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How to Decide Between a Grow Tent and a Grow Room

By Kent Gruetzmacher | Last updated: April 27, 2021
Key Takeaways

There are plenty of choices to make when starting a new grow operation, but one of the biggest is deciding on where to house your plants.

When modern indoor gardeners start a new cultivation operation, they are faced with several set-up and equipment choices. The cornerstone of this planning and purchasing process lies in the decision concerning the garden’s infrastructure: the foundational choice between purchasing a pre-built grow tent and retrofitting a space into a growroom.

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Here are a few points of wisdom to follow when making a level-headed decision between a tent and a custom-built growroom. Of course, remember that while media sources like this, as well as friends’ opinions, can be extremely helpful in making this choice, it is recommended that your final judgement be mostly based on personal requirements and the allocated cultivation space.

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Choosing the Right Grow System for Your Unique Environments

The first consideration to consider when making the decision to either use a grow tent or a retrofitted room is the fact that every room in a home or building is unique. Different locales within a home experience weather and temperature fluctuations differently, due largely to directional positioning and the level of the building.

To elaborate, a garage has far less insulation and environmental protections than a bedroom does. Even more, a garage with a north-facing door will receive far less sunlight and stay far cooler than a garage with a door facing south.

If one is living in a northern state and is planning on setting up an indoor operation during the wintertime, cold temperatures are a huge concern. In this instance, a grow tent likely will be a bad choice because they don’t offer the insulation that is available with a custom-built room.

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Choosing the Right Grow System: Consider the Impact on Your Home

Another exceptionally important variable in a horticulturalist’s judgements concerning tents and retrofitted rooms is whether the home is rented or owned. First and foremost, indoor growers should never attempt to set up a cultivation operation in a rented home without the given consent of their landlord. If you do get a green light, grow tents are a far less intrusive option for respectively growing a small crop in a rented space.

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As tents have sturdy interior frames that support a good amount of equipment, they allow growers to set up a grow area without drilling and cutting holes into walls and ceilings. Also, the bottom of a tent is both lipped and waterproof, which should keep excess water from destroying the floors beneath. It is safe to assume that grow tents have far less of an impact on the interior of a home than retrofitting a room does.

Think About the Size and Function of Your Indoor Garden

Aside from the environmental and tenure constraints on a cultivation space, the size and function of the area are the next most important elements in deciding between a tent and a room build-up. This is directly related to one’s personal desires for their indoor operation. For example, it’s unlikely that a gardener can successfully set up a 12,000W flower room in a grow tent.

This set-up would require a 12x16-foot room just for the garden canopy, not to mention space for equipment and working. When indoor operations reach this level of size and complexity, individuals using tents often find themselves spending vast amounts of time simply figuring out how to situate all the necessary equipment instead of growing—it’s unpractical and directly contradicts the beautiful simplicity of grow tents.

Indoor cultivators must also decide whether the area in question will be used for vegetative growth or for flowering. In most indoor growing scenarios, grow tents provide an excellent environment and infrastructure for vegetative growth.

Tents work great for early plant development stages because these periods don’t generally require as much wattage as flowering phases (low temperature fluorescent T5 and LED lights do the job for vegetative growth). Furthermore, flower rooms require more equipment to control environmental factors like smell, humidity, CO2, and temperature.

This extra equipment is very difficult to situate within a grow tent. It is possible to use a tent for flowering phases, but it will likely only be successful and practical on a small, personal scale.

Materials

One more critical element to be conscious of is the types and amounts of materials needed to build your set-up. Grow tents, particularly for small-scale operations, tend to be one-stop shops in that they usually don’t require additional materials. In this sense, tents allow growers to more accurately budget their build.

On the other hand, when retrofitting a room, growers often must embark on countless trips to the hardware store and/or hydro shop. This not only costs time and gas money, but these shopping excursions can also include hidden expenses not calculated in the original build-out budget.

There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding where to house your grow. No matter if you end up using a grow tent or growroom, just be sure to choose the set-up that’s right for you and your plants’ needs.

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Written by Kent Gruetzmacher | Writer, Owner of KCG Content

Profile Picture of Kent Gruetzmacher

Kent Gruetzmacher MFA is a Colorado-based writer and owner of the writing and marketing firm KCG Content. Kent has been working in the cannabis and hydroponics space for over a decade. Beginning in California in 2009, he has held positions in cultivation, operations, marketing, and business development. Looking specifically to writing, Kent has worked with many of the leading publications and marketing agencies in the cannabis space. His writing has been recognized by such icons as Steve D’Angelo and Rick Simpson.

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