Can I Use A Camping Tent As A Greenhouse? What To Do To Use It?

If you have ever considered greenhouse planting, then you would have come across a lot of possible materials for creating a greenhouse. One of such materials that have been mentioned is a camping tent.

However, do the features of a camping tent make it ideal for use as a greenhouse? We’ll find out in the succeeding paragraphs whether you can use a camping tent as a greenhouse and how you can go about it.

Can I Use A Camping Tent As A Greenhouse?

No, you cannot use a camping tent as a greenhouse.

One of the major issues with using a camping tent as a greenhouse is that it does not have sufficient insulation for plants or people to survive in climates where temperatures drop below freezing.

When it comes to plants, having no insulation means that the plants will not survive. If it gets below freezing in your tent, the air will get so cold that all of your plants will die no matter how much care you take with protecting them.

Even though you can insulate the entire tent, you cannot insulate the view out of people’s windows or the door. This means that if there is a windy climate outside then it will be incredibly cold inside.

Can I Grow Plants in a Camping Tent?

No, you cannot use a tent as a greenhouse, and there are many reasons this is so. 

The most basic and obvious reason is that the material used to make tents, which is either canvas or polyester doesn’t allow the sun to get through.

This means that whatever plant you grow in a camping tent will face insufficient sunlight exposure, which would stunt its growth and could eventually kill it.

The very design of greenhouses is such that allows sunlight to get through and reach the plants adequately, so a tent doesn’t suit that purpose.

Another concern is heat. Greenhouses are designed in a way that they trap heat from the sun and create a climate that supports plant growth, even better than outdoors. However, camping tents lack such ability to trap heat or create the climate that plants need to grow well. 

Another reason your camping tent cannot be used as a greenhouse is that the tent material cannot stand sun exposure for lengths of time. Camping tents will get degraded when constantly placed under the sun and could get weak.

The only condition under which some gardeners have used a camping tent for planting is for protection from frosts and insects when planting towards the end of winter.

Some farmers aim to start growing small cuttings or seedlings as winter ends, and they use the tent to protect the plant from such invasions. However, only for a short while because light and sun transmission would still be a problem. 

Even in this situation, you’ll need to cut holes into the tent to allow sun rays to get in and open the flaps for sufficient airflow.

Converting A Camping Tent into A Greenhouse

What Modifications are required in Camping Tent to Use it as a Greenhouse? Is it possible? Let’s check all the details.

Although we have stated the reasons you cannot use a camping tent as a greenhouse, it is important to point out that you can use parts of a camping tent to make a greenhouse.

That is, make modifications to the tent and add other materials to make it a greenhouse. 

If you want to tweak your camping tent and make it into a DIY greenhouse, you’ll need to first gather supplies, and then begin to put them together, bearing in mind the features of a greenhouse, such as a strong frame and a light cover that allows the sun to pass through.

Step 1: Gather the tools you need 

Step 1 - Gather the tools you need

You’ll need tent poles from your camping tent to be used in the greenhouse structure. You’ll also need a transparent plastic sheet and duct tape.

Step 2: Create a soil bed for the greenhouse area

Step 2 - Create a soil bed for the greenhouse area

Create a bed by heaping good soil for planting and mixing it with compost. Make sure there are no rocks, stones, or debris. After that, rake the surface and smoothen the soil.

Then, get your tent poles and insert the ends of the pole into the edges of the soil bed. Make sure the poles arch on the width of the bed to create a structure that looks like a tunnel.

Drive the poles into the soil as deep as they can go to ensure that they are properly secured and the tunnel-like structure doesn’t give way. 

Step 3: Wrap your plastic sheet over the poles

Step 3 - Wrap your plastic sheet over the poles

The transparent plastic sheets will serve as the cover of your greenhouse. So, you need to wrap it over the tunnel-like structure you created with the poles.

Then, use duct tape to secure the sheet to the poles so that they don’t get blown away by the breeze.

Make sure the transparent sheet is stretched properly when securing it to allow the free flow of water. If it is slack, water can easily get stored on the sheet.

Step 4: Dig a trench

Step 4 - Dig a trench

After securing the plastic sheet properly to the pole, you’ll need to dig a trench along the sides of the tunnel structure. You should bury the sheet inside the trench to ensure that it is anchored in the ground properly.

Step 5: Add Ventilation

Step 5 - Add Ventilation

You’ll need to infuse ventilation in the structure, and this process will depend largely on what type of greenhouse you’re making.

If you’re making a permanent greenhouse, you can add a door that has its vents and frame operated using Velcro.

However, if you’re making a simple DIY greenhouse, all you need to do is fold and secure the wraps using a heavy object, provided the object doesn’t damage or tear the plastic cover.

Final Words:

A camping tent cannot be used as a greenhouse because it doesn’t have the features that a greenhouse needs, especially a transparent cover and adequate ventilation.

However, with the steps above, you can make a greenhouse using your tent poles and a transparent sheet. It is easy, inexpensive, and serves the purpose just right.