spare, you’re likely to be limited toa smaller grow tent. The typical sizes that home growers choose range anywhere between 2 x 2 feet and up to 4 x 4 feet if you have that luxury of space, such as a dedicated room or area in the basement.
How Many Plants Will You Be Growing?
The number of plants you plan to grow inside your grow tent is another factor to consider. As plants have different sizes when they grow, your mileage will vary here. But to give you an idea of how much you can grow, let’s look at cannabis as an example.
Growing cannabis has different styles, depending on the desired results. Some grow tall, while other go for a sea of green inside the grow tent. And it would be best if you had proper spacing, too, for better growth. Now, to give you an idea of how much you can grow in a grow tent, you need at least:
- 0.25 square feet for a screen of green
- 0.75 square feet for topping
- 2 square feet for topping
- 1 square foot for a sea of green
- 2 – 4 square feet for medium grows
If you have a 2 x 2 feet grow tent, you can do 16 plants for a Screen of Green, five plants for topping, four plants for a Sea of Green, two plants for Low-stress Training, and one plant for medium grows.
Choosing Grow Lights
Selecting a grow light for your grow tent starts with the footprint coverage, which should be the same as the floor area of your tent. But it does not end there. You’re likely to encounter different spectrums and different types of fixtures.
When it comes to spectrums, you’re going to encounter three: vegetation, flowering, and full spectrum. Vegetation and flowering spectrum grow lights are often cheaper individually but allow better footprint coverage inside the grow tent.
Full-spectrum, meanwhile, combines the two but would often have limitations when it comes to footprint coverage. Usually, its capacity for the vegetation stage would be wider than its flowering footprint. If a grow light has a 3 x 3 footprint for the vegetation stage, it’s most likely to have only a 2 x 2 footprint for the flowering stage. It’s up to you which one will be a better option, especially when you’re starting.
For types of fixtures, two of the most popular grow lights are the LED and HPS lights. While it is tempting to cut corners and get any off-the-shelf light bulb and hang it inside the grow tent, these fixtures do not have the ideal spectrum for a grow light.
To help you decide,HPS grow lights are great, significantly when increasing yields from your plants. They are also more affordable than LEDs, but they need more power, ventilation, and a shorter life span.
LEDs, meanwhile, have better energy efficiency, run cooler, and have an impressive lifespan. The yields are pretty remarkable, although they aren’t always better than what you get with HPS fixtures. On top of that, LEDs also cost more than HPS lights.
Just as important, you should also know how high you shouldhang your grow lights. Since HPS emit more heat, they must have enough vertical clearance to prevent your plants from getting burned. Thus, if the grow tent you have doesn’t have enough clearance, you might be better off going for LEDs since they allow for lower hanging.
When choosing a grow light, also look for those that feature timers and dimmers to automate the activation of the grow lights, much like how the sun rises and sets during each day.
Other Things To Consider
You need to give attention to other factors when it comes to setting up your grow tent. First of all, the humidity levels in your grow tent should be ideal for the plant you are growing. Plants have different humidity requirements, which is why you need to check the ideal levels for your plants. For example, cannabis needs no more than 70 percent humidity in the vegetation stage and no less than 40 in the flowering stage.
A hygrometer helps you track humidity levels in your grow tent. To help you adjust humidity, invest in humidifiers to get the ideal levels.
Temperature management is also essential, as to grow tents are enclosed structures. Plants also thrive within ideal temperatures, which is why you need to keep track with a thermometer inside. Some hygrometers also feature thermometers, which will be handy.
Considering what you need to know, growing inside a grow tent isn’t as complicated as some might think. Once you get the hang of how each component works, you’ll be growing indoors like a pro.