Getting In-Tents: Why a Grow Tent Might Be Right for You

Dreaming of local produce in London? Or is the changing climate wreaking havoc on your seasonal fruit and veg?

Indoor growing allows you to cultivate your own fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ornamental plants wherever you are. Lower in carbon footprint and completely independent of weather conditions, it’s the future of growing as we know it. 

One of the most popular ways of creating a perfect, self-contained environment is using a grow tent. It allows you to completely control the temperature, light, and humidity of your environment.

Not only are tents an eco-friendly way of growing locally, but they’re designed to create the fastest and largest yields possible. Let’s find out more…

Who can use a grow tent?

Almost anyone! They’re an affordable option for those just starting and can be cheaper to maintain than a grow room. Grow tents can be placed indoors or outdoors. 

Sizes range widely, but generally you can grow between 1 and 80 large potted plants. Check out our Custom Grow Tent Configurator to see which size would work best for you. Most tent growers are individuals looking to grow for fun or to sustain themselves or their families with locally-grown produce.


What features does it have?

  • Black exterior: This absorbs the heat coming in and out of the tent, keeping the climate inside unaffected. The exterior is usually made of canvas material and fits onto the framework. 
  • Reflective interior: Grow tents are lined with a reflective white or silver material. This bounces light back towards your plants when it hits the walls, reducing photon losses and allowing your grow lights to work most efficiently. Mylar is the industry standard; it reflects 97% of light. 
  • Framework: This holds the tent together and is assembled like a standard tent or marquee. The framework is usually made of metal or sturdy plastic. 
  • Ports, doors, and vents: These allow you to access the tent. High-quality grow tents are sealed with specialised zips to prevent light from entering through the tiny gaps in the teeth. You should also look for mesh windows - which allow you to look into the tent without entering - and drawstrings to seal unused ports. 

  • When fully assembled, the tent is self-contained, made of four walls, a floor, and a ceiling. 

    What equipment do you need?

    The tools you decide to use in your grow tent is up to you. What you choose may depend on your budget, experience level, or the amount of time you plan on spending in your garden. 

    Almost all methods of growing will require an electric grow light, as well as some form of ventilation like a fan. Plants produce carbon dioxide, so you will likely need a way to remove this from such a contained space. Ducting is an effective way of transporting hot, stale air out of your tent, and you may wish to use a carbon filter to remove the CO2 odour. 

    Hydroponic growing is a popular choice in grow tents due to growers’ total control over lighting and climate. You’ll need a hydroponic system of your choice, plus the appropriate pots, trays, tanks, and nutrients. 

    If you’re not growing hydroponically, you’ll need a suitable substrate such as soil or coco coir. 

    It’s also useful to have equipment that monitors your conditions at all times. A thermometer is a must, and pH and EC sticks are necessary to measure the acidity levels and electrical conductivity of your nutrient solution

    If you’re a more experienced gardener or you have a higher budget, there are other pieces of equipment that make the process run more smoothly. Automated thermostats, nutrient chillers, and timers will offer a hands-free approach to high yields. 

    You might choose to build equipment up as you go - or you might find that a kit is a costworthy option. GrowersHouse has a range of customisable grow tent kits to have everything you need delivered to you. 

    What are the benefits of growing in a grow tent?

    The short answer is control. Plants love predictability, and a grow tent allows every aspect of growing to be contained, monitored, and adjusted.

    Since they’re a complete environment, tents can do their job pretty much anywhere. This makes them available to a far wider range of users than a greenhouse or vegetable patch. 

    Time for the pros and cons! Here are just some of the reasons you might choose a grow tent for your next fruit and veg venture:

    Create an optimum environment 

    This is the most basic function of a grow tent. Every plant has different requirements, and operating in a tent allows you to cater perfectly to whatever is inside. 

    Because they’re fully enclosed, a tent maintains the conditions you set up for ventilation, heat, and lighting. Zips, closeable vents, and drawstring ports ensure minimal contact between the inside and the outside. Of course, you’ll still need to perform regular checks, but it’s largely self-sustaining - and there’s no risk of an early sunset or a sudden downpour. 

