Growing cannabis indoors can be a frustrating and difficult process. But if you're an avid consumer of cannabis then you've probably realized that growing your own bud can save you a lot of money and you can enjoy higher quality flower.
If you've done you research then you know that growing high quality, high yielding cannabis is not easy. Getting top quality results requires the proper lighting, nutrients and water conditions. Finding these optimal conditions can be difficult and extremely time consuming to maintain.
In this article, we're going to review two main ways to grow at home:
1. DIY Grow Tents
2. Automated Home Grow Boxes
Ready? Let's dive in!
Getting Started with a Grow Tent
What are the benefits of a grow tent?
A grow tent is one of the most commonly used indoor growing systems today. For those of you new to the home growing space, a grow tent is essentially a rectangular tent with a reflective inside. They're designed to be used indoors and the main reason they are used is because they give you the freedom to grow year round with being dependent on weather. When you add lighting into them, they can speed up the growth cycles of your plants, help keep pests out compared to outdoor gardening and allow you to customize the growing conditions of your plants. Because grow tents sell all parts separately, there is a lot of flexibility with how you set up your system.
How big is a grow tent?
Grow tents come in many sizes from a mini grow tent, to a small 2x2 grow tent up to a larger 10 foot by 10 foot version. Many of the tents are designed to be large enough that people to get inside and walk around. For those with a lot of space in their homes there is the potential to grow quite a few plants at once in these systems. Because of the size and appearance of this large square black tent, most people will keep their grow tents in the basement or somewhere out of sight. The size of your tent will determine how many plants you can grow, with most holding approximately 2-8 plants.
How to set up a grow tent
Setting up your grow tent involves quite a few steps and a bit of elbow grease, not unlike a piece of Ikea furniture. Make sure you choose a location close to a power source and out of any rooms you don’t want to smell like cannabis. First you'll assemble the posts into a rectangular skeleton, then pull the tent covering over and around the frame. We highly suggest having two people to assemble the tent because of the size and how easily you can pop out a piece of the frame on certain tents, causing you to start over. Once the outer tent is assembled then it's time to install your lights and set up the reservoirs and tables to hold your plants. Once you have your tent set up and the lights turned on you can begin your grow!
The nice part about grow tents is if you have the time and money you can experiment with different systems (different lights, ventilations systems etc) until you find the best mix for your plants. The serious downside, however, is that setting up a grow tent can be quite complex. It requires a fair amount of research before buying and assembly because you need to find the correct lighting, decide what growing method you're going to use, plan out the ventilation system, and more. Sounds like too much work? Check out the grow boxes below!
Where and how do you buy a grow tent?
There are many different ways to buy indoor grow tents. You can buy them in person at many different retailers, online from hydroponic shops or second hand from other growers. Home growing is becoming so common now that you can even find some basic LED grow lights at Costco! Prices and quality on systems can vary from place to place so it's best to do your research first to make sure you find the best grow tent for your needs.
An important note is that when you buy a tent is that it will usually only come with the tent. That means you get the frame and cover to create a tent. You will have a lot of decisions to make about how you will outfit your tent. You'll have to decide on what type of lighting you want. The main lights commonly used are metal halide lights, high pressure sodium lights and LED lights. Full spectrum grow LEDs have improved drastically over the past few years so we recommend picking those. LED Lights have a higher price up front but will save you lots of money in electricity.
The next decision is how you will ventilate the tent and keep the smells contained. The ventilation system will depend on the size of your grow tent and the ventilation already in your home. If you have access to outside vents that's ideal, but if you don’t you can substitute with air conditioning. You will also want something to capture the smells, such as carbon filters.
Fans inside the tent are necessary to keep the plants moving and shaking for calcium distribution, but make sure to shop around and find a fan that isn’t too loud to keep running in your home. Once that is set up now you can focus on the plants themselves. You will require a growing medium and there are a lot of different options. You can grow your cannabis or other plants in systems such as hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics, soil, cocoa, ebb and flow and many others. Once the growing medium is set now it’s time to look at plant nutrients because just like us, plants need their nutrients too!
