For most it is a no-brainer.
The differences between a grow tent vs greenhouse are so dramatic that one is almost always better suited to our needs than the other.
But which one of these two is the one that’s right for you?
As mentioned, it comes down to the differences.
But they also have a number of major similarities you’ll want to know about.
Keep reading for a complete comparison. We will cover everything you need to know to figure out whether a greenhouse or a grow tent is right for you.
- 1 Grow Tent Vs Greenhouse
- 2 Greenhouse Or Grow Tent: Final Thoughts
Grow Tent Vs Greenhouse
We will begin our comparison of greenhouses vs grow tents by looking at each individually, before comparing them directly. We’ll discuss the advantages of each and finish by going over the reasons to get one over the other.
The Grow Tent
A grow tent is a portable, indoor gardening space that is typically made of fabric stretched over a lightweight metal frame.
These tents are designed to create a controlled environment for plants to grow, allowing you to adjust factors such as light, humidity, and temperature. Grow tents are often used for cultivating a wide variety of plants, including vegetables, herbs, and flowers, and are also popular among indoor cannabis growers.
They are available in various sizes and configurations to accommodate different plant varieties, crop sizes and growth stages.
A greenhouse is a structure, typically made of glass or transparent plastic, that is designed to create a controlled environment for plants to thrive.
Greenhouses are commonly used to extend the growing season for plants, protect them from harsh weather conditions, and provide an ideal growing environment.
They allow sunlight to enter and trap the heat, creating a warmer climate than the surrounding outdoor area. This makes them one of the best places to grow cannabis.
Greenhouses come in various sizes and designs, ranging from small hobbyist structures to larger commercial operations, and are used for growing a wide range of plants, including fruits, vegetables, flowers, and cannabis plants.
Similarities Between A Grow Tent And A Greenhouse
Because grow tents and greenhouses are designed for the same job, there are several similarities to consider.
Both provide a controlled environment for your plants, allowing you to manipulate conditions such as light, humidity, and temperature to create the ideal growing conditions.
They also both offer protection from external elements and can protect your plants from insect infestations and harsh weather conditions.
Since they create their own mini climates, you can use both grow tents and greenhouses to extend the growing season of certain plants, or to grow plants that would otherwise not thrive in your local outdoor climate.
Differences Between Grow Tents And Greenhouses
While there are a number of similarities between a grow tent and a greenhouse, there are also a few key differences to be aware of.
The first obvious difference is in the construction material: grow tents are typically made of fabric stretched over a metal frame, while greenhouses are constructed using glass or transparent plastic.
This difference in materials also highlights how they function slightly differently, with greenhouses letting environmental light in and grow tents requiring an additional, internal lighting system.
This difference means grow tents often provide a more precise level of control over environmental factors, especially the light.
Greenhouses tend to have more fluctuation in environmental conditions, as their transparent sides allow light and heat in.
This will also lead to the cost and energy consumption of operating a grow tent versus a greenhouse being different, since you will need supplemental light inside your grow tent.
That said, many growers also add grow lights to their greenhouse. That way you can lean on artificial light during times when natural light is not quite sufficient. But unlike a grow tent, you can turn off the grow lights when you don’t need them and save some money.
Another difference comes down to size, with greenhouses typically being larger, more permanent structures, while grow tents are portable and can be set up and taken down as and when needed.
Advantages Of A Grow Tent
Depending on what you are planning to grow and where you live, you may find a grow tent the better option. They offer a compact and enclosed environment, making them especially suitable for indoor spaces with limited room
They also provide a higher degree of control over environmental factors, allowing you to create precise conditions for plant growth. If you live far from the equator, with limited sun, grow tents may be better suited to growing certain plants, especially those that prefer more tropical climes, even in the winter.
Also, grow tents are generally more affordable to buy than larger greenhouse structures, making them a practical choice for small-scale or indoor gardening. However, you will also need to factor in the running costs, which may be higher due to the need for additional lighting.
Finally, if you do not want people to know what you are growing, a greenhouse is not ideal. Grow tents can conceal your grow from prying eyes.
Advantages Of A Greenhouse
If you are planning to grow a large crop of plants, greenhouses tend to offer a larger growing space than grow tents, and may be your best choice. However, size alone doesn’t tell the whole story.
The use of glass or transparent plastic in greenhouse construction allows for maximum sunlight penetration, creating an ideal environment for photosynthesis and plant growth.
This allows you to use greenhouses to improve or extend the natural growing conditions where you live. Greenhouses can be the better choice if you are looking to extend the natural growing season.
But if you plan to grow during the colder months or if you live in an area with little natural sun, you will want to add some grow lights to your greenhouse to supplement the natural light.
This gives you the best of both worlds: the lower cost of the greenhouse, mixed with the ability to grow anytime that a grow tent offers.
The natural light is why greenhouses usually have lower running costs. They let in natural light, whereas grow tents block it out completely and require additional lighting, which will affect your monthly energy bills.
Reasons To Get A Grow Tent
Perhaps the biggest reason for getting a grow tent over a greenhouse comes down to space. For a greenhouse, you will need an outdoor area, but with a grow tent, you can also set it up indoors.
If you live in an apartment or flat, with no garden or outdoor area, you will still be able to grow your plants indoors with a grow tent.
Grow tents also provide more control over environmental factors than a green house does. This level of control can be particularly beneficial for cultivating sensitive plant species or for creating specific growing conditions at any time of the year.
Additionally, the portability of grow tents makes them a more convenient option, because you can easily set them up and relocate them as needed. When not in use, you can also disassemble them and store them away until your next crop, making them a better choice for those with limited space.
Reasons To Get A Greenhouse
If space is no issue and you live in an area that has adequate natural sunlight, using a greenhouse to boost the conditions may be a better bet for you.
Greenhouses tend to be larger, and offer more space for growing a larger crop and make more use of natural sunlight.
The extra space and natural light transmission offered by a greenhouse can create a more natural setting And depending on what you plan to grow, it may be more suitable than using artificial light inside a grow tent.
Using natural light will also keep the running costs down on your greenhouse compared to a grow tent. While you may have a larger initial outlay to purchase a greenhouse, you won’t see the stark rise in your energy bills each month, like you would when constantly running grow lights inside a grow tent.
If you are on a tighter budget and have adequate natural sunlight where you live, greenhouses may be the way forward for you.
Greenhouse Or Grow Tent: Final Thoughts
Deciding between a grow tent vs greenhouse comes down to a few key differences. Greenhouses take up more space and need to be outdoors. That will eliminate them as an option for many.
But if you do have the garden space for one, and you are fine with people knowing what you are growing (this is mainly an issue with cannabis growers), then a greenhouse make the most sense. Unless you need the portability a grow tent offers.
Of course, these are not the only two options. You can also set up a grow room in an existing room of your home. We have another article that compares grow tents with grow rooms.