Benefits to using a grow tent include being able to have a noninvasive independent light schedule, keeping the plants separate from other activities in a room, and forming a discreet place for a controlled environment.
Here are a dozen tips for assembling a grow tent:
1) Select a suitable location
The ideal location for a grow tent is one that is on a moisture-tolerant surface, easy to access, within range of a sufficient electrical source, and not subject to radical temperature fluctuations or in the way of daily activities.
2) Avoid using over carpeting
If a spill leads to moisture on the carpet beneath the tent, then not only can the carpet be ruined, but mold may start to grow, or insects may take up residence.
3) Make sure that there is enough available power
While the tent itself doesn’t require any electricity to operate, lights, fans, heat mats, and any water/air pumps used will need power. Check the amperage requirements of any devices against (no more than 80 percent of) the capacity of the electrical circuit used to avoid overloading.
4) Place in a temperate area
While a minor difference can help cool the tent, if the space the tent is kept in is much colder than the interior of the tent, moisture can condense at the top until droplets form, and it can precipitate, or “rain,” inside the tent.
5) Select a tent size that suits your needs
There are many different sizes and configurations available, from small tents like the VIVOSUN 24” x 24” x 36″ for starting seeds to larger tents like the Gray VIVOSUN 8’ x 4’ grow tent. There are even tents with separate compartments for using multiple lighting schedules for perpetual harvest gardens, such as the VIVOSUN 2-in-1 grow tents and tents with a peaked roof for extra headroom like the VIVOSUN roof grow tents. Available space and intended use should be taken into consideration.
6) Use a tent made from quality materials
Zippers at the most frequently used opening are particularly important, as a well-functioning, heavy duty zipper is much less frustrating to use than one that sticks or is easily damaged. The frame should be robust enough to support lighting and ventilation. The fabric used for the shell and proper stitching are important to the longevity of the tent.
VIVOSUN uses high-quality, 600D Oxford fabric for years of use. There should be openings to allow for ventilation to be used. Available additional features include observation windows, detachable drip trays, and dedicated bars for hanging equipment from.
7) Take time when assembling
Although grow tents usually aren’t that difficult to assemble (many can be put up at a leisurely pace in well under an hour), rushing through the process can lead to easily avoidable mistakes, which can make the process more frustrating than it otherwise would be.
8) Use care when opening the box
The materials used for the tent shells are designed to be durable, but they are not designed to withstand being cut with a careless razor while opening the cardboard box.
9) Locate and collect any included parts lists or directions
Compare the parts list to the contents of the box to ensure not only that all the pieces are there, but to identify parts that are similar to each other, and determine which is which. For example, the parts list for the VIVOSUN 4×2 FT Upgraded Grow Tent lists “frame supports” B and D which look very similar.
Check for markings or labels on the tent pieces to determine which pieces are Bs and which are Ds (VIVOSUN thoughtfully prints this information on their supports). Making sure to use the right part in the right place can avoid having to disassemble and reassemble parts of the tent later.
10) Read through the instructions before beginning to assemble
Understanding the gist of how the pieces are going to fit together in later steps can aid in making sure early steps are done correctly.
11) Enlist help for larger tents
While smaller tents can be easily assembled by a single person, a second set of hands can be helpful when assembling large tents.
12) Follow the instructions
Assuming that a quality tent is being used, there should be clear instructions on assembly. VIVOSUN tents include a handy assembly guide. Tents are engineered to be put together in a particular order, and following that order is often easier than “winging it” and assembling parts at random.
Once the tent has been assembled, add the rest of the equipment to be used. Lighting should be correctly sized for the space, and ventilation should remove waste heat from the inside of the tent. In general, the higher the wattage of the light, the more waste heat that will be generated.
Tents can be used with containers filled with potting mixes or with hydroponic systems. Trellis netting can be used to train and contain plant growth. Thermometers and hygrometers such as those sold by VIVOSUN help monitor the enclosed environment. VIVOSUN’s TDS (electrical conductivity) and pH meters can be used to monitor nutrient solutions.
Grow tents can simplify and contain indoor gardens, especially situations where the whole room can’t be dedicated to the growing plant’s light schedule. They allow for early starts, or used through harvest. Selecting the right tent and setting it up correctly can help you make the most of this popular growing style.