Shortage guerilla: building a grow tent from scratch.


The global lockdown and quarantine caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are leaving cannabis connoisseurs with little-to-nothing to toke on (except those lucky enough to live in legal states in the US or Canada).  If you’re struggling to get hooked up during COVID-19, you’re in luck; in our upcoming posts, we’ll share some of our top tips for growing great weed at home. To get started, here’s how to set up a simple grow tent using just PVC and plastic film. 

Building A Budget Grow Tent With PVC And Poly Film

What You’ll Need

  • ¾” PVC pipes in the following sizes: 
    • 4 2m-long pieces 
    • 4 1m-long pieces
    • 12 40cm-long pieces
  • ¾” PVC fittings: 
    • 8 90° degree 3-way corner fittings
    • 4 T fittings
    • 1 cross fitting
  • 3 sheets of black and white poly film (sometimes sold as Panda film) in the following sizes: 
    • 3.5m X 2.5m 
    • 2.5m X 1.5m 
    • 1.5m X 1.5m
  • Duct tape
  • 6 velcro strips

Note: These materials are enough to build a 1m X 1m X 2m grow tent, which is perfect for most small hobby growers who just want to grow a few plants. If you want to build a bigger tent, you’ll just need longer PVC pipes and more poly film.


Creating the frame. 

With your PVC pipes cut into size, assembling the frame of your tent is a piece of cake. Just follow these simple instructions:

  1. Use 4 1m PVC pipes and 4 3-way cross fittings to create the square base of your tent. 
  2. Connect 4 2m PVC pipes to the corner joints of your base to create the vertical supports for the walls of your tent. 
  3. Use the remaining pieces of PVC pipe, T fittings, and cross fitting to create the roof of your tent. This should look similar to the base, just with 4 pieces of PVC running to the center of the roof to form a cross. This will provide extra support for your grow light.

Putting up the walls

To create the walls of this budget tent, we’ll just be using black and white poly film because it’s cheap, fairly durable (as long as you don’t take to it with a knife), and takes care of light leaks. 

Plus, the white side of the film is perfect for the inside walls of the tent as it will reflect plenty of light back onto your plants, while the black side of the film is perfect for absorbing light on the exterior. 

To wrap your tent, just follow these simple instructions: 

  1. Use the 3.5m X 2.5m piece of film to cover 3 of the 4 walls of your frame (the 4th will serve as the door of your tent). To do this, it might help to lay the film out flat on the floor and lay your tent on top of it. Then simply wrap the edges over the walls, cut off any excess, and secure the edges of the film to the PVC frame using duct tape. Remember, you’ll want your walls to be wrapped tightly around the frame and run all the way to the floor to keep out as much light as possible. 
  2. Next, cover the roof of your tent using the 1.5mX1.5m piece of film and trim off any excess. Remember to leave about 2-3cm of overlap on each wall, then secure everything down with duct tape. 
  3. Now it’s time to create the door for your tent. To do this, use your last piece of poly film and run it from the floor up to the middle of the roof. Cut off any excess and secure it down with duct tape. 
  4. Finally, use 3 velcro strips along the inside of the PVC frame and door flap to keep your door secured when you don’t need access to your plants. 

Tip: Once you’ve finished setting up your tent, stand inside it, and look for light leaks. Should you spot any small leaks, cover them with duct tape on the outside of your tent. 

Deck Out Your Tent With The Right Gear

Once you’ve built your tent, all that’s left to do is deck it out with the right grow equipment. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to start growing your first batch of homegrown kush: 

  • A grow light. There are tons of grow lights on the market, but for beginner growers looking to grow just a few plants during COVID-19, this Omega kit is perfect. It comes with a programmable ballast, a 600w dual spectrum light for vegging and blooming, a reflector hood, and cable ties for easy installation. Remember to use a timer to manage your light/dark periods correctly.
  • A fan. Ventilation is really important when growing weed. Without moving fresh air in and around your grow room, you might run into heat or humidity issues that can fry your plants or create a breeding ground for pests and plagues. For the best results, invest in a small wall-mounted fan and an inline fan-filter combo like this one by iPower.
  • A thermometer/hygrometer. This Neoteck thermometer/hygrometer is perfect for measuring the temperature and humidity in your tent. 
  • Soil, nutrients, pots, and seeds. 

That’s it! Now that you have everything to start your grow, it’s time to get your hands dirty and germinate your seeds. 

Happy growing!

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Steve est journaliste et musicien. Il vit en ce moment en Amérique du Sud, entre Argentine et Uruguay. Cet amoureux des chats, nominé pour son travail d'investigation aux Emmy Awards, collabore aussi régulièrement avec High Times, Green Rush, Zamnesia  Royal Queen Seeds et bien d'autres.

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