Growing cannabis is a delicate process, and it requires a considerable amount of dedication and knowledge in order to be viable. While there are certain locations and climates that are excellent for growing marijuana outdoors, the truth is that, in most cases, indoor growing options are easier.
Choosing between utilizing a grow room or grow tent is something that is largely up to personal preference and the space available to you. One is not necessarily better or worse than another; it is simply a different setup.
Both instances will require a certain amount of preparation and work, but the initial starting costs will be easily repaid after a couple of good harvests.
Grow Tent vs Grow Room: What’s the Difference?
For the purposes of growing cannabis, a grow tent and a grow room are going to be somewhat similar. Since you’re likely planning to grow your marijuana indoors, it might not seem like it really matters which you choose.
However, these two options are different enough that it’s important to explain each one.
A grow tent is a portable unit that can be stored and reused whenever you wish. They come in a broad range of sizes, and they are generally made of sturdy canvas or nylon with reflective material lining the inside. This offers easy insulation and the ability to increase or decrease the humidity for your plants. Many grow tents also have at least one grow light built into the structure, which is convenient for getting started.
A grow room is a bit more complex. It is essentially an entire room that is specifically outfitted to help your indoor garden thrive. This is more or less the same concept as a grow box, except it encompasses an entire room.
Choosing a Grow Room
A grow room can be created in any spare room of your house that is convenient to get to. For most people, this is typically a bedroom that is somewhere in the 100 to 160 square feet range. You might be tempted to utilize a garage for this, but remember that you need the space to be insulated and tightly temperature controlled. If you have a finished attic or a usable basement, these are also good options.
Both a grow room and an indoor grow tent will likely be placed in a spare room, but the biggest difference between the two is that a grow room is entirely retrofitted with construction so that its sole purpose is to house your plants.
- The setup will last a long time.When you transform an entire room, you will be able to set it up exactly how you want it according to whatever layout you have in mind. This is the best way to establish a long-term growing operation that gives high yields.
- There are more customization options.By choosing to build your own grow room, you can design it with exact specifications that suit your particular setup best. You are also less limited by the constraints of a prefabricated grow tent. If you are planning to make this a long-term hobby, being able to outfit a room with extra conveniences is a nice option to have.
- They’re easier to maintain.Grow tents are designed to be relatively small and easy to break down, and this can be limiting for growers who want to experiment with different strains of cannabis. Utilizing the entire room allows you to space out extra grow lights, install humidity controls and create more advanced ventilation systems to support more intricate operations.
- You might need permission.If you’re renting an apartment, condo or house, you will have to get specific permission from your landlord before you make any permanent modifications to your space. Even if growing cannabis is legal in your area, a landlord may not be too keen on letting you make any serious changes to your rental, which means that a retrofitted grow room might not be feasible for you.
- It can be expensive.Remember that you will be doing things like framing new walls, setting up ventilation and adding insulation, shelving and electrical wiring. All of these things are fairly expensive, and the costs can add up quickly if you do not budget your expenses carefully.
- You will need professional help.Unless you are lucky enough to have a background in construction, you will almost certainly need to call in professionals to help you properly set up a grow room. Many people prefer not to advertise their growing operations if possible, so this is something else to consider when deciding how to set up your cannabis plants.
Choosing a Grow Tent
If you’re in a small space or a rental, outfitting an entire room is usually not feasible. Additionally, if you’re just starting out with growing your own marijuana, it’s best to begin with a smaller operation that isn’t cost or labor intensive in case it ends up not working out for you.
- They’re portable.You can get a grow tent that is nearly the size of an entire room, but you can also get one that is much more compact and only takes up a portion of a room. Being able to move your grow tent around if necessary can be helpful if you don’t have enough space to dedicate an entire room to your garden.Having the ability to collapse and store the tent is also great if you decide that you don’t want to keep up with cannabis plants long-term.
- They may have grow lights included with the kit.Most grow tents have at least one suitable grow light that can be included in the kit you purchase. This can save you time and money when you’re first starting out, especially if you’re only growing a few plants.
- They’re great for early plant development.The beauty of a grow tent is that you can expand to a grow room later if you wish and still be able to make use of the tent. Grow tents are perfect for nurturing young plants that will later be transplanted into the larger room.
- They’re not great for flowering.Grow tents are ideal for cultivating vegetative growth, but a majority of them are not really equipped to handle the more complicated needs of flowering phases.
