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When it gets colder in autumn and winter is approaching, some garden plants that are not hardy have to be brought to a frost-free winter quarters. Whether oleander, olive or lemon tree, agave or something else: a winter tent is a way to get the sensitive exotic species over the cold season. You can find out exactly what that is and what you need to look out for when buying and using such a plant protection tent by reading this guide.

Hibernation tents come in different sizes

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KootesDay Pop Up Greenhouse Small, Greenhouse Small Overwintering Tent for Plants Greenhouse Flower Pot Greenhouse Plants Mini Greenhouse Winter Protection for Plants (70x70x80cm)
22.99 EUR To the product
material PVC / transparent PE plastic
size 70 x 70 x 80 centimeters
Weight 840 grams
framework steel tires
UV protection UV protection factor 50

This is a very easy to set up mini greenhouse in which low crops and other container plants can be cultivated. The floor of the PVC tent is open at the bottom, so you can use it for both planted and potted plants (e.g. on the balcony or terrace). The product can be used not only as a winter tent for the cold season, but all year round. It is also suitable as a greenhouse for small gardens. The waterproof winter tent protects the plants from fluctuating temperatures, from slightly below zero and heavy rain and wind. When not in use, simply fold it up and stow it away to save space.

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Bio Green Winter Protection Tropical Island Tent - M- Length 130 x Width 130 x Height 150 cm
229.94 EUR To the product
material PVC plastic
size 130 x 150 x 130 centimeters
Weight approx. 13 kilograms
framework galvanized steel rods for plugging together
UV protection UV resistant but translucent

The double-insulated overwintering tent for potted plants is available in three different sizes and can be increased in height if necessary thanks to an extension that can be purchased separately. The product offers plants year-round protection against cold, wind, rain and excessive solar radiation, with the installation of a frost protection monitor / a special heater making sense at temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius. The plastic material is UV-resistant, but with a grammage of 130 grams per square meter it is sufficiently translucent. The floor of the tent consists of a durable groundsheet. Thanks to the pluggable tent poles made of galvanized steel tube, the construction is quite uncomplicated. No tools are required for this.

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Bio Green winter protection bucket plant bag, beige, super strong, XXL 240 x 200 cm
30.94 EUR To the product
material micro fleece
size 200 centimeters high, 240 centimeters wide
Weight approx. 1.3 kilograms
framework none
UV protection UV resistant, translucent

Instead of a winter tent, which also has to be heated when the temperature is below zero, you can also use a so-called plant bag made of extra-strong fleece material. You simply put this protective bag under the (well-tied) plants, which can be planted out in the garden or in a bucket. The latter can also be overwintered in a cold garage or on the balcony with such a hibernation aid. The fleece used has a grammage of 100 grams per square meter and is therefore very well translucent, but reliably protects your sensitive plants from wind, rain and slightly below zero. The protective bag is simply slipped over the plants and pulled shut using pull straps.

Purchase Criteria

size

One of the most important criteria when buying a winter tent is the right size for the plants to be wintered in it. The height and diameter of the product should be such that the plants do not touch the tent walls or the ceiling, leaving some air between the material and the plant. Many plants can be severely pruned before overwintering, or there are special enlargements or extensions for some products that can be attached if necessary.

type and structure

There are different types of hibernation aids, of which the hibernation tent is just one possible alternative. The tent has several advantages over other options: you can use it in the spring to grow vegetables and other plants (practically as a cold frame), you can use it as a greenhouse all year round and you can put a heat source in it in winter if necessary. So-called overwintering bags or hoods, on the other hand, are more suitable for conditionally hardy plants (i.e. species that also tolerate light frost) and cannot be heated.

material and material thickness

Winter tents are usually made of plastic, mostly PVC. This is light, robust, tear-resistant and waterproof. This means that neither wind nor rain can get through and the plants are well protected from such weather conditions. The material should be firm and especially at seams such. B. Openings and windows must be well sewn up so that no cold penetrates through here. Conventional PVC tents also require an insulating inner tent so that the heat from a heating source does not escape outside in an uncontrolled manner. If PVC is too thin, you can use thicker fleece materials.

UV stability and light transmission

A winter tent should be thick enough to keep out the cold and other bad weather, but also thin enough to allow enough light to get inside. Most plants also need light to thrive in winter, which is why the fabrics should have a translucent grammage of between 100 and 130 grams per square meter. At the same time, the material should also be UV-resistant so that it does not become brittle over time and then no longer provides adequate protection.

purchase price

With regard to the purchase price, the various winter tents vary greatly. Basically, you should stay away from remarkably cheap offers, as the quality of the fabric and workmanship often leaves a lot to be desired. Of course, the size also matters: A small winter tent without heating is available for around EUR 20 to 30, while very large products with a floor and accessories can cost EUR 400 to 500.

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frequently asked Questions

What is a winter tent?

A winter tent is basically nothing more than a type of tent-like greenhouse. The inside of the tent is light enough for most plants due to the translucent material, but it stays a few degrees warmer than outside. In addition, rain and wind are kept out. The tent makes sense if it would be too dark to spend the winter in the basement or in the garage.

How are winter tents set up?

As a rule, the winter tent consists of a translucent, but UV-resistant and water-impermeable PVC mesh foil, which is slipped over a metal or plastic rod that can be plugged together and is often anchored to the ground with pegs. These tents come in different sizes and shapes, depending on where you want to put it and what plants you want to overwinter there.

How does a winter tent work?

The thick material of the winter tent protects frost-sensitive plants from rain, strong winds and above all from frosty temperatures. The plastic tarpaulin ensures that the heat inside the tent cannot escape, so that the inside is always a few degrees warmer than the outside. This is why such a plant tent is only suitable for temperatures just below zero, otherwise it gets too cold there without a heat source.

For which plants can the winter tent be used?

Such a winter tent is best suited for plants that are only partially hardy, especially for species from the Mediterranean region such as oleander, olive, fig, citrus or apricot trees. These plants do not tolerate frost, but still need to be overwintered in a light and cool place with a maximum of about ten to 12 degrees Celsius. The heated apartment is simply too warm for these species.

What are the advantages of this type of wintering?

The large models in particular are quite expensive, but can be used flexibly. In winter you use it as a hibernation tent, but during the growing season as a cold frame or greenhouse. In addition, many of these products can be set up in a very space-saving manner and can also be moved if necessary - this is not a problem thanks to the plug-in system. Smaller models can even be placed on the terrace or balcony.

Are there any disadvantages?

The disadvantage of this form of hibernation is that it does not work at temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius - then it also gets too cold inside the tent. A suitable heat source must therefore be found, for which special heaters - called frost monitors - are suitable. A light bulb, as sometimes read in the product description, is far from enough.

equipment

heat source

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Bio Green electric frost monitor - without thermostat, green, 135 watts, ready to plug in
To the product

Since a winter tent gets too cold for the plants even at temperatures in the low minus range, despite any existing insulation, a suitable heating system is required. You should choose a product that was specially developed for small greenhouses and cold frames. It should turn on automatically when it reaches a certain temperature and turn off again when it's warm enough.

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