Create Your Own Garden Space
Gardening is an adventure, and whether you’re a beginner or veteran gardener, soon, you will have to brave the elements. These elements, such as temperature, humidity, weather, and sunlight are vital for gardening but essentially out of your control.
However, what if you can control the elements? Think of providing your favorite plants the particular kind of climate, environment, and amount of light that they would need to flourish. You can accomplish this through the use of growing tents. Additionally, you can do so in the comfort of your own home, wherever that may be.
However you may ask, “What exactly are growing tents and what do I need to know to start using them?”
Top 5 Things to Know
1. What are Growing Tents?
Growing tents are controlled and contained spaces for growing, culturing, and cultivating plants. You could think of a grow tent as a miniature greenhouse that is perfect for indoor gardening.
These tents come in different sizes, features, and designs, and are often rectangular in shape, similar to a wooden standing cabinets. A good example of a grow tent is this particular model from Apollo Horticulture. The tents you would see in stores may come in full start-up packages that include everything you’d need, save the plants themselves, such as lighting, ventilation parts, and others.
Like an actual tent, a rigid metal frame supporting a thick fabric comprises a growing tent. Also, you can dismantle this same lightweight metal frame potentially making your indoor garden space very portable.
The exterior thick fabric supported by the metal frame is usually a heavy-duty canvas made of nylon or polyester. This outer layer serves as a sturdy and durable protection for the plants inside the tent. Meanwhile, the interior material of the grow tent is often a reflective material which helps improve the efficiency of the light source inside the tent by increasing reflectivity. Also, both exterior and interior sides are usually water-repellant.
Again, similar to a camping tent, growing tents have a zippered main entryway and various other apertures for specific functions such as ventilation and electrical wiring access. Usually, windows are also present in grow tents so you can observe the plants without the need to open the main zippered entrance.
Inside growing tents, you would see trays to hold plants, light sources, the water delivery system, filtered air vents, fans and others.
3. Benefits of a Grow Tent
Using a grow tent will allow you to create the perfect atmosphere and environment specifically suited to your individual plant’s needs.
Specifically, a growing tent will give you excellent control over the most important factors that affect plant growth such as light, temperature, water, carbon-dioxide-rich air, growing medium, as well as humidity. Consequently, you can now grow seasonal plants all year round.
Take the tomato, for instance. Tomatoes thrive in warm environments but wither in cold or other intense climates. However, with a growing tent, you could simulate the warm weather through temperature and climate control to your tomato’s needs.
Another good example of the benefits and capabilities of a growing tent is basil. Basil loves light and heat and sun. So, placing a basil plant in a spot lacking a full day’s sunlight will mean a weak and unhealthy plant. And yet, with a growing tent you can expose your plants to as much, or as little light as they would require. Additionally, due to the reflective layer inside the tent, your light sources inside the grow tent will be extra energy efficient through diffuse reflection.
One more benefit with growing tents is your pest protection. Since a grow tent will keep your plants safe from pests, you will no longer have any need for insecticides or pesticides! Go organic and green!
4. Choosing a Grow Tent
The factors you should consider when choosing your growing tent are size, material quality, and access ports.
First, how many plants do you plant to nurture in a single tent? Sizes range from those that can fit two small pots up to tents that can fit around a dozen.
Second, inspect the overall quality, including the tent fabric and its support frame. Tent fabrics, for instance, have a differing thickness and are also available in fire-retardant materials. Similarly, the support structures will also differ in durability and stability.
Lastly, consider the number of the grow tent’s access ports or openings. These ports are essential for the ventilation, filtration, and electrical wiring that you plan to use.
5. Using Your Grow Tent
Since our article serves only as an introduction to growing tents, I won’t include yet a comprehensive list of the many methods for using your grow tent. However, here are several important tips as you begin your indoor gardening adventure:
- Make sure to read your specific growing tent’s instruction manual, both for assembly and for general use.
- Give your grow tent a convenient dedicated location where there is easy access to water and electricity.
- Remember to use lights that fit the size of your tent, so it is never under-lit or overly-lit.
- If possible, purchase gauges so you can have fine control over the environment and climate inside your growing tent.
- Overview of Hydroponics
University of Arizone. Cals.arizona.edu
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University of Illinois. Aces.uiuc.edu
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Michael Sweat, et al. University of Florida IFAS Extension. Edis.ifas.ufl.edu
- Growing Indoor Plants with Success
Bodie V. Pennisi. Oct 31, 2009. University of Georgia. Extension.uga.edu
- How Grow Tents Work
Sara Elliott. Oct. 1, 2016. Maximumyield.com
- Specular and Diffuse Reflection
M. Abramowitz, M. J. Parry-Hill, et al. 2015. The Florida State University. Micro.magnet.fsu.edu