A few weeks back, I wrote up a Beginners Guide to growing your own weed. Within it, I discussed some of the potential benefits of indoor cultivation, a major benefit being the ability to control the environment your plants grow into the tune of scientific order. With indoor grows, you can measure and time light, adjust nutrients and oxygen, and control the temperature easily.
It should come as surprise, then, that the benefit of using an indoor grow tent setup is also environmentally stable. DIY grow tents are easy to make, often costing around $50 USD or less to build. They can be made into a variety of shapes and sizes depending on your specific needs. For instance, when growing indica, plants only reach a height of 3-4ft, but they’re bushy and grow horizontally outward. In contrast, sativa plants tend to be much taller, with a strong, slim, loosely branched stem. Knowing the variety of plants you are growing is extremely important to keep in mind when you’re building an indoor grow tent setup.
Equipment you need
Any DIY grow tent is going to require these four things:
- Lamp: In my opinion, LED grow light tent set-ups provide the best light to your plants. They are incredibly energy efficient and don’t put off a lot of heat.
- PVC Piping: Building an indoor grow room setup starts with the frame. In my experience, DIY grow boxes can be made cheapest using PVC. LED grow tents get most of the cost from purchasing of the lights and electricity usage throughout the life cycle of your plants.
- Ventilation: As the plants breathe carbon dioxide, having Co2 in increased availability will allow your plants to thrive. While pre-designed indoor grow tent setups will come with a grow tent ventilation diagram, any capable DIY grow tent curator is going to want to develop one best suited to their individual grow needs. Typically, you want to use a 4 or 6 inch fan to remove the oxygen-rich by-product of photosynthesis from the grow tent, so plan ahead!
- Mylar or ‘Panda Film’: Any indoor grow tent setup or DIY grow tent wouldn’t be complete without this highly reflective film. On the inside, LED grow tent lights will reflect off the Mylar at which ever light spectrum you choose to grow your plants at. On the outside, the Mylar is light-blocking. Any grow tent ventilation diagram should emphasize prevention of light leaks at the connection points.
The DIY Grow Tent
As long as you prevent light from escaping and properly ventilate your DIY grow tent, any LED grow tent you build should support plant growth and assist in maintaining the plant environment. A good place to start is the frame.
Step one: The frame is going to be made of PVC pipe. Since it’s just the frame, I usually will go with piping that is 2 inches in diameter. Being that your in-line fan is going to be somewhere between 4-6 inches in diameter, the rest of the parts of the grow tent ventilation diagram will either have to fit over the fan or fit perfectly (don’t be afraid to use duct tape to make things fit better). That being said, you want to ensure the tent frame is sturdy enough to hold the lights in your LED grow tent as well as the ventilation. Check out this tutorial on DIY grow tents for an in-depth look at building a PVC frame for your indoor grow tent setup.
Step Two: The frame is built, so the next thing to do is build the tent. A DIY grow tent should have a single, full opening. When you use the Mylar, the reflective white side should face into the indoor grow tent system, while the non-reflective, black outside should be visible on the outside. When you apply the Mylar, you’ll want to tightly wrap it over and around each side. I use duct tape or electrical tape to secure the Mylar to the frame of your DIY grow tent. It’s best to do this in pieces: First two walls, tape. Next two walls, tape. Over the top and underneath, tape. Check out what it should look like here.
Step Three: This is where the grow tent ventilation diagram becomes vital. A few weeks back, we posted an article on building your own grow box. I point the reader there for more information on the equipment you’ll need to get your LED grow tent growing. All you need to know from your grow tent ventilation diagram at this juncture is where the ventilation system feeds in and where it feeds out. You should adjust the Mylar appropriately to the dimensions of your grow, and plan for ventilation piping (especially with larger operations).
Step Four: As I had mentioned earlier, LED grow tents are the way to go. Although the LED lights themselves are often pricier than other light fixture options, the adjustable spectrum of light energy they produced to feed your plant children with is unmatched. Just like the soil you choose to grow in, the light requirements of the plants change dependent upon the growth stage. In principal, your light will be attached to or hanging from the PVC framework.
Check out this quick video if you’d like a peek at how it should look once you’ve completely all four steps.
Article By: Joey Wells