DIY Grow Tent: How to Build the Best Grow Tent

Growing marijuana indoors can be rewarding, especially when you grow in a dedicated grow box or tent. But both options can add up to your expenses unless you build your own. Are you feeling crafty? We’ll cover how to make the best do-it-yourself (DIY) cannabis grow tent and why you’d want to use one.

My free marijuana grow bible has more information about grow tents.

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    Conveniently, grow tents or cabinets let you control:

    You may think a grow tent or box is the size of a backyard greenhouse. And although some tents or boxes are that size, a grow space can be small enough to fit in a cabinet. However, some are large, with some cabinets substituting as grow rooms. In general, you don’t need a backyard to build a grow tent. In fact, one of the best designs for DIY cannabis grow tents are tall, compact tents with reflective interior walls that fit into most coat closets.

    To be clear, grow boxes differ from grow tents. A box is solid, whereas a grow tent has a fabric or plastic exterior. Now that you’ve got the concept down, you’re ready to learn how to construct your own tent. There are several ways to build grow setups, but we’ll cover the most common types, as they are the easiest to build.

    Building a DIY Grow Tent: Shelving, The Easiest Method

    This DIY cannabis grow tent is called the adjustable rack or shelving method. To build an adjustable rack, you’ll need:

    • A Fan
    • 4 LED Lights
    • Duct Tape 
    • Velcro or Cable Ties
    • Black/White Poly
    • Adjustable Shelving System
    DIY Grow tent using shelving
    A DIY grow tent using shelving

    Use the black and white poly to line the walls and floors of greenhouses and grow rooms. It is a must-have material for your grow tent because it manages light. The white side of the material reflects light. The black side absorbs it.

    We suggest using an existing rack or buying an adjustable shelving system instead of making a PVC pipe rack. This saves you a lot of hassle. If you don’t mind the extra work, making your own PVC pipe rack greatly lowers the cost of your grow tent since much of the cost is the adjustable shelving system.

    The one downside to the shelving method is its height limitations. You’ll have a hard time growing tall sativa strains of marijuana in one of these.

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    • Produce compact plants
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    Shelving Method: Supplies and Tools

    Here’s what you need to know when setting up your own adjustable shelving system.

    Adjustable Shelving System

    The rack is a platform for your plants and your grow lights. Your grow lights need to be placed on the second shelf while your seedlings go on the third shelf. As your plants begin to grow, place two lights on the fourth shelf and split your plants up between the third shelf and the ground.

    Fans

    For your DIY grow tent ventilation, get a small fan. Your plans get hot, too, so keep the inside breezy.

    Duct Tape & Velcro

    Duct tape helps bind your wires together into a neat and uniformed line while the velcro attaches the wires to the rack. Save yourself the headache and frustration of having wires all over your grow space.

    A duct tape
    Duct tape

    Black/White Poly

    Black and white poly are the MVP of your grow tent. The white side reflects light inside the grow tent, which increases light exposure for your plants. The black side helps absorb light outside of your grow tent, which helps with the temperature inside the tent.

    Black/White Poly
    Black/White Poly film

    Grow Lights

    Your plants need light. You can go cheap and use fluorescent lights for your plants. Got cash to burn? Using LEDs will be a game-changer for your setup.

    Building a DIY Grow Tent: PVC Piping, The Cheapest Method

    There’s an affordable method to create your own grow tent. Use PVC piping for the frame and black/white poly for the curtains. It’s cheap and is easier to build as opposed to the shelving method.  Plus, you can make the frame as high as you want to grow tall plants indoors. 

    To build your frame with PVC piping, you’ll need:

    • Straight PVC piping
    • PVC fittings
    • PVC cutter
    • Fans
    • Duct tape & Velcro
    • Black/White Poly
    • Grow Lights
    A DIY Grow Tent using PVC piping method
    A DIY grow Tent using PVC piping method

    The key to making the frame of this tent is the PVC fittings. We get into PVC fittings below.

    Once you have all your materials, cut your straight PVC pipes to your desired measurements. Put them together using 3-way elbows. You’ll use the Tees and Cross PVC fittings to create a 2×2 grid on the top side of the frame. The grid is where you’ll hang your grow lights.

    Besides being cheap to make, using PVC piping makes the grow tent lightweight and easy to carry. The downside to using PVC piping is it requires a lot of work to make it into a fully functioning grow tent.

    PVC Method: Supplies and Tools

    Here’s what you need to know to make your grow tent using the PVC method.  

    Straight PVC Piping

    Straight PVC pipes
    Straight PVC pipes

    You’ll use PVC pipes to construct most of the frame. The length of PVC you use depends on how tall your plants will grow.

    PVC Fittings

    PVC fittings
    PVC fittings

    The type of fittings you use is important. PVC Fittings are small connectors that link the corners of PVC pipes and add multiple connections. In the case of using it as a frame, the fittings hold the parts of the pipe together. Make sure that you’ve got the right amount of each type. When making the frame, you need eight 3-way elbows, 4 Tees, and 1 Cross PVC.

