Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Grow Tents: The Magical Guide (Part Two)

...Continued from part one of Grow Tents: The Magical Guide

The Fabric, The Grow Light and The Deniers

No life without light. Lights inside a tent.
When picking a grow tent, one of the important features to look carefully at, is the high quality fabric shell, that won’t tear. You’ll know whether or not fabric is high quality by checking the denier rating on the manufacturer’s specs. What’s a denier? It’s a unit of measurement that lets you know the thickness of the fibers that make up the fabric. The higher the number, the thicker the fabric. Thicker fabric translates to a sturdy, light saving shell. Experts suggest choosing fabric within the 600D to 900D range.
Most, if not all, grow tents are equipped with a reflective interior. This is an important feature. Not only does the exterior side of the fabric keep light from leaking out of the grow tent, the light that remains inside is amplified and reflected back to the plants. This encourages low-leaf growth. Areas of your crop that might not otherwise receive overhead light now have a way to gain light.     

Flood Protection - Before the "Oops!" 

This doesn't need to be the case.
One of the benefits of grow rooms is how they partition off your grow area from the rest of your living space. This is especially helpful if you live in a small apartment or if you want your basement to appear tidy.

Pretty much all indoor grow tents have six sides: four walls, a ceiling and floor. If water or nutrient fluid spills the liquid falls onto the floor of the tent and not your personal floor. High quality grow tents offer a flood panel along with a floor. This panel is absorbent and provides a sturdy base for your grow tent.

Not always a standard feature, especially in some bare bones packages, be on the lookout for this option. It can save you some serious damage to your rental unit or your home.

Ventilation Ducts

A well-ventilated grow tent is key to healthy crops. Air flow encourages growth and discourages disease and pests. Grow tents feature ventilation ducts but when choosing a grow tent determine if the ducts are placed in areas that work for you. Also look for power cord outlets, not just ducts on the sides or upper levels.

To prevent light leakage, check for velcro fasteners, cinches or other ways to tighten the duct so that minimal light escapes.

The Nice Grow Tent Extras

One nice extra for this kind of set-up are observation windows. They allow you to maintain a hands-off approach without interrupting a carefully balanced ecosystem. You can still check in on your crop but you won’t disturb them. Observation windows are an added feature on most grow tents, just remember to zip or velcro the panel back into place to maintain a light seal.

One other extra that many growers look for in a grow tent are pockets. Some grow tents have pockets that allow you to store equipment and other items in the tent itself. This leads to less clutter outside the tent and is an easy way to remember where all your gear is located.

In some ways, grow tents are perfect for people who like yields but not gardening. Once you get the grow tent set up, the equipment situated and the plants growing all you have to do is automate the system. Lights come on and turn off. Hydroponic systems feed the plants at timed intervals. Ventilation systems cool and monitor air flow. 

Grow Tents: The Magical Guide (Part One)

           Think of a grow tent as a greenhouse inside your house, only better. Like a good greenhouse, a good indoor grow tent combines a strong structure with a sturdy interior. Grow tents also provide temperature and climate control. Although you will still need to watch out for bugs and disease, grow tents provide a clean and safe protective environment for your plants. 

Additionally, a good grow tent is better than a great greenhouse due to  its mobility and ease of set-up. Plus, you won’t have to trek through the snow to access your plants.

Whether you are seeking a standard 4x4 grow tent or looking into larger operations, continue reading below to find out what you need to know to get the best grow tent for your crops.

How to choose the right grow tent

Still, think about what you will attach to that frame. In addition to the grow tent’s shell, you’ll have to consider the weight of lights, feeding systems, fans or other pieces of equipment. The frame fails and it isn’t just your crop that gets damaged, but the light system and everything else.
Get a good idea of your equipment’s weight and then choose a tent that can support that weight. Manufacturers usually list their product’s maximum support weight in their specs.

Choose a sturdy, thick, rugged frame preferably from metal. Ensure the clips and fittings are snug. Check warranties.
Plastic frames crack and bend, maybe not at first, but eventually they will, especially if you take down and set up frequently. But, if you intend to stay in place and have only one or two plants then plastic frames might be a good way for you to go.

Then think about what you grow. How tall are your plants going to get? Some growers warn that height is a big issue. Consider that the higher plants get, the higher lighting needs to get and pretty soon you can run out of space. One way around this potentially hazardous scenario is to choose a sturdy metal frame that can be adjusted or amended to increase height when necessary.

How to use a grow tent safely and easily

No one wants smashed, maimed or bloodied fingers. Nobody wants to tear their tent apart while trying to get inside of it. Since the door will be your only way into the tent and your only way out, then you need to make sure that the zippers function properly.

If you are ordering your grow tent online, then you’ll want to check for zippers that are sturdy but won’t tear the fabric’s seams. Some grow tent manufacturers offer tents with adhesive tape that affixes zippers to the tent, while others provide heavy duty, large zippers sewn into the fabric. If you go with sewn in zippers, then make sure they are double-stitched to avoid tearing. If the fabric is high quality (see the next section for more information on this) then tearing the seam shouldn’t be an issue.

Check to see how many openings the grow tent has and whether or not these openings are adjustable. This goes not just for doors, but for vent and duct openings as well.