Not everyone wants to grow their cannabis outdoors. If you’re hoping to keep your yield a secret, or you simply want more control over the environment, growing indoors might be for you. And if you’re feeling thrifty, making your own grow tent is an excellent way to cut down on expenses. Don’t worry if crafting isn’t your thing – we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to make the best DIY cannabis grow tent and why they can be beneficial.
What is a grow tent?
Thriving cannabis doesn’t just get by- it takes a little help. Something as simple as a grow cabinet or tent can assist your plants in growing to their fullest potential.
When you use grow tents or cabinets, you gain control over:
- Plant temperature
- Surrounding humidity level
A grow tent or box doesn’t necessarily have to be big enough size-wise to substitute a backyard greenhouse. Some are large, but others fit snugly into a small cabinet space. The best part about them is that you don’t even need an exterior coat closet– any average sized room will do!
It’s important to understand the difference between grow boxes and tents before you continue reading. A grow box is solid, while a tent has an exterior made of fabric or plastic. Now that that’s cleared up, let’s move on to how you can build your own setup. The most common types are also typically the easiest to put together, so we’ll go over those methods.
Building a DIY grow tent: Shelving, the easiest method
The rack method is a popular ways to grow cannabis indoors. To build your own, you will need:
- A Fan
- 4 LED Lights
- Duct Tape
- Velcro or Cable Ties
- Black/White Poly
- Adjustable Shelving System
Greenhouses and grow rooms need black and white poly lining the walls and floors to manage light. The material reflects light on the white side while absorbing it on the black side.
Rather than going through the extra work of constructing a PVC pipe rack, we suggest utilizing an existing rack or investing in an adjustable shelving system. With less hassle comes a lower cost for your grow tent since much of the expense is from the adjustable shelving system.
The only drawback of the shelving method is its height restrictions. If you want to grow tall sativa strains of marijuana, this won’t be possible with this type of setup.
Shelving method: Supplies and tools
If you’re looking to set up an adjustable shelving system, here’s what you need to know.
Adjustable shelving system
The rack is specially designed to provide adequate space for your plants and grow lights. Two grow lights go on the second shelf, with seedlings placed on the third. When plants begin togrow, put two more Lights on the fourth shelf and split up your plants between shelves three and four accordingly.
DIY grow tents can get incredibly hot, so be sure to place a small fan inside to fight the heat.
Duct tape & velcro
By using duct tape and velcro, you can keep your grow space organized and tidy. This will save you time and frustration in the future.
Black / white poly
Poly black and white is the key to a productive grow tent. The white color reflects light back into the tent, upping your plants’ exposure. Meanwhile, the black side blocks out external light, which in turn lowers temperature inside the tent–increasing efficiency.
If you want to save some money, use fluorescent lights for your plants. On the other hand, if you have more cash to spend, then invest in LEDs- it’ll make a big difference for your plant game.
Building a DIY grow tent: PVC piping, the cheapest method
Building your own grow tent is a cost-effective way to garden indoors. Use PVC piping for the frame and black/white poly for the curtains. It’s cheap and is easier to build as opposed to using shelves. Plus, you can make the frame tall enough to accommodate taller plants inside.
The following is a list of materials you’ll need to construct your frame out of PVC piping:
- Straight PVC piping
- PVC fittings
- PVC cutter
- Duct tape & Velcro
- Black/White Poly
- Grow Lights
We go into detail regarding the PVC fittings that are essential to constructing the frame of this tent.
After you have collected all the necessary materials, cut the PVC pipes to your desired size. Then, use 3-way elbows to put them together. Meanwhile, on the top side of the frame, utilize Tees and Cross fittings to construct a 2×2 grid; this is where you will hang your grow lights.
Although PVC piping is cheap and easy to carry, it requires a lot of work to turn it into a grow tent.
PVC method: supplies and tools
Keep reading to learn how you can easily make your own grow tent using PVC pipe.
Straight PVC piping
The length of PVC you use for this project will be dependent on the height that your plants will grow.
The type of fittings you use is important. PVC Fittings are small connectors that link the corners of PVC pipes and add multiple connections. In order to construct a stable frame, you will need eight 3-way elbows, 4 Tees, and 1 Cross PVC. Make sure you have put together the right amount of each fitting before beginning your project!
