by Travis C | Jan 31, 2022 | Blog, Grow Tips, Growing, Legalization, Medical Marijuana, Science & Technology
Growing indoors is a great way to protect your plants from the conditions of the outdoors. But finding the right spot for your plants inside without a specific space set aside can be difficult.
With an indoor grow tent, not only can you grow your plants indoors in a secure space. A grow tent also gives you even more control over the environment your plants will grow in throughout their cycle.
Choosing an indoor grow tent
When choosing a grow tent, the main factors are the size and features. An average indoor grow tent will be 4′ x 4′ x 6.5′, which is a great compact size that still allows for optimal growth due to the height allowance.
To make everything easier, look for a grow tent with adjustable ports for vent fans/ducting, screened vent panels, and an adjustable power cord port. Growing in a tent will still require HVAC and lighting, and you don’t want to have to cut holes out yourself and risk tears that can lead to light leaks or temperature fluctuations.
The Lighthouse 2.0 Controlled Environment Tent is the perfect all in one tent, with all the above mentioned features. It also comes in a 4′ x 8′ x 6.5′ size for a wider area allowing more plants.
There are also smaller and even larger options for indoor grow tents. However it all depends on the size of your space, how many plants you want to grow and how much energy you’ll be able to provide through supplemental lighting and ventilation.
Once you have chosen your grow tent, it is time to get it set up.
Setting up your grow tent
Setting up an indoor grow tent is easier than setting up IKEA furniture, but it’s not always as easy as snapping a few corners and velcro together. Some grow tents might be made easy to assemble, while others have poles and joints that must be connected through the fabric of the tent to hold it up.
But we’re going to focus on setting up the tent once the frame has been built. This mainly involves setting up your lighting and ventilation using the vent ports and the support poles at the top of the tent.
In a smaller grow tent, air circulation can be taken care of easily with some clip on fans in the corners of the tent. However, additional ventilation like a carbon filter will need to be fed in through a vent port and supported if hanging in the tent.
This can include the carbon filter itself, plus an inline fan, tubing and the needed hardware. Ensuring that your carbon filter is supported and set up properly is going to make a big difference.
If your tent doesn’t have any built in ports to feed your tubing and wiring through, you may need to cut them yourself.
The lights you use will also depend on the size of your tent and how many plants you have. Check out our guide for finding the best grow light to make sure you don’t spend too much on a light that won’t cut it or damages your plants!
Aside from these two essentials, the customization you add to your grow tent is really up to you. The less plants you have, the more grow gear you can fit in with them like environmental controllers or a standing fan if you have larger plants.
Irrigation can also be useful in a grow tent for those who want to automate and maximize their efficiency. But in a smaller tent hand watering is likely easier and cheaper with just a few plants.
The biggest benefit of an indoor grow tent is that it gives you an environmentally controlled space wherever you want. No designing a grow room in your house or apartment required.
With ventilation, lighting, and water, your plants are ready to go in a secure, sealed environment.
by Travis C | Jan 22, 2020 | 420, Blog, Culture, Growing
Whether it’s your first time building out a home grow or you just haven’t bought new gear in a while, budgeting is essential.
If you don’t want any of the advice or details and you just want to know if it’s cheap or expensive to build out your own grow, the answer is yes.
In other words, you can do it the cheap way or you can do it the right way. That’s not to say setting up a grow as cheap as possible can’t work out, but in the end you might end up spending more with all the problems cheap set ups can cause.
Budgeting out your home grow space is one of the only aspects of home growing that you can potentially save some money on. This is because if you have a nice walk-in closet, or storage space you aren’t using, you have a grow space.
For others without the extra space, you either have to build your own grow space like a greenhouse in the backyard, or you can buy a grow tent. Grow tents make it super easy to get going because they come with holes to pipe in ventilation, reflective walls to help with light, and other features.
If you just have a closet space, you can just as easily line the walls with some plastic and pick up some reflective material to help with light penetration. The size of your grow space will also determine how many pots you’ll be able to fit and in turn, how many plants you’ll be able to grow.
When it comes to pricing out your grow space, you can spend close to nothing, or you can spend a lot. But on the high end, expect to pay a couple hundred for a grow tent or the supplies to build a small greenhouse.
Pots and Medium
You can save a lot of money on pots by using traditional plastic pots. They won’t cost more than $10 for half a dozen depending on the size you want, but plastic has its restrictions.
