DIY Grow Box
Introduction: DIY Grow Box
Prompted by my daughters middle school project, might as well try to build a mini grow box. I have seen similar kits for hundreds of dollars online so how cheap could I make it and for it to do about the same thing.
As the first attempt, some corners were cut and I think now I would use LED red/blue lights instead of the HE lights I happen to have had around the house. The lights I used did fit into an acceptable light spectrum and only used a total of 45w when on but working out the kinks on that part now.
Total cost was minimal as the most expensive single part was the cooling fans and thermostat and I think I got them on sale for about $35. The rest for the most part was salvaged parts from prior projects around the house. However, if bought new I would estimate about $50 total cost.
Step 1: Materials
Materials will depend on what size you want the box to be. In this case, the box was 33″ tall x 18.5″ wide x 18″ deep to house starter plants and those that will reach a max height of about 24″. Of course, if you wish to build bigger, add to the below supplies. No special tools needed, just a drill, circular saw, knife, square, and a tape measure. A multi-meter would be helpful if your kind of new to electrical stuff.
Common 1/4 plywood (1 x sheet)
Cooling fans (x2)
Thermostat & Speed Controller (1)
about 8′ of 1″ x 2″ for the basic frame
Wood Screws .25″ (6) for Hinges
Wood Screws 1″ estimate (30)
Underfloor Heating Foil / Foil Tape / Simply Aluminum Foil
1-1.25″ Deep Handy Utility Box (3)
24″ Red 14 Guage electrical Wire
24″ Black 14 Guage Electrical Wire
24″ Green/White 14 Guage Electrical Wire
Wire nuts, a couple
Electrical Wire 3 prong (I used one from an old appliance I had but I am sure Lowes has them cheap)
1″ x 2″ x 6′ (1) not needed but I did use it to cover seams between cuts like on top and above the door
Electrical outlet (1)
Plus and minus using basic creativity.
Step 2: Step Two: Frame It Out
I did not take pictures along the way but I think it is easy enough to figure this one out.
Depening on how big you want it, frame out a cube basically. I braced up the corners to prevent any swaying when moving.
The top back of the box I framed out the part that will hold the electrical switches and sealed it away from the grow area below.
Step 3: Step Three: Add the Sides, Door, Top and Bottom.
I simply measured what was needed and cut. I screwed on the left, right, back, and bottom.
The front contained the door so one single cut along the top, added the hinges, and door done.
The top has two removable parts, one allowing a viewing area and light adjustment in the front and the other access to the power switches.
Step 4: Step Four: Reflective Material
Using whatever you determine is best or you happen to have around the house, now is a good time to add it. I used some Underfloor Heating Foil I had and applied it everywhere I could to contain heat, reflect light, and seal up the inside of the box from moisture. Eventually I ran out and used Aluminum Foil for the inside of the door.
Step 5: Step Five: Fans Holes
For the fans, I used some common fans used in entertainment centers to keep ones X-Box and such cool. I bought a kit with two fans and one thermostat that I could program to come on and shut off at predetermined temperatures. The particular kit I used was simply a plug and play using a USB with no wiring required but I did find out the wires ran a little short thus some wires are seen inside of the box when my original plan was to run all wires on the outside.
Simple enough, how ever big the fans are make a round hole on the bottom back corner of one side about 6″ from the bottom to serve as the cool air intake. Create the second hole in the opposite side in the top front of the box to serve as the warm air exhaust.
Step 6: Step Six: Sand/Stain
Of course you can do this when ever you wish but now prior to putting wires in and your fans, it may make better sense to sand and stain now. I was not going for looks here as you may see but I do think some water resistance would be a good idea.
Step 7: Step Seven: Electrical
Actually, this was not as hard as some may think.
Fans: Install the fans, intake fan on the bottom should be facing in allowing it to suck in outside air and push it into the box. Exhaust fan should be facing out pulling air out of the box.
Box 1, Light Switch: In this project I used the light switch as the master control for the whole unit.
Box 2, Junction Box and Power Supply: All wires centralized here and this is where I hooked up the power cable.
Box 3, Outlet: Simple enough, a power outlet for my Thermostat and an extra outlet for a secondary light or whatever.
I will not give detailed instructions on how to wire things because I am not a electrician and I do not want to give bad advice and someone shock themselves but youtube is a great resource for this one.
Temperature Probe: With the thermostat there is a small probe connected to it. I drilled a small hole in the floor of the electrical box and inserted the probe. You can adjust where the probe rest in the box by tiring it off in the electrical box.
Lights: I drilled a small hole in the front of the box to allow the power supply for the lights to come out at the highest point so I can adjust them up and down accordingly. In this case, I used two lag bolts to tie off the power supply for the lights to adjust their height. I used a three outlet light socket for three HE lights that use about 45w of power well below the estimated max of the box. Again, LED grow lights are a little costly but I think worth the price given the reward and they burn a little cooler if heat becomes a problem.
Settings: Once you figure out the plant you want to put in there and required temperature ranges, program the thermostat and you are all done.
Step 8: Step Eight: Final Touches and Grow
Door Lock: I found a little hook and made it work as in the picture.
Plants, so far this seems to work best for already developed small plants and lighting seems to be responsible for 99% of my problems with plants getting leggy.
I have had no problems with being too hot or too cool. The lights warm the box up and once they hit my programed temperature, the fans kick on blow some cool air, move the plants around a little and about a minute later the fans cut off.
I have had issues with drying out. I have found the fans pick up the water and take it away so this system will likely be best with some type of drip irrigation system, frequent checks (daily or every other day), or hydroponic system. In the near future I am gong to insert LED lights and use a homemade hydro system and test that out.
