Why continue to burn cash at the dispensary when you can easily grow your own supply at home, indoors, with minimal work?
Whether you are just super passionate about cannabis or you’re a entrepreneur in training, the ability to cultivate your own plants is both a skill and a worthwhile investment both in terms of reducing your personal expenses as well as simply enjoying the beautiful natural process that is growing cannabis at home. Additionally, unlike outdoor natural grow operations, everything reviewed in this article can be done indoors and with limited square footage. Win-win!
Why Use a Grow Tent?
Grow tents make it simple to raise high-quality cannabis because they create the perfect environment. When the lights are on, the reflective walls of a grow tent spread the light all around the plants. Then when the lights are off, the darkness is complete, giving the plants time to rest. Grow tents are small, portable grow spaces. They are made of canvas on the outside and reflective materials on the inside. Using them, you can raise plants in closed spaces. Lights, smell, and watering all stay within the tent. These are options of professionals but also for beginners as well just starting out learning how to grow cannabis because the controlled environment helps eliminate crop-ruining variables.
Essentially, with a grow tent you are operating in a contained environment where you are able to fine-tune various aspects of the growing process, from air to light to moisture to nutrients, the levers available to finely tweak your final harvest are numerous.
Small grow tents are great for growing a few plants in an easy, discreet way. *cough cough say if you were trying to fly under the radar..
These small-sized grow tents are typically three to four feet high instead of the five to seven-foot height of a full-sized grow tent. You can get some with powerful air filtration too to minimize/contain the strong odors usually associated with indoor grow operations. A small grow doesn’t necessarily mean small returns though, but, you do want to be growing as efficiently as possible.
5 Essential Elements for Small Indoor Grow Operations
A grow space can be as small as a 2’ x 2’ x 4’ grow tent or as big as a warehouse, but they all have several things in common. If you don’t even have this much space, or you need something that is less maintenance, then a self-contained smart growbox or discreet grow cabinet might be more in order.
1. Adequate Space
The bigger the plant can grow, the larger your yields will be. Generally, you’ll need more height than width, to keep the lights off the plants. Space gets tight quickly.
You must be able to keep the space clean and contained from the outside environment. You’ll also need to be able to drain the plants properly and keep them out of standing water. In the great outdoors there are predators for all the bugs and creepy crawlies. Inside they can easily get out of control.
Plants need fresh air. A continual exchange of air is necessary to keep them healthy and vibrant. Depending on the lights you use, you may need an AC unit or heater to regulate the climate.
Contemporary indoor cannabis cultivation usually involves at least one of three artificial light sources: HID, CFL, and LED.
HID or high-intensity discharge lamps have been the grow lights of choice for every kind of indoor grower from beginners to pro cultivators since the early 1990s at least. But they are hot and need space so as not to burn the plants.
CFL shows some promise, but always runs a distant second to the tried and trusted HID.
The latest generation of LED systems is now capable of producing comparable, and in some cases, superior quality plants than the average HID set-up. They are also much cooler and can be closer to the plants which are perfect for a small grow space.
5. Choosing a Good Indoor Strain
When it comes to micro growing, choosing the right strain is very important due to the limited space available. One of the things to watch out for is the height of your strain. Sativas grow higher and more slender than indicas, which tend to be short and bushy.
Also, during the flowering phase sativas undergo a 200-300% increase in height, while indicas increase only by 50-100%, which shows that indicas are more well-suited with micro growing. For a tiny grow, indicas will probably be easier to maintain when looking to maximize your space and yield because of their short and stocky nature. Sativas can work too, but you might have to spend more time and attention to pruning them. There are several training techniques to keep your plants small.
There are a multitude of seed banks and sellers. If you’re looking to start out at home then ordering online (in a legal state) is probably the quickest and easiest way to get very specific with your strains. Seedsman Seeds is reputable and has the largest selection of both indica and sativa dominant strains. If you’re looking for some ideas, check out our “Most Popular/Best Selling Strains” roundup for some inspiration.
If you want to speed up the process even more then starting with clones is probably a better bet and for those you’ll have to source locally. We never advise ordering clones or living plants online simply because of the irregularities in shipping and associated risk with the amount of money that these little babies can cost.
The Benefits of a Small Grow Tent
Whatever your reason for using a small grow tent, there are many benefits associated with these small but effective rooms. At the top of the list is minimizing risk. If you are looking to buy a small indoor grow tent then you’re probably also just at the beginning of your self-cultivation journey and there’s no point in investing tens of thousands of dollars on some big hydroponic operation before cutting your teeth so-to-speak in learning the fundamentals of indoor growing.
- Affordable: Many small grow tents are incredibly affordable. If you plan on growing your cannabis plants from seed to harvest within a small grow tent, then it’ll be very cost-efficient.
- Contained Environment: Small grow tents benefit from being a contained environment. By separating various life stages into small grow tents; the risk of cross-contaminating becomes less.
- Odor Management: Small grow tents handle the pungent smell of cannabis better than their larger counterparts. This is because the overall space of a small grow tent doesn’t require a large ventilation and carbon filter system.