    This means that your plants will always be in their best possible climate; reducing stress, increasing nutrient uptake and photosynthesis, and leading to larger and healthier yields. 

    No seasonal limits

    What’s another advantage of keeping plants in their optimum environment? They’re always in season!

    Let’s face it: if you’re growing in the UK, your climate likely ranges from grey to…less grey. This can severely limit the scope of produce available if you’re growing outside. 

    The effects of climate change have also made it difficult to pinpoint peak growing seasons in recent years. Noticed the daffodils in January? Milder winters - followed by colder, more torrential springs - can make it difficult to determine when to start planting and you could risk losing your seasonal produce completely if a warm spell or flood comes out of nowhere. 

    In a tent, you can eliminate this risk and grow seasonal produce at any time of year

    Alternatively, you can mimic the conditions of warmer, brighter, and more humid climates to grow fruits and vegetables that aren’t locally available to you. Bell peppers, chillies, and strawberries show particular success in grow tents. 

    Little space needed

    Standard grow tents can be as small as 2 x 2 feet - that’s about the size of a single wardrobe. They also allow for vertical growing, meaning you can optimise the height available to you as well as the floor space. Hydroponic setups such as drip irrigation systems are particularly effective for this.

    This makes them an option for growers with limited room as well as a highly cost-efficient option. 


    Affordable and energy-efficient

    Tents are an affordable option for first-time indoor growers. Depending on their size and the features you require, it’s possible to pick up a good-quality grow tent for under £50

    As well as this, their efficiency makes for huge savings on your energy bills. Chances are you aren’t able to choose the exact dimensions of your office or spare room, which means you may lose money heating or cooling empty space. Poor insulation or mould issues can also make household spaces difficult for plants to thrive. 

    Grow tents are designed to provide the best possible insulation and light reflection. They are usually black to absorb outdoor heat and light. They’re also lined with a reflective surface such as Mylar to allow light to bounce around the inside of the tent. 


    Protection against pests

    Just as they keep light in, grow tents also keep the nasty parts out. Common pests like aphids, whiteflies, and mites can have disastrous effects on plants. 

    You’re much less likely to suffer from insect infestations growing in a tent than you are in other outdoor settings. Even spaces like greenhouses require some outside air, as well as exposing your plants every time you open the door. 

    Most grow tents come with mesh vents, which allow easy vision into the tent without disrupting the climate or letting the outdoors in.


    Local, urban growing

    “City” and “sustainable” might not sound like they come hand in hand. 82.9% of the UK lives in urban areas, which is notoriously low on agricultural space. If you’re paying city prices, you may not have the privilege of a garden or the work-life flexibility of an allotment. 

    Grow tents make gardening accessible to anyone regardless of where they live. The smallest are compact enough to keep in a garage, storage cupboard, or balcony. Local produce is not only rising in demand - with almost three quarters of shoppers looking to buy British fruit and vegetables  - but it’s a necessary step against climate destruction. 

    Access to green space is also a valuable resource for our mental health. In years when we’ve been more isolated than ever, nurturing an indoor garden can be a welcome mood boost. 


    Portable and easy to assemble

    Grow tents are made primarily from fabric - so they’re a super lightweight and portable way of setting up camp. They’re generally easy to assemble with their rectangular frame. 

    Most grow tents will come with comprehensive instructions and can be put together by 1 or 2 people in 30 minutes or so. 

    Are there any drawbacks?

    Consider extreme weather

    If you’re placing your tent outdoors, be aware that it may not withstand exceptional weather. Most decent grow tents are designed for wind and rain, but you can never be certain when it comes to extreme conditions. 


    Be aware of quality 

    The main thing to look out for is quality. This doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive tent! Basic is no problem, as long as it provides total protection against the outdoors.

    A low-quality tent might increase your energy bills or interfere with your dark and light periods. Make sure to find tents with thick material to keep your system fully insulated. High-quality stitching, such as double stitching, will help to prevent tears. A solid framework will be more resistant to the elements should you place your tent outdoors. 

    Convinced? Don’t forget to check GrowersHouse’s Grow Tent Configurator to understand the most effective size for your needs. 

    Also, browse the blog for even more tips on UK hydroponics, aeroponics, and sustainable gardening. We’d love to see you there!