Though winter hardy species can tolerate cold to some extent, and some of them quite much (pine, spruce), that doesn’t mean they don’t need any protection. Considering our winters in south of Finland became almost snow-less the protection became even more important. The snow offers a very good insulation until spring but lack of it leaves the whole tree at mercy of in the middle of winter very cold nights, -20 – -25C, sometimes even lower.
Because of that I decided after discussing and listening about the local hobbyists experiences to put the trees on the ground and “bury” them with mulch.


The November this year is exceptionally warm (+7C) but the nights get colder and this week finally they are going under the 0. We did have two weeks of -10C during the night but that was some strange cold front just passing by.

I first set all plants next to the house wall and tried to put them as deep as possible into gravel under the base of wall:

 

 

Then I covered it with the net used for spring shading (when spring sun is too strong and the ground is still covered with snow, some plants need that; in this case it is not used for shade) and then covered it with mulch:

 

The idea of putting first net was to ease the removal of mulch in the spring but after I did it I noticed it would have been cleverer if I first covered the gravel with the net, then put the plants on it and only after that putting the mulch. Like this I will have problems with mulch falling off the net and ending being mixed with gravel. Anyway, something to learn and not to repeat next winter.
In one of the pots I inserted the outside thermometer to follow the temperature of roots surrounding giving me the idea how this insulation works.
The position is west, not much sun, not much rain either due to the roof cover, expecting to have some warmth kept from the house and the ground itself.
One other mistake I did, I mixed the different sized pots instead of grouping them together. It helps with covering with mulch when they are of the similar height.


If/when the snow comes I will through some more onto the plants to increase the insulation. With the soil humidity meter I will be checking some of the plants how wet they are and if needed I can water it though I think the nature will keep that job done for me 🙂


The more sensitive plants are in the balcony glass cupboard.


Lets see how much survives the winter and how bad the winter will be.


Now no more bonsais nor other plants are left on the shelf in the garden. Waiting the spring!