A lot of growers instead choose to use fabric pots because they provide more aeration and some brands have handles attached for easy transport. If you decide to set up a flood and drain hydroponic table system (if you have the space of course), fabric pots absorb water much better than the few holes in plastic pots allow.
Cost-wise, fabric pots aren’t too much more expensive than plastic pots, only a dollar or so more depending on size. As for mediums, the options are much more varied.
Potting soil is always a good option for your standard grow, especially just starting out. It’s affordable and cost-effective, though it limits how often you can feed, and depending on the soil blend, you may have to adjust pH or other nutrients to account for variations in nutritional content that might already be in the soil.
For this reason, you should consider a soilless medium. Coco fiber and rockwool are two of the most popular soilless mediums currently, mainly because of their inert characteristics that allow growers to feed more often resulting in bigger plants. Also, soilless mediums are typically the cheaper option.
A bag of basic potting soil will typically run you about $15, with higher end blends costing up to $20 or more. Factor in your pot sizes and you can determine exactly how many bags you need to fill all your pots and how much it will cost.
It might seem like the easy choice to go online, do a google search for some grow lights and pick one of the cheaper options. You’ll save a couple bucks, but the product you receive might end up a little different from the product that was advertised.
A lot of low end lights draw you in with their price point, but once your bulb or ballast stops working after a month, you’re stuck either buying from the same crappy brand, or buying new lights all together. You’ll thank yourself later if you dish out some extra dough for quality lights that will last a long time.
Before picking your lights, you need to calculate your space’s square footage to determine what kind of light would best fit the space. Higher wattage lights will cover a much larger area, and using them in a smaller space won’t help your plants. But you also don’t want to get a light that is too weak and doesn’t provide enough light for all of your plants.
If you decide to go the cheap route, you can get T5 bulbs for vegging your plants, and a 315W for flower without breaking the bank. But for the most effective growth, 1000W Double Ended lights will give the most bang for your buck, with the standard brands coming in around $400-500. Keep in mind if you don’t have the right size space or a means to keep it cool, 1000W bulbs can really heat up your room and damage your plants.
For this reason it’s always wise to invest in some solid ventilation.
When it comes to ventilation there are two essentials every home grow should have, no matter the size of your grow space; a carbon filter and a fan. These two items should never be overlooked when you’re growing at home.
Your plants might like a warm environment, but they don’t like a stagnate environment with stale air. With your lights producing so much heat, you need to move the air around your grow space to prevent overheating. Just having one rotating fan can make a huge difference in keeping your plants and your room cool.
Even if you’re growing the best smelling flowers in the neighborhood, nobody wants their whole house reeking. A carbon filter scrubs the air in your room by pulling it in and cleansing it before releasing it. If you have a closed system where you don’t need to pump the air out, you can recirculate it into your room with a carbon filter.
You can find a few different, quality, small carbon filter options for under $200, with prices rising steadily up into the $300s for larger filters. Fans are also pretty cheap, with 6″ clip-on fans for $20 or less, and higher end large standing fans for $70.
One of the most common mistakes first time growers will make is using tap water to water their plants or mix with nutrients without proper precaution. Tap water contains chloramines, and these chemicals interfere with biological components of nutrients rendering them useless.
If you’re trying to save money and hand water because you only have six plants, that’s just fine. You can even avoid buying a water filter to deal with the chloramines by letting your water sit for 24 hours before mixing with your nutrients. But let’s be real, your plants need to be fed regularly and unless you get on a schedule of pouring water 24 hours in advance in a way that you have a steady supply of usable water, a water filter is the most efficient option.
Starting around $100, a water filter can filter out chlorine, sediment and other chemicals that naturally occur in tap water so you can mix right away without having to wait.
If money isn’t an issue, you can optimize your water and feedings with irrigation. On the cheap end the equipment will run you $500 or more, with the most expensive component being the water pump.
If you’ve made it this far, you should know well by now that the costs of setting up your home grow can vary greatly. But we can come up with some rough numbers for getting started from scratch.
If you’re really pinching pennies and just want to get going, you can buy the cheap lights, use whatever grow space you got with plastic pots and hand water, and you’ll still be looking at around $300 when all is said in done. For the average grower with a little more change to spare, $500 can really boost what you can get and help you get started on the right foot.
Of course there’s really no limit to how much you can spend to get the best gear for your home grow. If you’re really serious of growing and want to transition into a professional environment eventually, it’s smart to grow with good gear so you can advance your craft. Just remember that it won’t come cheap!