How to Set Up A Grow Tent: The Complete Guide

Is the growing season where you live just not long enough to grow some of the vegetables and other plants that you love? Well, now there is a simple and affordable solution to this problem.


It is used to be years ago that the only way a person could extend their growing season was to build a greenhouse. These proved to very costly to build and provided much more growing space than most people needed.

Because of this people started thinking of lower cost growing alternatives and what is known as the ‘grow tent’ was born. Not only are they affordable but they are easy to set up and provide the user with a decent amount of growing space too. Here is how to set up a grow tent.

What is A Grow Tent?

A Grow Tent


These are permanent or semi-permanent low-cost structures that capture heat in order to allow you to grow plants that you could not normally grow during your areas natural outside growing season.

They also create a controlled environment to help with plant growth. Grow tents are also used to start pre-season seedling growth to give plants a better chance of survival once they are transplanted to an outside garden.

Grow tents can be built indoors or outdoors. Some people even use them to conceal the growth of homemade medicinal herbs such as cannabis.

If you want to know more about how to pick the best grow tent for your indoor gardening. This is a good article to read.

Materials List

Here are all of the items you will need to build your grow tent:

Sturdy Canvas

Sturdy Canvas

The amount of sturdy canvas you will need depends on how big of a grow tent you want to build. Keep in mind that having enough space between plants will help them grow better. Most canvas tarps that you can purchase at any home improvement center will have at least one shiny side.

If you can’t find canvas material with a reflective side you can also use insulation board that is shiny on one side. You can also consult with a roofing company to learn about the best insulation materials you can use for grow tents.

Wood Framing

Wood Framing

You will need several pieces of wood in which to frame your grow tent. You will need at least a sheet of plywood, 2x4’s and 2x2’s. How many you will need depends on the size of your grow tent.

** Note: Some people will also build the top part of their grow tents out of 1 inch PVC pipe which is fine but it’s harder to attach the canvas to that material.

Recirculation Fan

Recirculation Fan

Air circulation is critical for successfully growing plants in a grow tent. Again the size of the circulation system you will need in your grow tent depends upon the size of it.

If you don’t want to design your own circulation system for your grow tent then there are companies that make recirculation fan packages that even include activated carbon filters.



Of course, you will need some soil which to grow your plants in. You might even want to dig up some soil in your yard and then mix it with some locally purchased bags of top soil to give you a nice base material to do your planting in.


Pots Or Plant Containers

If you are going to grow seedlings in your grow tent and later transfer them to an outside garden it is best to grow them in individual small pots or containers that will hold several seedlings.

Vent tubing

Vent Tubing

You can spend as little or as much money as you want on the vent tubing for your grow tent. Even something like inexpensive dryer vent tubing will work OK if you don’t force too much air pressure through it.

Carbon filter

Carbon Filter

Too much CO2 can be a bad thing inside your grow tent. That is why you will want to add a carbon filter to your recirculating system. It will also help control the bad smells coming from the grow tent.

Light Source

Light Source

Of course, you can’t grow plants without having a light source. LED lighting is the type of lighting that most experienced grow tent builders seem to choose.

The Steps Necessary to Build Your Very Own Grow Tent

We mentioned that building your own grow tent is very easy but it still needs to be done exactly right. Here are the steps necessary to build a grow tent that will provide you with many plants and vegetables that require a longer growing season than you have where you live.

Once you have assembled all the materials you need and have gathered your tools together here is how you will proceed to build the grow tent:

Step 1: Build A Square Base

Build a square base


Of course, you will need a foundation piece for your grow tent. It has to be sturdy too since you will be putting heavy dirt or heavy dirt filled pots on it. So take your pieces of 2x4 and build a rectangular frame the size of the width and length you want your grow box to be.

Once your frame is built then you will cover one side of your frame with a piece of plywood. This will become your base for the grow tent.

Step 2: Make A Frame for The Canvas Covering

Next, you will take four 2x2’s and cut them so you have at least 4 feet of height to work with inside your grow tent. That will give your plants enough room to get plenty of oxygen and to give you room to work inside your new grow tent.

Take four more 2x2’s and make another square box frame around the top of the 2x2 uprights. Put some 2x2 supports across the short side of the new top frame also.

Step 3: Add On The Canvas

Add on the canvas


Next, you will have to attach the canvas solidly over the top of your grow tent, the two sides and the back of it too. Use a heavy duty stapler or roofing nails to do this. Measure a piece for the front too. Only attach the front canvas across the top. That way you can roll it up and down to give you access to your grow tent.

Step 4: Add Vent Pipe Going In And Out

Take your vent pipe that you bought and carefully cut a hole the size of the diameter of the pipe on each side of the grow box. You will slide your pipe in these holes as you hook up your air circulation.

Step 5: Hook Up Your Air Circulation And Carbon Filter

This is a difficult step so it’s best you visually see this being done. Here is a YouTube video that explains how to do it:

Step 6: Hook Up Your Chosen Light Source

Here is a good video that describes how to hook up lighting in a small to medium size grow tent:

Step 7: Add The Soil And Seeds

All that is left to do is add some soil to the bottom of the grow tent or put it in pots and place those in the grow tents. Add some seed and water and you are ready to start controlled growth year round of your favorite vegetable and plants.

Good Luck Growing Your Plants and Vegetables

Having your own grow tent can really extend your growing season. You can then enjoy growing some plants and vegetables that you otherwise would not have been able to. A grow tent also allows you to have much more control over your growing environment than an outdoor garden does.

Grow tents will also help you keep pesky animals away from what you grow and also will keep prying eyes from knowing what you grow too. Once you learn how to set up a grow tent and see how great they work you will probably want to build even more. They really are very simple to set up and grow things in.

Feel free to let us know what you think about this article or if you have any helpful advice to add to it for our readers.

About the Author Laura Bennett

Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.

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