Best Grow Tent Kit?

I've never grown before but am beginning to plan for a late-summer grow in my garage. I live in the St. Louis area, so I am looking to avoid a grow during the hottest (or coldest) parts of the year, on the theory that the tent and associated equipment won't have to work so hard during a gentler external environment. I'm thinking I want to have my seeds sprouting by September 1 and to have my plants in permanent pots by that date. It seems there would be another, similar grow period ideal for my location, beginning around March 1.

I have seen pros and cons on turnkey grow tents, but as a beginner the appeal is hard to resist. But I'm not averse to the idea of getting a grow tent kit that covers the main bases and then supplement that with additional gear or grow materials, as needed.

I would like to have a tent/kit that can fully accommodate four adult plants. My budget is $1500.

FWIW, I have given serious thought to the GroBo, so I'd be interested in hearing any actual feedback on that. I do recognize that this is outside my budget, but my thinking is that I could go the GroBo sort of route for an initial grow, and then sell the gear locally...for $1500. At that point, a more traditional tent could be the replacement.

The big drawback with the GroBo is that it still appears "buggy" in terms of Internet connection, software, etc. Which effectively negates the low maintenance selling point. I'm also not really clear if a GroBo grow is going to teach me the things I need to know to graduate to a more traditional grow tent setup.

Thanks for any and all suggestions and advice.

Comments

  • I think for your goals and your budget, you'll get the best value for your dollars by putting together the basics individually. Kits are convenient, but often include lower quality components.

    You're spot on with the climate and temp challenges as well. I do my growing between september and may as the summer months are just too hot to deal with.

    For 4 plants, you'll probably be looking at a 4x4 or a 5x5 tent. I have two 5x5s and a 4x4 (as well as a 2x4 and 2.5x2.5)

    I REALLY like extra roomieness of the 5x5 over the 4x4 and the tent itself is also made better and nicer (better zippers)

    the 5x5 was 269 when I bought mine but now it's 229 at amazon https://amzn.to/335OSZt

    I light one with the FC 6500 and I light the other with the FC E6500

    The FC6500 is Mars Hydro's best and biggest light https://amzn.to/3nHJ02a

    The E6500 (https://amzn.to/3aUCfVu) is similar, but cheaper LEDs and cheaper components with less spectrum coverage. I haven't done a full grow with the E version yet so I'm not sure how much difference it makes - but so far BOTH of these lights have been great.

    Other good value brands to look at: Spider Farmer, HLG

    Tent and Light are your first 2 major components, but you still need to tackle air circulation and ventilation.

    AC Infinity makes one of the best and quietest inline fans with a thermostat/humidistat smart controller. It's quiet, powerful, and high quality. They also sell a carbon filter - you'll need this if you don't want your grow to smell.

    Mars Hydro makes an AC Infinity knock-off that looks very similar but I haven't tried it yet. I ordered it and it will be arriving next week though.

    Those are your biggest and most expensive components unless you need to add AC or dehumidifiers and whatnot....

  • Hey Troy, thanks for the suggestions and pointers. I appreciate you taking the time to write this up.

    Troy
  • A few additional questions for you:

    First, do you have affiliate links that help you out on either the tent, the inline exhaust and filter? There's a good deal on Amazon today for all of those, but I wanted to check to see if you have a link that would help you and/or me to a similar level. I don't have to buy today, but am highly motivated...

    I already purchased the MH 5x5 light you recommended. Not sure I did that by following your Amazon link, but wanted to do what I could in helping on the rest of my purchases.

    Also, one thing I'm not clear on...will I need to have separate AC, heating and de/humidifier, or is that covered by the AC Infinity? My Sep-Dec grow will start with warmer and more humid temperatures with both declining quite a lot once the first frost hits, and the March-June grow will have the opposite general profile.

    I'm also thinking that maybe I should be getting a small second tent (2x2) for use as a drying station. In IL, we're limited to five plants taller than 5 inches (where do they come up with this arbitrary shit?). I am probably going to be limited to two crops per year, so I will probably grow five different strains each time, and I'm pretty sure that they will need to be cut and dried at different times even if all planted at the same time. So the primary tent for drying is probably not an option until the last plant has finished. I assume that a drying tent would require pretty much everything but the light from the primary tent (though maybe on a smaller scale).

    I'm also wondering about testers. I've seen there are handheld testers for checking Ph balance, but I have seen a few other videos where growers were using more sophisticated and costly meters to check other aspects of the plant's progress/relative health. Anything you would recommend there?

    Finally...getting way ahead of myself, do you have a link for the glasses recommended for use under the LED lights, and also, any recommended trimming trays, clippers, etc.

    And anything else that you think would be useful...

    Apologies for all the questions. I have been researching this, but coming up with conflicting info on some of this stuff. I appreciate any help you can offer.

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