Before you start, wear gloves and glasses for protection. Then, use a PVC cutter to cut the pipes to length. For extra security, add Gorilla Glue PVC cement.
Fans in a grow room
By installing a fan in your grow tent, you can create the ideal environment for your plants to thrive instead of a subpar condition that will stunt their growth.
Duct tape & velcro
Use duct tape and velcro for not only wire management, but also to put black/white poly over the PVC frame, as well as sealing your grow tent’s opening. By doing this you create a way to look at your plants while still having a light-tight box.
Rather than adhering the white poly lining to the walls of a closet as you would in the shelving method (or putting the black/white poly over the shelf), attach the black/white poly sheets directly to the PVC frame. This will serve as your new wall.
Since your grow tent is completely dark inside, you will need a source of light for your plants. That’s where grow lights come in. You can use fluorescent lights, but we recommend using LEDs instead to get the most yield from your setup.
Should you choose Mylar or Panda foil?
Now, what are Mylar and Panda Foil? They’re both polyethylene sheets that growers use for different purposes. You can line the walls of your grow room with them or create curtains/walls for your grow tent. The material reflects light really well, which is beneficial to maximizing the output of grow lights.
A mylar sheet
Mylar is specifically the most reflective polyethylene sheet. With its diamond pattern and silver color, Mylar can have a reflectivity of 90-95%. This means that an abundant amount of light reaches your plants. Additionally, Mylar is also prized by growers for its tensile strength (its ability to bear weight and stress) and its ability to trap gas and aroma inside grow rooms.
However, Mylar isn’t a reliable material to make grow tents out of. It’s wonderful for lining the walls and ceilings of a grow closet, but it can’t hold up as well polyester materials like Panda Foil. Additionally, the Diamond pattern on Mylar sheets is harder to clean if they get dirty which fortunately doesn’t happen with Panda foil.
Lastly, Panda Foil is more affordable than Mylar. Even though it isn’t reflective to the same degree, Panda Foil is stronger and can be used for a greater variety of purposes than Mylar. That’s why I recommend using Panda Foil when constructing your grow tent.
Step-by-step: Building your own grow tent
How to put together a rack for your DIY сannabis grow tent
Time needed: 20 minutes.
Our instructions for PVC grow tents are as follows:
- Assemble the rack: Assemble your PVC piping or ready-to-go shelving system to build a shelf – just ensure that your topmost shelf is wide enough to accommodate lights but also high enough so there’s still room for plant growth. Additionally, make sure this top shelf is removable in case your plants germinate taller than anticipated. To secure errant wires, attach them to the tent frame using cable ties or velcro as needed.
- Position your fan: Position your fan underneath your shelving system for easy access to the power switch. You could also use a remote control fan, although it would cost a little more money.
- Hang your poly up: Drape your poly material over the pipe frame or shelving system. Make sure the black side faces outward, then place one of the poly edges onto the top shelf with an edge laying on each of the shelves’ sides. Tape down the top edges, cut and tape down any side edges, trim any extra material hanging at the bottom, and use leftover poly to create a doorway that covers any exposed sides.
- Modify your tent; Now that the bulk of the work is done, have some fun! Adjust things like temperature and humidity as necessary. If it starts to get too warm, cut a few ventilation slits in the top of the tent.
FAQs about grow tents
What does defoliation do for weed plants?
Trimming excess leaves, otherwise known as defoliation, enables more sunlight to reach the newer growths and bud sites. In addition, this helps with airflow while also making your plants more efficient by eliminating foliage that takes away nutrients from the main colas. As a result, you’ll likely see animprovement in yield.
How many times should you defoliate weed?
Autoflowering strains can only be defoliated once during their vegetative stage. This is because autoflowers have a shorter growing cycle. Defoliation is the method of removing leaves from a plant to improve its health or yield, and it should only be done when necessary. Photoperiod plants have longer growing cycles, so they can be defoliated twice without causing any harm.
Is it OK to remove fan leaves during flowering?
You shouldn’t defoliate your fan leaves during the flowering stage because it’s more likely to cause your plants to hermie then.