How to build a grow box – Step by Step
An indoor grow tent may help you prolong the life of your garden beyond the end of the natural growing season in your area. With a grow tent, you may sow your seeds earlier, keep your plants alive beyond the first frost, and enjoy fresh herbs in the dead of winter.
Indoor grow tents are adaptable constructions that you build up within your house to customize the growth conditions. To enhance light reflection and avoid hot spots, the tent inside is coated with polyester film (Mylar) or a material called Visqueen. Because you keep a grow tent inside your home, it naturally prevents pests like aphids and hornworms away from your plants. You won’t have to take the danger of applying chemical pesticides, which may be dangerous if consumed.
Grow tents come in a variety of sizes and configurations, each with its own set of characteristics designed to make growing simpler for your plants and gardening simpler for you. What features do you require? Continue reading to find out more. When you’re ready to purchase, take a look at our top picks for the finest indoor grow tents on the market.
What size should your grow tent be?
Size is the most crucial aspect to consider when looking for grow tents: the size of your room and the size of the plants you wish to grow. If you’re going to install your indoor grow tent in a tiny area, go for something narrow and tall to save space. Tents stored in a family room or other living area must be able to fit without becoming an annoyance. Space may not be a problem if your tent is placed in a basement.
Unless you want to use your tent only as a greenhouse for incubating seeds, you need also consider the final size of your plants.
What fabric should you use?
Because the primary function of a grow tent is to reflect light onto your plants, the backing should be of excellent quality to assist keep the light inside. Canvas, oxford cloth, or other thick, dark fabric is often used to make grow tents. Panda film is also ideal. This contrast makes it easier to observe whether light is escaping. However, ideally, you should get something that collects as much light as possible.
These tents are utilized mostly for persons who raise crops produced for individual use for high dollars. For any industrial purpose, growing tents are too tiny.
As tents become so tiny and secluded, they are largely free of insects and disease.
It is both cost-effective and fairly easy to create your own DIY grow tent. In fact, it is possible to learn how to build a grow tent cheap.
There are, however, some questions you may need to consider. First, are you going to use wood, PVC, or some other material for your DIY grow tent? There are definite pros and cons to using these materials to build your grow tent. The video below will help explain how to build a grow tent cheap, using PCV materials.
The guy making the above video had purchased an LED light and needed a grow tent in which to put it. As his video shows, you can learn how to build an indoor grow tent with PVC.
The pros of using PVC tubes and corners are numerous. Firstly, PVC is more cost-effective than wood. You can purchase everything you need for a fair price at places like Lowe’s or Menards.
Another great advantage of PVC is that it’s very simple to construct. You don’t have to do a lot of hammering or worry about nails and screws. If you know how to complete a puzzle or work with connecting tubes, you can build a PVC grow tent. You only need some corners, some Ts, and a cross. The third advantage of PVC is that it is lightweight. As the creator of the video showed, the frame was easy to pick up with just one hand, meaning you can transport it with no problem.
A final advantage is that it is flexible enough for you to take it apart and add more parts to expand it if needed. With wood, it would probably be a great deal more difficult to take it apart to enlarge it for your growing needs.
In the first video, you saw how to put the frame of your grow tent together using PVC. Now, let’s take a look at how to complete the construction of the tent in the video below.
You can use panda film as a covering for your tent. Where can you buy panda film? Amazon, Walmart, or Home Depot carry it. It would be prudent to check all three places and price the film to make sure you get the most for your money. You would measure how much of the film you need based on the frame and stretch it fully over the frame.
Visqueen vs. Mylar or white paint
There are a few materials that are often used in making the tent reflective enough for the light to benefit the plants. There is Visqueen and mylar or even plain white paint.
The benefits of Visqueen are that it holds its reflectivity over time. Mylar is quite reflective, maybe even more so than Visqueen but it will lose that reflectivity over time. White paint is used because it yields high reflectivity as well. But as it is painted, it can become dull and you might need a fresh coat. Painting is also an extra hassle you may not have time for if you are on a time frame.
How do you access your tent?
After stretching your panda film over the PVC frame, you will want to use electrical or duct tape. Do you want to create an opening like a door in which you open it sideways? Or maybe you would rather have a flap that you can just hang over the top?
Whatever you decide, you should decide what type of opening you want before you begin building your tent.
The Visqueen or mylar material is highly reflective and will block a great deal of the light attempting to escape your tent. You can add to the light-blocking features by using a zipper with a black lining. This adds to the light proofing seal and means you don’t need to fool with additional flaps or tapes.
Wipe your zippers or use a clean toothbrush to avoid dirt and debris from being lodged in the teeth or track. If a zipper becomes stuck, a tiny quantity of wax or spray lubrication may assist. Always be careful with your zippers, particularly if they are stuck.
Managing the heat in your grow tent
There is probably nothing more challenging in the building and developing of your grow tent than how to manage its heat. A good rule of green thumb is that plants thrive best in temperatures that we ourselves find ideal. So, between 65 and 80 degrees is best. If it gets much hotter than 85, plants may begin weakening and their nutritional intake will decrease, making them vulnerable to extreme conditions and diseases.
If it gets too cold (much under 35 degrees Fahrenheit) Water may freeze within the cells of a plant, forcing it to swell and harm the plant from within. Cold weather destruction is much worse in younger plants, which haven’t matured in vigor and shape to enable cell tissue development.
Water may freeze the exterior of a plant as well as the soil around it, producing something known as desiccation, which is a removal of moisture from the plant, thus interfering with the plant’s water supply. Because plants emit enzymes to break down surrounding elements for soil, this disturbs plant nutrition uptake. Avoid early morning sunlight. Frost and cold weather damage may occur as a consequence of plants rapidly ‘defrosting,’ leading them to become limp.
How to create a quality ventilation system
Always make sure to keep air circulating in your grow tent. Excellent ventilation greatly improves the quality of the health of your plants. When the heated lights are turned on, you should recycle the air in the tent at least every 5-8 minutes, and even more often if your atmosphere is valiantly struggling to manage heat or humidity. Furthermore, it is critical to circulate the air inside your tent. This will reduce heat and smells, as well as strengthen plants.
Consider a removable floor tray. It will collect any leaves, dirt, water, or any unwanted debris, which keeps you from having to keep your tent door open too long for cleaning sessions. Leaving the door open too long may compromise the health of your plants.
Quickly patch up any holes and repair any torn patches or frays in your grow tent’s fabric. These holes, even tiny ones can cause a considerable amount of light to escape, minimizing the tent’s effectiveness. Also, those tiny holes are huge doors for unwanted six-legged pests.
If you have plants that are climbers, consider using string trellises as opposed to metal ones. If your homemade tent ever shifts or moves suddenly, a metal trellis might cause tears in it.
If using PVC material for your frame, make doubly sure to keep the temperature at an acceptable level as this material has been known to release gases at high temps that can compromise plant integrity.
Building and maintaining a grow tent may take a little work but it is far more than worth the effort in terms of the many joyful hours you will reap in seeing your plants thrive and eventually provide you with food and pleasing visuals.