Indoor growing using a grow tent is one of the best ways to grow all year long and take complete control of your next crop. But it’s not always easy. There are a lot of things that can get in the way of a successful indoor grow tent operation, so don’t expect it to be an easy ride all the way through to harvesting time.
You’re likely to hit bumps in the road when it comes to your lighting system, nutrients, pH levels, and grow tent temperature and humidity. However, as long as you make an effort to monitor and manage your grow tent crop and put in the work, you should make it through to harvest with flying colors. These tips can help you get there.
Your Grow Lights Can Make All the Difference
Every seasoned grower knows to focus on the lighting system before anything else. That’s because your plants need sunlight to perform photosynthesis, which is when they use the energy of the sun to change water and carbon dioxide into glucose.
The thing that beginner growers don’t often realize is that not all types of light are created equal. There are several different types of grow lights to choose from, including LED, HPS, CMH, and fluorescents. Each light type has pros and cons, like the fact that HPS lights are powerful but they also produce a lot of heat and can make temperature management difficult.
A lot of growers are opting for LED light technology, and it’s no surprise since LEDs are by far the most energy-efficient option for indoor grow tents. They also give off very little heat, which is great for small grow tents that don’t have much air circulation and ventilation.
Utilize Your Space Wisely
There are a lot of benefits to using a grow tent (we’ll talk about those later), but there are also some drawbacks. Grow tents tend to be very limited on space, so you need to use your square footage wisely.
Before you even set up your grow tent, draw up a proper layout of the space to figure out how to take advantage of every square inch. Most growers opt for the “table” design where the plants are raised up on some type of platform. This gives the plant canopy better access to light, and it means that you’ll spend much less time hunching over.
Be Picky About the Grow Tent You Choose
There are many grow tents on the market, so you’re definitely not short on choices. Just don’t go and choose the very first tent you come across. Do some research, figure out the size you need, and don’t be stingy.
That last point is especially important. It’s easy to be tempted by a cheap, Chinese-made grow tent, but don’t let that low price tag fool you into choosing the wrong tent. Cheap tents are made with low-quality materials, they often have light and air leaks, and you might even have to deal with snagging zippers.
Size is another important thing to consider for your grow tent selection. Indoor tents come in a huge range of sizes, from tiny 2×2 options to massive 10×20 tents. Pay close attention to the dimensions and take measurements of the space where the tent will be installed to make sure it fits.
These cannabis grow tent reviews and guide can help you to make the right decision for your next crop.
Pay Close Attention to Light Transitions
When your crop is first starting out, the plants will be getting more light than darkness. Usually, the lights will remain on for at least 18 hours (and sometimes they’ll be on for a continuous 24 hours). This encourages faster growth in the vegetative state to help the crop develop stronger root and stem systems.
But it’s not until you give the plants some darkness (12 hours of it, actually) that they’ll start to take off and produce buds. You can’t just change the light schedule whenever you please. Switch over too soon, the plants will stay small and never reach their full potential. Switch over too late and the plants might get too big for the tent to accommodate.
The key is to pay close attention to your crop’s development and make the switch only when the time is right. A good rule of thumb to follow is to flip to the 12:12 light schedule when the plants are about half the final desired size. If you’re hoping for 3-foot plants, make the transition when the plants are 1.5 feet tall. If you want 2-foot tall plants, initiate when plants are 1 foot tall.
Don’t Forget About Pest Control
One of the best things about using a grow tent instead of growing outdoors is that there’s much less of a risk of pest infestation. Pesky critters and insects like spider mites can wreak havoc on a crop, but a grow tent helps to keep plants safe.
This leaves a false sense of security in a lot of growers. Just because it’s less likely doesn’t mean it won’t happen, so it’s up to you to prevent pests and deal with them immediately if they do actually find they’re way into the tent.
Keep the Tent Clean
This last tip goes hand-in-hand with pest control. Keeping the grow space clean throughout the entire op not only makes things easier on you when it comes time to tidy up, but it also keeps away germs and pests. Don’t underestimate the power of keeping clean – a clean grow tent leads to a clean crop in the end.
It’s extremely important that you clean the grow space before you even get the plants settled in. Sterilize everything, and don’t be afraid to use bleach (just be sure to dilute it thoroughly). As your plants are growing, sweep up dead leaves and wipe down surfaces. You can even pluck off dying leaves before they fall.
Why Use a Grow Tent?
The main benefit of using a grow tent is control. Utilizing a sealed-off tent gives you more control over temperature, humidity, light, ventilation, and it helps to keep pests out. Even The Home Depot says that there are tons of reasons to use a grow tent since they “help gardeners create optimal growing environments indoors.”
Whether you’re growing leafy greens like kale or another type of leafy green like cannabis, there are plenty of grow tent options available to make your next crop a success.