When it comes to having a year-round garden, a grow tent can provide the enthusiast or the beginner with the ideal solution. Gone is the need to worry about the climate or crop-eating insects and pests.
What is a Grow Tent
A grow tent provides an extremely versatile way to cultivate crops like microgreens and it allows the grower to experiment with crops that could otherwise not be grown in their present outdoor climate. The tents allow the gardener to be in control of the growing environment and by adjusting light, ventilation, and temperature, some excellent results can be produced. The tents can be used in any indoor space as they come in different sizes and some tents are small enough to be used by those with minimal space on offer.
A Grow Tent is exactly as the description would suggest, it is a tent-like structure that allows for growing plants indoors. The tent is usually made from a canvas type of material which is usually polyester or nylon based. It is a robust structure with a reflective inner coating. Tents can be as large or as small as you want them to be and for those with limited indoor space, there will be a suitable size tent on offer. If you are hoping to set your tent up on a tight budget, this can also be achieved with careful planning and without compromising the quality of your crop. It is really not necessary to go for the most expensive option on offer as some of the cheaper versions can produce equally good results.
What Can you Grow in a Grow Tent?
The answer is that you can grow almost anything that will grow! Some use it to grow their own herbs or microgreens and find that they can have a steady year-round supply for their cooking. Tents can also be used to grow fruit and vegetables like tomatoes and increasingly popular use of the tents is for growing cannabis. Users of cannabis find that using a small tent set up can provide them with a sufficient supply for their own medical or recreational purposes, essentially a smaller version of what the commercial growers use.
The Tent Set-Up
When it comes to indoor gardening, using a grow tent really is one of the simplest options. It does not take a huge amount of research and even the most inexperienced can facilitate the set up to achieve some excellent products and yields.
The first thing that you must decide upon is the space that you have and within that space, how much of it could you turn over to a tent set up for your plants. Decide also on the yield that you wish to have, the smaller tents are often ideal for a yield of a particular product for personal use. If you have more space, you could choose to use more than one tent and even have more than one type of plant. Within the tent, we have to replicate the ideal growing conditions for the plant.
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As we have mentioned, the walls of the tent are made from a reflective material and so putting in a light source will offer plenty of light to replicate natural daylight. Lights come with a choice of options so be sure to check the option that will work best for your set up. You must also be able to provide your plants with heat. Remember that with heat, lighting and water comes the need to dehumidify, you will need to purchase a dehumidifier.
In order that you keep smells to a minimum, a carbon filter will be necessary. This is particularly important if you are growing cannabis as, more than likely, you would wish to keep the smell contained so as not to bother your family members or your neighbors. You will also need your growing equipment such as your trays or tubs and perhaps some netting.
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Types of Indoor Gardening
Grow tents allow you to set up multiple indoor gardening growing arrangements and you can choose your growing method. Crops can be grown in soil and they can also be grown without soil using as a system known as Hydroponics. Plants obtain their nutrients from the soil but in Hydroponic gardening, nutrients are provided via another medium into which plants dip their roots. There are different types of Hydroponic systems and supporters of this method claim that their yields and quality of crop are improved.
Aeroponics is another growing method, not dissimilar to hydroponics but instead of the roots feeding on a nutrient-rich solution, they are sprayed with the solution instead. It is really a matter of preference and trial and error to find a system that will work best for you. Each system comes with its advantages and disadvantages and it is recommended that you conduct your own research into the benefits of each.
The Importance of Using a Fan in your Grow Tent
One of the most important features of your grow tent is going to be your grow tent fan and attention is going to have to be given to its set up. Having a fan or multiple fans within your tent is essential, as, without it, your crops will not be able to grow effectively. The fan has to be there to provide good, steady air circulation for the crops and the positioning of your fan or fans is important so that you are providing air circulation throughout the entire tent.
Proper air circulation allows your crops to grow free from mold and other pests and the gentle breeze created by the fan mimics the breeze from out of doors and that is exactly what you are attempting to create, bringing the outdoor environment indoors. It is a gentle breeze that you are trying to create so your fan should provide that, not too strong a fan or you will damage your plants. Air should circulate your plants and therefore you may need to place fans at various points throughout your structure.
An environment where the air is continually moving keeps the leaves of the plants free from too much moisture and creates inhospitable conditions for mold, mildew and other pests. Even the stems of the plants can be strengthened by using the correct amount of circulation from a fan. It need not be a complex set up or for that matter an expensive one either and often a fan which is operated using a clip will do the trick and it may be the case that you could also place a fan on the floor.
Fans come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and generally are covered with a plastic or metal cage. The cost and size will vary and you will have to consider how many fans, you will need and their size. Obviously a larger tent set up will require a larger style of fan and some seasoned growers prefer to use multiple fans set at various points in their tent. Your fan will, of course, have to be set up in conjunction with the other equipment mentioned above.
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Focus on Cannabis
Growing cannabis plants need not be difficult but in order to obtain the best possible yields and the best possible quality of the plant, the optimal conditions for the plant need to be met. If you are a beginner, it is perhaps an idea to start off by cultivating a small amount. That way, you can confirm that you have all of your processes up to speed and it means that any mistakes will not then be too costly.
Remember to allow plenty of space inside the tent per plant. Cannabis plants can grow to quite a size. You must have the time and be prepared to check on your plants at least once per day and even more than that if you are an inexperienced grower. Remember too that a cannabis plant is a coveted variety of plants and therefore popular with thieves! A giveaway is the smell and so ensuring that the area around your tent is free from smells will not alert suspicion.
You must also consider your growing medium and choose the one with which you feel most comfortable, there is no right and wrong way to grow the plants and you will receive conflicting advice. It is always an idea to listen to the advice from experienced growers and choose the medium and method that you think will work best for you. As described above, you will be able to choose from the traditional method which uses soil to deliver the nutrients to the plant to the method of Hydroponics. Each has its benefits and each has its drawbacks but arguably using soil is the most forgiving of all methods and if you are a beginner, you may find that it is going to be your easiest option.
Hydroponics is certainly a good option and can produce yields in excess of the soil medium. In Hydroponics, plants absorb their nutrients by a process known as osmosis through a growing medium which could, for example, be set up using rock wool or pebbles. This method calls for much more calculated and precise work as you are responsible for setting up the nutrient supply. Importantly, you must always take care not to overwater your plants.
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Overwatering can lead to fungal type diseases that can ruin your entire crop. It will take time, patience and practice to obtain your own optimal process but once you have you will be rewarded for all of your efforts with healthy plants fit for purpose. Take time to research and read some of the information available to you and sift out what is going to be unhelpful, there is a lot of information out there and it need not be too daunting or overwhelming.
In summary, a Grow Tent is a great option for creating your indoor garden space, allowing you control of the environment for the plants and operated properly, you are able to obtain excellent crop yields.