Here in Finland the winter is very harsh. Because of that some plants need protection.
The native plants are fine if their pots are put on the ground, buried under snow or/and mulch.
The other ones which are perhaps hardy somewhere in central Europe need more protection.
Last year I did a quick and dirty solution leaving those plants in the glassed balcony extra protected around the pots.
This year I bought Ikea Hindö greenhouse cabinet. Solidly built, glass and metal.
I added some window seals around the cracks and added extra insulation on the back (leaned against the wall of the house inside the balcony), bottom and top. I added some simple cosmetic wooden pieces to get WAF (wife acceptance factor) higher but also my AF too 😀
In the bottom shelf I put the green house heater with bimetal thermostat turning it on only below 5 degrees C therefore keeping it somewhere 3-8 degrees C.
Be careful with heating installation, do it on your own decision and responsibility. Any playing with heat is a possible danger of fire. Because of that I have chosen metal/glass cupboard and also verified heater. I anyway switch it off when on trip with trees moved inside for a short period of time.
We will see how many trees survive the next winter.
One problem I noticed now is that when the sun hits the glass doors the inside temperature jumps substantially and fast. That has to be kept in mind but only right now and in the late winter when we actually can see the sun. It is mostly hidden behind the horizon or clouds in these areas November-February.
Humidity will remain another problem too. I installed the meters inside on different shelf heights and will pay attention to it. Hopefully often enough.
Below the shelf are 2 pieces of 2 x 18W fluorescent cold white light lamps. I intend to use them in the beginning of the late winter to increase the light amount and perhaps start heating the shelf more than just keeping it on survival temperature area. The plan is to shorten the spring coming and lengthen the growing period. I didn’t yet firmly plan that but I think I might do some experiment.
Now, beginning of October, and we had already couple of -2C nights so I already set some most sensitive plants into the shelf.
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