DIY Grow Box: Prompted by my daughters middle school project, might as well try to build a mini grow box. I have seen similar kits for hundreds of dollars online so how cheap could I make it and for it to do about the same thing. As the first attempt, some corn…
How To Build A DIY Cannabis Grow Tent In Just 3 Steps!
Want to grow your own weed? DIY grow tents are easy to build and give you complete control over your plants’ growing environment so you can produce top-tier bud!
Looking for a simple, cost-effective setup for growing your own weed? Below, we’ll walk you through the simple process of building your own grow tent for a fraction of the price of a store-bought tent/box.
WHY BUILD A DIY GROW TENT?
Growing your own weed is a great experience. Germinating your seeds and watching them grow into healthy plants with big, aromatic buds is a great way to develop a deeper connection with this ancient plant. Not to mention, you’ll likely end up with a far superior product than what you’re able to score elsewhere.
Unfortunately, not everyone has enough space to grow plants outdoors under the sun. That’s where a DIY grow tent comes in; for many people, a homemade grow tent proves to be the most cost-effective and efficient setup. While small grow tents are pretty cheap, you can build your own tent for next-to-nothing if you take the time to hunt around for supplies. Plus, they allow you complete control over your plants’ growing environment and produce a great harvest every time!
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR DIY GROW TENT
Before you start looking around for building materials, take a few minutes to reflect on these important considerations for your tent:
Cannabis plants need well-defined light and dark periods in order to flower properly. Light leaks during dark hours can stress photoperiod strains, stunting their growth, interrupting their flowering, or even triggering hermaphroditism. Even autoflowering strains are believed to rely on consistent dark hours for respiration, photosynthesis, and more. Hence, your DIY tent must be lightproof.
Cannabis needs regular watering and feeding. Make sure your tent is waterproof so runoff or spills don’t cause any damage to the area around your tent.
Cannabis plants need proper airflow to grow properly. Poor airflow, on the other hand, can create hot spots in your tent that trap heat and humidity, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and attracting pests. Your tent needs to be well-ventilated to prevent these problems.
The size of your grow tent will vary depending on the amount of space you have available, your budget, and how many plants you plan on growing. A 1 x 1m tent is arguably the most common size used by hobby growers, but you can go bigger or smaller than that based on your needs. Just know that if you want your plants to reach their full potential, your tent will need to be at least 1.5–2m tall to give them enough space to grow and prevent them from getting too close to your lights.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BUILD A DIY GROW TENT?
Building your own tent is surprisingly simple. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need:
19mm PVC pipes are sturdy, cheap, and ideal for creating the frame of your tent. You’ll need:
• 16x straight pipes for the verticals and horizontals (the length of pipe will vary depending on how large you want your tent to be)
• 8x 90-degree corner fittings
• 4x t-fittings
• 1x cross fittings
Panda Film works great as the walls of your tent. Remember to use the black side of the film on the outside to absorb light, and the white side on the inside to reflect it.
LED GROW LIGHT
There are many different grow lights on the market, but we recommend LEDs for their energy efficiency and durability. HID lights are cheaper than LEDs and can produce great results, but they’ll need replacing after two harvests and use a lot of energy.
There are plenty of fans on the market. If you’re building a large tent for big harvests, we recommend using a fan and carbon filter to eliminate the odour from your plants. If you’re building a tent to grow just a few plants, a regular wall fan will do fine.
Once you’ve got your materials, you’ll need the following tools for the assembly of your tent:
• Duct tape (to create the Panda Film covering for your tent)
• Hand saw (in case you need to cut any of your PVC pipes to size)
• Velcro (for the opening of your tent)
HOW TO SET UP YOUR DIY GROW TENT
Now that you’ve got your materials and tools, follow these steps to build your very own cannabis grow tent in less than a day:
STEP 1: ASSEMBLING THE FRAME
If you weren’t able to buy your PVC in the size you need, cut it to size using a hand saw. Whatever size tent you’re building, you’ll need 16 straight pieces of pipe; 4 for the verticals (which should be at least 1.5m long), 4 for the base, and 8 for the roof of your tent.
Once you’ve got your straight pieces of pipe cut to size, use the fittings to connect them and build the frame of your tent. Keep in mind that your roof should have a cross fitting in the middle for extra stability to hold your light, fan, etc.
STEP 2: COVERING YOUR TENT
You’ll need to cover your tent twice; once with the white panda film for the inside of the tent, and again with black film for the outside.
The easiest way to do this is to start with the walls; tightly wrap a single piece of film around 3 of the 4 walls (the 4th will be the opening of the tent). Secure the film to the PVC pipes where your opening will be.
Next, cover the roof of your tent with another piece of film. Make sure there’s at least 3–5cm of overlap on every wall, and stick the sides down with duct tape. Step inside your tent, look for light leaks, and cover them using duct tape from the outside.
Finally, for the opening of your tent, cut a piece of film long enough to run from the middle of the roof to the floor. Secure it to the roof of your tent using duct tape and to the PVC frame on the side and bottom using Velcro.
STEP 3: INSTALLING YOUR LIGHT AND FAN
Install your grow light to the top of your tent according to the instructions that came from the manufacturer. Remember to pull the power cord out through a small opening in the roof and seal the sides with duct tape to avoid light leakage.
Finally, sit your fan on the floor, and you’re done!
TIME TO START GROWING CANNABIS!
Now that you’ve got your DIY tent built, it’s time to get growing. Make sure to read our post on indoor cannabis growing equipment for a complete list of all the gadgets you’ll need to grow your plants, and don’t forget to order your seeds directly from our web store to ensure a great harvest. Happy growing!
Want to grow weed on a budget? Click here for simple instructions on how to build your own grow tent from scratch. It's easier than you might think!