In general, you can expect to pay a significant sum of money for a grow tent. For instance, a 3’ x 3’ tent may cost you around $200. It should enable you to fit approximately four plants. However, if you are stuck for cash, a couple of hundred dollars is a lot of money. You can get a full ounce of mid-shelf marijuana for that price in certain states!
Not long ago, we came across a YouTube video from HowToHydroponics. It documented how to make a marijuana grow tent for $2. Given the average price of a grow tent, it is hardly a surprise that the title caught our eye.
In all honesty, the idea behind this project is as brilliant as it is simple.
It includes nothing more than some cheap reflective emergency blanket material and a hula hoop from the dollar store. It will increase a good LED grow light’s efficiency (which we assume you already have) by over 100% depending on the distance from the plant.
Are you looking for a nice little 420-weekend project? Or have you always wanted to make a marijuana grow tent for next to nothing? If the answer to either question is ‘yes,’ then this step-by-step guide is for you.
How to Make the Cheapest Marijuana Grow Tent
If you would rather a written explanation of what is going on in the video below, here it is! The speaker seems hugely excited by what he is about to share. He credited a man named Cody from Nukeheads for this cool way to make a cheap tent. He says that you can create a grow tent for approximately $2 plus a few household items. Therefore, if you don’t have those things, it may cost you a few more dollars.
However, this isn’t a garbage cheap tent that won’t do much for your plants. He claims this method increases light efficiency. He begins by managing your expectations, pointing out that you won’t get a fancy looking tent. If that’s what you want, don’t bother continuing because you’ll only be disappointed!
Here’s the video of the whole process in action so that you can see the results yourself. (Credit to HowToHydroponics YouTube channel and Cody at Nukeheads.com for the idea).
All you need is a hula-hoop and reflective blanket material called Mylar. It was initially developed by NASA and is extremely reflective, ideal when trying to make the most out of your lighting. Make sure the hula hoop is large enough to fit around your light. This is because you’ll hang the Mylar from it, surround the light, and make it more efficient.
Test Your Light Without a Grow Tent First
The idea behind the DIY grow tent for weed is simple. Hang some thin reflective sheet material around a hula-hoop and put your grow light inside. Then, place your plant under the light. However, your first step is to use a PAR meter, which measures various wavelengths of light between a specific range. The meter used in the video measures between 100 and 700 nanometers.
To keep things straightforward, all you need to remember is that the higher the reading, the more light that’s available to the plant. In the video, the speaker uses an HLG 65 light by Horticulture Lighting Group. He takes three measurements: 12, 18, and 24 inches. After this test, he puts the tent on to see how different the light is with a grow tent.
Here is how the light compares with and without the Mylar at the three distances:
|Distance||Without Mylar||With Mylar||Estimated Light Efficiency Increase with Mylar|
|12 Inches||451 PPFD||620 PPFD||37%|
|18 Inches||230 PPFD||405 PPFD||76%|
|24 Inches||134 PPFD||298 PPFD||122%|
He does the test again and gets a reading of 304 PPFD at 24 inches with the Mylar. Without the reflective material, he gets a 140 PPFD reading. As you can see, the reflective Mylar significantly increases the photosynthetic energy of your grow operation. This increases the potential for bigger, more robust nugs.
Sounds pretty simple, right?
Too Good to be True?
There are some obvious “flaws” that people have pointed out in the video. Viewers have asked some relevant questions such as:
- How can you conveniently access the plant?
- How do you set up airflow and ventilation?
- Won’t the plastic hula-hoop melt?
These are all fair enough questions. However, for a cheap $2 marijuana grow tent that increases your light efficiency by over 100%, beggars can’t be choosers.
Does the Cheapest Marijuana Grow Tent Really Only Cost $2?
If you go to Wal-Mart to get your “materials,” you’re probably going to spend a little more than $2. The guy in the video is from Canada. He claims he bought both the reflective blanket and the hula-hoop at a dollar store for about CAD 2.50. That worked out to about USD 1.95 at the time.
At Wal-Mart, you can get an 82.5″ x 52″ emergency reflective blanket for around $1.50 on special offer. You can easily find hula hoops at the dollar store. So, in this scenario, you still pay less than $3! Having the ability to increase the bud yield on a single marijuana plant for that price is an excellent deal!
How to Build the Cheap “$2” Grow Tent for Weed
As far as building your DIY marijuana grow tent goes, that’s up to your own devices and “creative engineering” skills. The guy in the video had his contraption rigged up on a ULine-style Slatwall panel. However, there are surely other options for all you handy DIY enthusiasts out there?
A lot of good LED grow lights are designed to be hung from thin cables. Therefore, you’ll have to figure out a way to fasten the hula-hoop around the light. Then you need to attach the reflective blanket to the hoop. The guy in the video attached his sheet using duct tape. Something tells us you won’t need Frank Lloyd Wright-like engineering skills to figure something out.
Some people had commented that the heat from the light would surely melt the hula-hoop and/or the reflective blanket. However, if you’re using LED lights, there are no issues because they hardly emit any heat at all.
Have some fun with it and be creative. Most importantly, be thankful that someone found out how to make a cheap marijuana grow tent for a few bucks!
Final Thoughts on Building a $2 Marijuana Grow Tent
Regardless of whether you spend $2 or $200 on a grow tent, you need to understand the essential requirements. Cannabis grown indoors needs good seeds and a controlled environment. Here are the conditions you must control:
- Light: Keep the grow tent 100% light-proof to control the light received by plants. To push marijuana into the flowering stage, you must expose it to 12 continuous hours of darkness per day. A combination of LED grow lights and Mylar is ideal for this process.
- Airtight: This may prove an issue with the $2 grow tent. Ideally, you will have an airtight tent to control the smell of the weed, and the temperature and environment. It is perhaps worth investing in extra Mylar and duct tape to fill in any gaps surrounding your plant.
- Temperature: In general, cannabis plants grow well in a temperature range of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The Mylar should help keep the heat in, and the LED lighting will ensure a tolerable temperature. However, you may need to invest in a thermometer just to keep an eye on things.
- Moisture: You should consider investing in a humidifier and also a humidity sensor. As a general rule of thumb, the humidity level in a grow room should begin at no higher than 70% in the early vegetative stage. Lower it gradually as the plant grows. By the late flowering stage, the room’s relative humidity (RH) shouldn’t exceed 40%.
Let us know how you get on if you try to create a $2 grow tent! Leave an account of your experiences in the comments section below.