There are a ton of decisions to make. If it's your first time growing and you want to grow in a tent, we recommend looking into a complete grow tent kit. Complete sets come with a higher price tag but better chances of getting the best grow.
Do grow tents let out smell?
Grow tents are helpful at reducing the smell of your marijuana. To reduce smells most effectively, set up a ventilation system and use filters. The ventilation and filters will only let through a small amount of smell into the room. The problem with the smell is that every time you open your tent to check on your plants or do maintenance, you will end up letting out smells. So grow tents are helpful for reducing smells, but even the best grow tent will not eliminate them completely. Grow tents will take some planning to figure out a suitable grow room to ensure your living space stays fresh.
Is a grow tent right for me?
- Flexibility to change up the internal systems
- Requires a lot of research and experimentation to set up
- Best for those with prior knowledge about best conditions for growing
- Requires time and daily maintenance for the care of plants
- Are often noisy and can let out smells
Grow Boxes - The Easiest Way to Indoor Grow!
Growing in a tent is hard. That's why the mechanical engineers, horticulturalists, customer service experts and software engineers at Grobo have worked together to come up with an incredible solution to make our lives more simple. Grow boxes ensure every grow is your best grow.
Meet the Automated Grow Box
An automatic grow box is by far the easiest way to start growing cannabis. These elegant machines automate the entire growing process for you. You don’t have to worry about the pesky and complicated tasks that can make growing a frustrating and difficult experience. The grow box worries about it for you and then automatically takes action to fix it without you ever having to lift a finger. All you need to do is pick a strain, plant a seed and harvest it!
Seems pretty awesome, but how is that even possible?
It does seem too good to be true. How could there be some magic box that just automatically knows how to give you your best grow? If plants need all these very specific conditions to survive, then how can a box just know how to do that?
To explain I’ll take a deep dive on the Grobo Premium Automatic Grow Box and show you just exactly how it works.
A Hydroponic Growing System means no dirt in your house
The Grobo uses a hydroponic growing system. This means that it doesn’t use soil but instead uses a deep water culture system for its plants to grow in. The roots simply sit in a water reservoir that feed it nutrients and maintain its proper pH levels. The automated grow box has a couple fancy bells and whistles that make growing an incredibly simple task.
Automatic pH Level Control
Sensors monitor your unit constantly measuring your grow boxes pH levels. Let’s say that your system’s pH level starts slipping below where it should be for optimal growing conditions. The growbox will recognize this and then BAM! It automatically doses pH up or pH down to get the deep water culture tank pH level back to where it wants to be.
Automated Nutrient Dosing
Similarly to the pH system the tank is also fitted with EC sensors that are always checking up on the waters nutrients levels. The automatic grow box has been programmed to know how much each strain needs and when to feed it. This means that your plant will never be going hungry.
Now this is where it gets pretty crazy. The strains have been tested and optimized for perfect plant growth. Every single recipe has its own tailored light setting!! How does the Automated Grow Box know each recipe's optimal light settings?
The Grobo lab is constantly testing, recording and tweaking recipes to optimize growth, improve quality and maximize the yield of each of the strains. Grobo’s eight spectrum lighting completely changes the game. This may just sound like 8 fancy ways to give your plant light but it can actually do some pretty amazing things for your plant. The 8 different colours can shine at varying intensities throughout each stage of the growth cycle. Grobo customizes the lighting settings of each specific strain to increase the yield and quality of the plant.
The Automatic Grow Box is Designed to Fit Your Lifestyle
Smell Proof: One of the biggest issues with growing cannabis indoors is the smell. The automated grow box solves this issue entirely. Fitted with a no-smell carbon filter and an airtight seal on its door you don’t have to worry about any unwanted smells drifting around in your house. There's no longer a need for a separate grow room, this system is made for any room in the house.
Low Energy Cost: Grow tents and DIY systems use a lot of energy. Not only is this not very environmentally responsible but it can also be very expensive. To remedy this issue the Grobo uses extremely energy efficient LED lighting. This allows you to keep costs low while keeping quality high.