    PVC Cutter

    PVC Cutter
    PVC Cutter

    Use a PVC cutter to cut the PVC pipes into the right length. Besides the cutter, you may want to Gorilla Glue PVC cement to further secure your frame. You should also wear protective equipment beforehand, such as hardware gloves and safety glasses.

    Fans

    Fans in a grow room
    Fans in a grow room

    Installing a fan in this type of grow tent can be the difference between having the ideal growing environment and a hellacious condition that will stunt your plants’ growth.

    Duct Tape & Velcro

    Besides using duct tape and velcro for wire management, you’ll use duct tape to put the black/white poly over the PVC frame and the velcro to seal your grow tent’s opening. That way, you have a way to look at your plants while maintaining a light-tight box.

    Black/White Poly

    Instead of lining the walls of a closet with the white poly as you would in the shelving method (or putting the black/white poly over the shelf), the black/white poly sheets become the walls and attach to the PVC frame.

    Grow Lights

    Since your grow tent is completely enclosed, you’ll need a source of light for your plants. That’s where grow lights come in. Although fluorescent lights work, we recommend using LEDs instead to get the most of your setup.

    Grow Lights

    Also read Best Indoor Grow Lights

    If you are planning on growing cannabis indoors, you most likely need to look at different grow lights available. Know the various lighting options as well as a few essential tips that are useful for every lighting system.

    Should you choose Mylar or Panda foil?

    Let’s start with what Mylar and Panda Foil are. They’re polyethylene sheets that growers use to either line the walls of their grow rooms or create curtains/walls for their grow tents. The material reflects light, which is what growers want to maximize the output of their grow lights.

    Mylar sheet
    A mylar sheet

    And Mylar specifically is the most reflective polyethylene sheet. With its diamond pattern and silver color, Mylar can have a reflectivity of 90-95%. Translation, an abundant and promising amount of light reaches your plants. Additionally, Mylar is also prized by growers for its tensile strength (its ability to bear weight and stress) and its ability to trap gas and aroma inside grow rooms.

    But Mylar isn’t a suitable material for constructing grow tents. It’s great for lining the walls and ceilings of a grow closet, but it lacks the tensile strength of plastic poly (such as Panda Foil). The diamond pattern on Mylar sheets is also difficult to clean if they get dirty, which isn’t the case for panda foil.

    Lastly, Panda Foil is more affordable than Mylar. And although it isn’t as reflective, Panda Foil is stronger and versatile than Mylar. That’s why I recommend using Panda Foil when constructing your grow tent.

    Step-by-Step: Building Your Own Grow Tent

    Assemble the rack of your DIY grow tent
    Assembling the rack of your DIY grow tent

    Time needed: 20 minutes.

    The following steps are our DIY grow tent instructions for the PVC method.

    1. Assemble the Rack

      Build a shelf using PVC pipes or assemble your ready-to-go shelving system. Your top shelf should be wide enough to place lights on yet high enough to leave space for your plants to grow. We also recommend making your shelf removable in case your plants grow taller than expected. Fasten loose wires to the tent’s frame using cable ties or velcro.

    2. Position Your Fan

      Place your fan underneath your shelving system. Make sure the fan is positioned so you can easily access the power switch. Or spend a little extra money and use a remote control fan.

    3. Hang Your Poly Up

      Drape your poly over the pipe frame or shelving system. Make sure the black side faces outwards. Place one of the poly edges onto the top shelf with an edge laying on each of the shelves’ sides. Leave any excess material pooling on the ground for now. Tape the poly’s top edges down onto the top shelf. Cut the edges on the sides and tape them down. Then, trim any extra material hanging at the bottom. Use any leftover poly to create a doorway that covers the tent’s last exposed side.

    4. Modify your Tent

      You’ve done the hard part. Now comes the fun part. Make modifications, such as temperature and humidity settings, as needed. If the temperature gets too hot, cut a few ventilation slits in the top of the tent.

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    • Grow whenever you want
    • Control lighting and temperature
    • Harvest quicker

    FAQs About Grow Tents

    Are grow tents fireproof?

    Grow tents can catch fire, especially if you don’t keep them clean, or use high-quality materials or when constructing them. Additionally, proper management of electrical components, such as lighting and fans can also help prevent fires.

    Are grow tents waterproof?

    Yes, most high-quality grow tents have waterproof interiors. Make sure you consider the floors as well!

    Are grow tents smell proof?

    No, grow tents are not smell proof, but you can use a carbon filter that will block the foul smell significantly. A good combination of placement of grow tent and carbon filter will achieve high level of privacy.

    What are the benefits of indoor grow tent?

    With an indoor grow tent, you can control the plant’s temperature, manage humidity levels and control lighting intensity. Ultimately, this leads to higher yields.

    Have you tried building a DIY grow tent? Please feel free to share your experience or ask questions in the comments.

    Happy growing!

    Robert


    Avatar for Robert Bergman

    Robert Bergman

    Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations. His passion for growing lead him to develop his own Gold Leaf strain. Now, Robert is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with the world.... [Read full bio]

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    • Avoid Common Grow Mistakes


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