- They get crowded easily.Even if you have a relatively large tent, it is easy for it to become overcrowded with both plants and equipment. This can make it difficult to maneuver, and it can also make getting the right setup a challenge. If you’re planning to have anything other than a very small operation going, this could be a major drawback for you.
How to Build a Grow Tent
If you do choose to use a grow tent, be aware that some assembly is required. You can follow the steps below to make the construction process as fuss-free as possible.
- Read the instructions first.This might seem obvious, but it’s a common mistake to only skim the directions and end up missing important information down the line. Before you assemble anything, be sure to read the entire manual carefully, and gather any tools or supplies you need ahead of time.
- Construct the frame.Lay out all of the frame pieces before you start, and try to get a good understanding of where each piece fits. Try to assemble the frame as close to its final destination as possible so that you don’t have to move it around too much once it’s together.Don’t forget to protect the floor with rubber mats or plastic before setting up the frame. Water will likely be dripped and splashed, and this can ruin carpeted areas.
- Place the cloth.Once the frame has been set up, it’s time to drape the cloth. Be sure that the sides are all draped evenly and that the zippers are conveniently located.
- Set up the grow lights.Some tents come with grow lights, but you will likely want to add one or more of your own as well. Make sure that the lights you choose are the correct ones for the size of your space and the plants you’re growing.Most lights are designed to be attached to the crossbars of the tent frame, so you should be able to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for hanging the lights. Remember to secure all cords well with ties or tape to keep the area safe and free of fire or electrocution hazards.
- Install the ventilation equipment.First, determine the best place to put the ventilation equipment. It’s usually recommended to hang the pieces as high as possible to maximize efficiency.Begin by hanging the carbon filter from a crossbar near the center of the top of the tent. Next, position the exhaust fan so that the intake points toward the filter and the exhaust points toward the ventilation opening of the tent. Install ducting from the filter to the fan and then from the fan to the ventilation opening.
- Configure the system.Once all of the installation basics are complete, it’s time to add the finishing details and make sure that everything is configured properly.Hang all of your monitoring equipment carefully near the areas where your plants will be situated so that you can get the most accurate readings possible. If you’re using light controls or other automation timers, be sure to set and test each one.
Before placing your plants inside, do a trial run to make sure that the entire system works together as it should. It’s much easier to fix issues before your plants are arranged inside. You will also want to do one final safety check to make sure that no wires will get wet, no cords are in the way and all of the connections are secure.
Once this is done, you’ll be ready to start growing.
How to Decide Which Option is Best For You
Now that you know more about the breakdown of a grow tent vs grow room, you might still be wondering which is the right choice for you.
Ultimately, it will come down to a few of the following determining factors:
- The size of your operation
- The strains of cannabis you plan to grow
- How much space is available
- What your budgetary limits are
It’s also possible to to combine both options.
You may be asking yourself, “Do I need a grow tent regardless of my setup?” The answer is that, while it is not necessary if you plan to convert a whole room, it can also be a useful tool to have at your disposal.
This is especially true because most grow tents are reasonably priced, so they are generally a good investment if you know that you plan to grow cannabis long-term.
The Grow Box vs Grow Tent Debate
Another common debate among cannabis growers is the issue of using a grow box vs grow tent. This is especially relevant if you only plan to have a small number of plants or want to grow certain strains that require separate care.
The biggest differences between grow boxes and grow tents are aesthetics and assembly. Grow boxes are preassembled, and they are able to be disguised as a regular piece of furniture if you don’t want the awkwardness of keeping a grow tent in a room that you use for other things.
The ease, discretion and durability of grow boxes makes them a popular choice for anyone considering an indoor cannabis garden, but the truth is that one choice is not inherently better than the other.
There’s a lot of information for you to sift through in this post, so let’s go over the basics one more time.
A grow tent is a portable, collapsible unit that is affordable and ideal for small growing spaces. A grow box is a more durable and discreet alternative, but it is also much smaller and cannot be easily moved or stored.
A grow room is a bigger area that has been retrofitted with ventilation, shelving and other equipment to facilitate growing larger numbers of cannabis plants. It is generally more cost and labor intensive, but if you are serious about growing cannabis long-term, it’s a great investment.
Before you make any final decisions, decide what your budget is, which strains of cannabis you’d like to grow and how many plants you intend to have. Answering these questions will help you decide if you need a grow box, grow tent or grow room.
Many serious cannabis growers even use tents and boxes in tandem with grow rooms, so the best way to choose which option is right is for you to have a clear idea of how you want your garden to be set up.