Sleek design: Not everyone wants a big ugly grow tent in their house. Nor do they have room for a massive 8x8 tent in their living room. The Grobo Automated Grow Box looks like a nice cannabis trophy case and fits into any room beautifully.
What's the Difference Between a Grow Tent and a Grow Box?
There are some major differences between a grow tent and a grow box. While they may initially seem very similar they differ in the quality and quantity of plant yields, security, price, appearance, smell and the amount of weekly work required.
Quantity and Quality:
A grow tent will produce a higher yield if you buy a large sized tent but getting that yield will require significantly more research and trial & error. Grow boxes have automated the entire growing process. In addition, grow tents have one lighting cycle. What that means is that if your plant is in flowering, then every plant must be in flowering at the same time. 12 hours on, 12 hours off. Instead of a single spectrum light hanging from the top of a grow tent, the grow box has a set of full spectrum LED lights that automatically adjust to your plants. Grow boxes know that plants have distinct growing phases, and a grow box will tailor the light spectrum to maximize the grow at every cycle .
Blue - Increases the growth rate of plants
Green - Enhances chlorophyll production and is used as a pigment for proper plant viewing
Far Red - Speeds up the Phytochrome conversion which reduces the time a plant takes to go into a night-time state. This allows the plant to produce a greater yield
Both the grow tent and grow boxes have better security than growing your plants in the open. Grow tents have four soft walls and a zipper to enclose your plants but they also have large holes for ventilation and hoses and are not going to keep a mischievous pet out for long if they are motivated. Grow boxes have a far better security system for protecting your children and pets from getting into your grows. They're made out of metal instead of fabric and completely enclosed. The only way to unlock a grow box is through the app and there is no way for a child to fidget the door or a dog to rip a hole in it. With a grow box you can rest easy that only you have access to your plants.
A grow tent is cheaper than a grow box. While a grow tent is about $900 on average a grow box will cost ~$2000 on average. The difference in price comes from the lack of technology in a grow tent. A grow tent gives you a space to garden in your home, while grow boxes maximize the quality of your plants with minimal work from you. The difference also comes from materials, with grow boxes being made out of more durable, safe and aesthetically pleasing materials. Click here to calculate how much you could save by home growing.
A grow tent is made to stay in the basement, a grow box is made for the living room. The grow tent has minimized costs in order to make it a less intimidating initial purchase, however this has left them large and unsightly. A grow box is significantly smaller and made out of beautiful materials. Instead of a giant black or brown tent, you can get a more compact, white, sleek grow box.
Both grow tents and grow boxes will reduce the smells of growing weed in your house. A grow tent is equipped with filters to capture the smells. A grow box has a tighter seal as well as carbon filters to reduce smell. A main difference comes from the fabric of tents sometime allowing the smells to escape, while grow boxes have a better seal for smells. Another difference is that grow tents require a lot of maintenance and work from the grower. You will need to open your tent frequently to check on your plants and water and feed them. Because of a grow box’s automation a lot of that work is done by the box instead of you. It will automatically water and nutrient dose your plants at the perfect time, all you have to do is fill up the water tank every week or so. With the reduced numbers of times you need to open your box, less smells will get out leaving your house smelling fresh. Some grow boxes even have fluid glass doors, which allow you to change the glass from solid coloured to see through so you can check up on your plant without having to open the door.
Amount of weekly work required:
Grow tents do not reduce the amount of work for a gardener. If you love checking on your plants and tending to them daily, then this is a great option for you. If you’re like us and either and don’t have a green thumb as well as don’t have the time to constantly be caring for your cannabis, then a grow box is the right choice. A lot of research into plant growth was done so that you can fill up the water tank and sit back and relax while your grow box does all the work for you. Cannabis grown in a grow tent will require about 16 hours of work a month, while a grow box will only take about an hour. That’s a difference of almost two full work days a month!
And there you have it. An all-in-one grow system can be the perfect solution to the challenges of growing indoors. By using a grow box you can depend on consistent high quality and high yields from your cannabis plants without all the work and the smells of other indoor growing systems. So get growing!