- Less Space: Sometimes you don’t need a 10’x10’ grow space. It’s possible to make more with less, and small grow tents are perfect examples of this.
- Discreet: Small grow tents are far more stealthy compared to larger varieties. A large grow tent sticks out like a sore thumb because it’ll take up a large part of a room and requires a loud ventilation system to keep the internal temperature in check.
Best Small Grow Tents of 2020
Hunting down the perfect grow tent can be overwhelming if you’re new to growing. There’s a multitude of different tents available online and in stores; it can be rather difficult to differentiate between the ones that are worth their stuff, and the ones that aren’t. Adding special features to your shopping lists like hydroponic capabilities or lighting can make your search even harder. Look for features lists over size, because darling, it’s not all about the size but how you use it.
After hours of scouring basement dweller covert indoor grow forums we’ve finalized the following list of tents that are both big sellers, highly reviewed, and are made by brands that have a track record of producing quality tents.
Gorilla Grow Tent Lite Line
Gorilla tents are reputed and most trusted name in grow tent manufacturing, they produce professionally designed grow tents that are ideal for experts and beginners. This tent doesn’t take much space and height can be adjusted with the adjustable extension poles (sold separately) allowing you to increase the height of your grow tent from 5′ 7″ to 6′ 7″.
The tent is very sturdy and strong, you can hang grow light inside easily. Other features include strongly reinforced seals, tough zippers, and broad viewing windows and you can be sure your plants are well-protected. Overall it’s a very good grow tent you should try.
CoolGrows Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent
The design focuses on durability and is tear-proof. With the 600D polyester outside, and inside Mylar which is 99% reflective, this tent will not let in any light. The frame consists of metal bars so it will hold the tent up for many years of usage. The setup of ports for ventilation and electricity is excellent. The tent is a very efficient growing space.
Plus, a particular feature of this one is that the front window filters out white light. This fact further lessens the concern that you are disturbing your plants.
When it comes to light leakages, they can be a problem with many tents. That is why Cool Grows manufacturers designed the material to go over the zippers. The removable spill tray on the floor allows for getting rid of extra water and dirt from the inside an easy task.
Apollo Horticulture Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent
This grow tent from Apollo Horticulture is durable, efficient, and maintains your grow. This grow tent is costlier than any other small grow tents and it’s worth the price. The tent uses thick and reflective material reinforced by the metal poles ensures security and solidity.
Due to double-stitching the light is contained in the tent and extends the durability and life of the tent, it also prevents any leakage and stops pests from getting in the grow tent. The tent has enough holes and vents to make sure your plants get enough fresh air. There is also a side door zipper for when you just want to look.
Secret Jardin Hydro Shoot 60
The Hydro Shoot 60 measures 2 feet by 2 feet and is 4 feet 8 inches tall. It is easily the highest quality tent on this list. Secret Jardin is one of the top grow tent manufacturers and they are known for high quality (and expensive) tents. The Hydro Shoot line is their collection of entry-level tents.
The reason Hydro Shoot tents cost less is that Secret Jardin sacrificed features that most home growers don’t need. These include heavy-duty fabric, a large number of intakes and outlets, several windows, and heavy-duty hanging bars for heavy lighting.
The quality is still high, though. They use a robust 210D canvas fabric and a 95% reflective Mylar on the inside. The poles are all 0.63″ thick galvanized steel. The Hydro Shoot 60 has one 12 by 8-inch mesh window (with a removable cover) and two 6″ vents for intake and extraction. Hanging equipment for filters and lights is included, as is a removable waterproof tray.
MallMall Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent
This light-proof grow tent blocks all light escaping. On the interior, a 99% reflective Mylar lining guarantees the effective utilization of your lighting at any power configuration. The easy-access door unzips smoothly, and the observation window makes it easy to peek inside for easy observation of your plants.
There are privacy flaps over the zippers and it looks like a wardrobe closet, it’s all black, so nice and discreet with zero light leaks. With highly durable metal bars and metal connectors, this grow tent stands solidly. Similar to the other tents in the list, the 600D canvas exterior material is tear-proof and super thick. It includes a removable and water-resistant Mylar spill tray for easy cleanup.
At the end of the day no, you don’t NEED to buy a pre-made tent. If you own your property and aren’t concerned about odors and also have ways of controlling things like fresh air circulation, moisture control and lighting control, then these tents probably aren’t for you.
However if you rent or don’t own your property, or you just aren’t confident you can accurately maintain precise humidity levels in a given room, then grow tents are great solutions to help get all of your growing variables under control so you can fine tune your cultivation process to produce the best yields possible.
This list is also by no means the be-all end-all of grow tent reviews. Companies are regularly launching new tents with new features as the home-cultivation scene continues to expand due to ever increasing legalization laws around the world.
If you fancy yourself an accomplished home grower then we’d like to hear from you. Did you use a pre-fab tent or did you rig up your own grow room? Have particularly strong feelings about the brands mentioned in this comparison? Did we miss a killer tent option you think should be included? Sound off in the comments below and we’ll be sure to take a look and consider it for inclusion.