Takeaway: Whether you just started out with indoor gardening or you’re thinking of doing indoor gardening differently, the first thing that you really have to consider is where you’ll be placing them. Let’s take a look at what will suit you better: a grow tent, or a grow box?
How to Decide Between a Grow Tent and a Grow Box for Growing Indoors?
The first time I decided that I’d like to do indoor gardening, the first decision I had to make is how I’ll be housing my plants. There are several options out there, but I was more interested with a grow box and a tent.
If you don’t have any indoor gardening experience, you may think why I should even bother to make a smart decision since both will help me grow plants anyway.
You’re actually correct. Both could make you grow plants indoors, but there are quite a few differences that I could list down on here.
If you’re planning to get a grow box or a tent, let me tell why you should consider or even not consider each of this.
Why Choose grow tents over grow boxes for hydroponic Harvests?
A grow tent’s exterior is usually made of a thick waterproof and canvas-like material. It has a reflective interior material to make lighting much easier for you. Think of a silver-like cloth that most insulated coolers have.
Grow tents are available in different sizes and even styles. This means it'll be easier for you to find one that fits your available space for indoor gardening.
The materials used to make a grow tent makes this light and weatherproof. Even if it’s very sunny or cold outside, the plants inside your tent won’t get too affected. This is a perfect example of a controlled space to make it easy for you to create an environment suitable for whatever plant you desire to grow.
You can use a grow tent all year long, not just during winter when you can’t grow anything outside. Aside from indoor gardening, if you are planning on setting up a grow system using hydroponics or aquaponics, then a grow tent is also a must.
Since a grow tent has a reflective interior, this makes it easy for you to control your space’s lighting. This also means that you won’t have to worry about spending much for your lighting because you won’t need much lighting device in your tent. It basically maximizes that lighting equipment you've.
you can Use space wisely
What I love about using a grow tent is how much you can have it customized. Even though it comes in specific sizes, there are materials out there that you can purchase to have it extended.
So if you didn’t really plan of extending but learned to love gardening so much that you can’t help but add more crops, then a grow tent will work best for you!
Disadvantages of Using a Grow Tent
While grow tents offer a lot of goodness when it comes to gardening indoors, there still are characteristics why this could be frowned upon.
I know I mentioned how easy it is to customize the size of a grow tent, but trust me, it'll take a while before you even can grow something in it.
Assembling a grow tent is one thing but figuring out how many lights, how much soil, and water your plants need to grow in this tent is a lot of work too!
Aside from the hassle it'll take you to assemble a grow tent, it never really looks appealing, and it’s hard to grow crops with a grow tent discretely.
So if you plan on putting a grow tent where your guests will most likely pass by, you might want to rethink that.
The Advantages of Grow Boxes Over Indoor Grow Tent
A grow box is fairly similar to a grow cabinet. This also comes in sizes but take note that whatever size you purchased is what you’ll be stuck with since this is no longer expandable. Mostly, grow boxes come preassembled.
Usually, a grow box already has a grow tray, wirings for a fan or multiple fans, lighting, and reflectors. Some grow boxes have walls that are similar to the insides of an insulated bag which is silver-like.
The box itself is sometimes made with plastic, steel, or aluminum. In any way, all its components make it easier for a grower like you to control the environment. Admittedly, this is also going to last long because of how durable it is.
Since a grow box comes preassembled, as soon as this is delivered to your doorstep, you can immediately start planting.
Conveniently speaking, you can pretty much place this almost anywhere in your house since you won’t really have to worry about it aesthetically.
It’s fairly easy to grow a garden in your living room discretely with one of these boxes. Some grow box manufacturers offer to grow boxes that will look like a cabinet on the outside and is only as big as a fridge.
Depending on how big it is, some grow boxes also even comes with extra storage where you can put some of your gardening tools.
Why You Should Avoid Choosing a Grow Box?
If you plan on starting an indoor garden with a lot of plants, then a grow box shouldn’t even be an option.
The number of crops or plants that you can grow in one of these is pretty limited. You’ll have to wait for everything to be harvested before you start growing a new set of crops.
Now since a grow box is pretty much ready for any plants you’d like to grow, expect it to be on the expensive side. After all, this comes with everything that you need without you having to exert a lot of effort.
If in any case that the equipment the grow box came with sudden malfunctions, it could be a challenge to have it replaced since it should always fit what the grow box needs. I’d say this isn’t really likely to happen much but this something to consider in the long run.
Grow Tent vs Grow Box Comparison - Which is Best?
Either you choose a grow box, or a grow tent when it comes to starting your indoor hobby garden, both offer features that can help you grow your plants or crops with ease.
I’d say both are dependable to sustain your plants or crops’ lives throughout the year.
Personally, I’d choose a grow box since it won’t require much effort for me to assemble my own set-up. Though of course this is coming from me who’s already experienced with gardening and has an outdoor garden to take care of. I highly suggest that you get a grow tent if you’re new to the whole thing for an experience. Gardening is no joke so it’s always best to learn the basics when you can.
It could even be fun assembling this set-up because you can have it customized to the best that you can. Well now that you know the things to look out for whether you're getting a grow box or a grow tent, just always keep in mind that your skill is still something to consider. Whatever works best for you is what will work best with your indoor garden!
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Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she attended University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture. She has supplemented her formal education by working on various organic farms, including spending a semester abroad in India.
Growing and/or raising just about anything gets her excited. She is especially passionate about environmental justice and low-tech, sustainable ways to better run small-scale farms and homesteads. Lindsey started Urban Organic Yield to discuss gardening tips and tactics.