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So you want to grow awesome plants indoors? Let’s face it, that’s why you’re here. But even if you’re just growing tomatoes, finding the best indoor grow tent can help you harvest a cash crop. Indoor grow tents are fantastic for growing plants that may not grow naturally in your area, and help them thrive all year round.
What is an indoor grow tent? What are the benefits of using one?
An indoor grow tent is like a cheat’s version of an indoor greenhouse. Instead of building a controlled space out of glass, or isolating an entire room in your house, you can easily (and cheaply) set up an indoor grow tent.
Indoor grow tents are generally made from fabric, which as you can imagine is a lot more cost effective than regular building materials like glass. Being made from fabric also makes grow tents light, easy to move around and simple to set up anywhere in your space. Between harvests you can easily pack them away into storage – try doing that with a regular greenhouse.
Getting the best indoor grow tent is like buying yourself an amazing fish tank – you are basically setting up an entire ecosystem for your plants. Variables such as light, temperature, wind and humidity are far more easily controlled in the safety of an indoor grow tent than outdoors.
One of the main features of an indoor grow tent is keeping in light. The interior walls of an indoor grow tent are usually lined with a reflective material, meaning that the sunlight from your grow lights is massively amplified. This is great for plants like garlic that thrive on sunlight, and it is a great help during the winter months when the days are shorter. Most indoor grow tents have rails or other fittings you can use to easily mount your lights however you want.
Heat and humidity are two other important factors. The reflective surfaces reflect the heat as well, and insulate the temperature inside the tent. Heat and moisture can’t escape easily, and you can easily install a thermometer or humidity meter to keep track of this. Grow heaters are another great product you can add to your setup. You can get indoor grow tents with heaters already built in, or with cutouts or removable panels to fit one in later.
Plants also need air to breathe, and indoor grow tents can assist with this as well. The best indoor grow tents come with ventilation, and fan systems to help circulate the air inside the tent.
Indoor grow tents are usually associated with hydroponic growing – this means growing plants in water instead of soil. This means no dirt or smelly manures or compost is required, but even if you do decide grow in soil you can keep those sights and smells contained inside your indoor grow tent. It’s a win- win situation.
Even if your plants are legal, there are plenty of other reasons why you might keep your crop private. Maybe you live in a dodgy neighborhood, or have jealous neighbors who may be keen to get their hands on your crops. If you have people over and you may not want to show off your plants,having an inconspicuous grow tent can be a good solution.
Your problem may not even human – if your neighborhood is a breeding ground for stray cats or pesky birds, keeping your crops indoors in your grow tent will defend against these pests. The better online brands also make sure to send you the tent in discreet packaging to avoid unwanted attention.
Indoor grow tents come in a massive range of shapes and sizes as well as complexity. You can buy a small tent just for seedlings, which looks just like a cooler bag for plants. Or, you can get yourself a full scale hydroponics kit in tent form, fitted out with indoor grow lights, pumps and grow trays.
An easier start: All – in one grow tents
Kits have their advantages, especially if you just want to get started growing without the hassle of individually picking out every part. You can simply get an all in one hydroponics kit which not only give you all the equipment, but nutrient starters for your water and access to online support and information.
All – in-one grow tents can be a good package deal for a beginner grower. These grow tent kits are usually cheaper than buying all the parts individually from different suppliers.
Keep in mind you may be restricted if you want to swap out a light or a tray later on, as the replacements may have to come from the same company you bought the kit from. You also want to customize your indoor grow tent to suit the plants and the conditions of your home, and an all in one kit may not allow you that flexibility.
In order to give you a good discount on your package, your supplier may give you a bunch of sub-standard parts. Make sure you check the specs of each part you are getting in your package to make sure they are of a quality you are happy with.
What type of indoor grow tent is best for me?
For the Beginner: Best Beginner Indoor Grow Tent
If you are new to indoor growing and you want a simple kit to get started straight away, the Complete 3×3 grow tent package by Worm’s Way is a good option. The tent size is roughly the same as a built in wardrobe, so it doesn’t take up too much space but you can still get a decent yield. All the heavy lifting is already done for you – included inside your tent is a 400W HPS light and bulb, ducting with charcoal filters to clean the air and hide any smells, and a timer and temperature gauge for checking your air temperature. The grow tent is fairly simple to put together with posts and connectors included. The Worm’s Way package also includes a ton of nutrients to add to your hydroponic water, or you can just use it as you water your plants normally. All that’s left for you to get are some trays, soil and seeds and you are ready to grow. You can find out more about the Complete 3 x 3 Grow Tent Package here.
For small spaces: Best Small Indoor Grow Tent
The Apollo 48 x 80 indoor grow tent is about the same size as a bookcase or a wardrobe, making it fairly un-intrusive. Six 5 gallon pots will fit comfortably inside this tent, making it a decent size for both plants and seedlings. There are two fan ducts, one 8 inch, and one 4 inch, but you are not restricted to using those exact fan sizes. Users have easily fitted off an 6 inch fan in the 8 inch hole. The interior is made from reflective Mylar fabric which is a popular industry standard for grow tents. The Apollo is a breeze to put together, and the inside zip flaps do a good job of keeping light from leaking out of the tent and creating glare in your room.
If you have a small Budget: Best Indoor Grow Tent Under $250
The Milliard 36 x 36 Mylar Grow Tent is a steal, usually retailing at under $100 USD which is well under the majority of big name brands. It isn’t too big or too small, making it a versatile option for your space. You might be getting a bargain, but many of the features which are standard on the more expensive models can be found on this grow tent. These include heavy duty ceiling bars for heavy lighting, generous vents for fans, and a light weight steel construction for easy installation.This Grow Tent is also constructed from heavy duty Mylar fabric which is the industry standard. The neon green stripping allows the tent seams and zippers to be easily located in a dark space. One great feature of this tent is the viewing window with velcro cover. You can use this to peek inside at your crops without opening the doors and losing too much light. The ceiling frame also includes handy mounting rings for hanging lights, which you can move around to any position. Find a Milliard Tent here.
If you want an award winner: best all round indoor grow tent
The Gorilla Lite Line Grow Tent lives up to the hype – its got the goods in nearly every category. What makes this tent different from the rest of Gorilla’s range is it’s lightness, and ease of setup. If you get a chance check out the time lapse video on their website of a setup. The rods and connectors pop together intuitively, and the frame by itself appears weightless. This is a tent designed for quick portability and easy storage. The heavy weight fabric has no issue containing a heavy blast of sunlight, and there are some nifty little features like these handy pockets for storing your gardening tools. You can find the Gorilla Lite Line Grow Tent here.
So you have a spare bedroom, attic or basement, why not give indoor growing a try? Get the best indoor grow tent to suit your needs, and you are well on your way to creating your first bumper crop. Watch this space for another post on finding the best accessories for your indoor grow tent.