In this article, we are going to go over the basic setup of a grow tent for cannabis or any other vegetable or plant. Growing your own cannabis is an amazing experience, and using products like Reefertilizer can make it much simpler and foolproof. I’m going explain all the components required for a smell free and safe grow. Let’s get started!
Cannabis Grow Tent
Your grow tent is the first thing you will need to set up. A grow tent usually consists of a metal frame and a nylon outer shell. The inside of the tent is covered in reflective material, which greatly improves the efficiency of the lights in your tent. The shell also prevents light from bleeding out. The tent will also have sealable holes for venting and wiring.
There are many styles of tents available online or at your local hydroponic store. A good quality tent will last for years.
Setting up a cannabis grow tent isn’t much more difficult than setting ups a tent for camping. Once it’s set up where you want it, it’s time to start adding all your other components.
Grow tent fans usually come in three sizes: 4″, 6″ or 8″
They also are rated by the amount of air they can move. This value is called CFM, which stands for Cubic Feet per Minute.
The size of your grow tent will determine the size requirement for your fan. To keep your plants healthy you will have to replace the entire volume of air in the tent once every minute.
So to find out the size fan you need, you have to calculate the volume of your grow tent. That number will be your minimum CFM rating.
A 4″ fan is rated around 200CFM
A 6″ fan is rated around 440CFM
A 8″ fan is rated around 740CFM
So a 4′ x 2′ x 5′ tent would have a volume of 40 square feet. A 4″ fan would be perfect for a tent this size.
Even though it can exchange much more air than the volume of your tent, it’s very ideal. You fan also cools down the environment inside the grow tent. Lights can generate a lot of heat, having a strong fan will help blow out the hot air. Your fan will also be sucking through a carbon filter inside your tent, this reduces the efficiency of the fan slightly, another reason for a strong extraction fan.
Many fans have a speed control, giving you much more control raising or lowering the temperature of your grow tent.
You will also need a blade fan to help move in inside your tent. Cannabis plants absorb C02 from their leaves and will release oxygen from the bottom of their leaves. By moving this air with a fan you will allow more CO2 to be available to your plants. The rule of thumb with air flow is that you want to see your branches dancing, just like they would outside in nature.
If you don’t want your entire house or garage to smell like dank weed, you will need a carbon filter.
This filter will be hung inside your tent and will be connected to your extractor fan. You will need to find the same size filter as your fan.
You will need to connect some vent tubing to the filter and fan with and a worm clamp or some duct tape.
Basically, your fan will be sucking air from inside your tent, through the carbon filter. Your fan then pushes the carbon scrubbed air outside.
There are few options when it comes to light. Three of the most common light sources are fluorescent, sodium, and LED. They each have their pros and cons when it comes to price, power usage, and energy emitted. All grow lights are trying to emulate the sun as much as possible. They will never come close to matching the energy of our sun, but they will be able to give plants enough energy for an impressive harvest. Do your research to find out what’s best for you.
You will want to use a timer for your lights to emulate the day and night cycle. This also eliminates the need for you to have to switch the light on and off twice a day. I’ve never met anyone who does that, but I figure everyone is a beginner at some point, and might not think to use a timer.
The amount of light you need is directly related to the area squared of your tent. The absolute minimum wattage per square foot is 30 watts, a more optimum level would be between 50 and 80 watts. So let’s say your tent is 4′ x 2′, its area is 8″ squared. 8 x 30 watts = 240 watts. So, 240 watts is the minimum light requirement for a tent that size. The amount of power your lights are emitting will have a direct impact on the amount of bud you plant will produce. The more power, the bigger the buds.
Heat and Humidity Control
Every tent should have a tool that measures the temperature and humidity. Each phase of growth requires the tent to be within a certain range of temperature and humidity. Monitoring your heat and humidity are crucial to a successful crop. Large temperature leaps will slow your plant’s growth and stress them unnecessarily.
Depending on your geographical location, you will either need a humidifier or de-humidifier. You will want to keep your humidity levels at around 50% for your grow. Over the plant’s life, you will want to humidity to go from high to low. Sprouts like high humidity around 70%. For growing plants, it should be between 50% and 70%. For flowering plants, 40% to 50% relative humidity is the optimum range. Humidity higher than 50% could facilitate mold or bud rot in the flowers.
Temperature is another factor that will depend on your geographic location. You will want to keep the tent temperature between 19 and 29 degrees Celsius. By keeping it lower at night time it will help simulate the temperature drop in the evening outdoors. Sometimes a heater isn’t required, but if your tent is set up in a basement, it might get colder at night. Having a small heater with a thermostat that can turn on if the temperature drops under a certain value might be required.
Your lights will also produce heat. High-pressure sodium lights produce much more heat than LEDs. If your lights are raising the temperature too much, you will have to increase your fan speed to help push out the hot air and suck in cooler fresh air.
Having a temperature that’s too hot will stress your plants causing all sorts of problems like cat-tailing, and reduced potency.
Other Things to Consider
Automation can be a great way to reduce the amount of time required to tend to your plants. A bit of trial and error is required to create the right balance. You’re probably automating your lights already with a timer, but you can also automate your watering and temperature. There are some premium systems that automate lights by fading them over time and moving them along an axis to simulate the movement of the sun.
If you plan on being away from your plants for a few days, keep safety in mind. Sodium bulbs produce a lot of heat, and I personally don’t feel comfortable leaving them on while I’m away. LEDs are great because they produce some heat but don’t get dangerously hot. Keep the number of electronics inside your tent limited, or at least watch that your wires aren’t sitting in water.
I will feed my plants outside the tent to avoid any standing water in the tent that would add extra humidity.
Want to Learn More about Grow Tents?
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