Featured Content
While winter is often considered a slow time in the garden, there are still several things that can be done from December through February to prepare for spring and keep yourself active in the garden even when there is snow on the ground! Here is a list of tasks to do for perennials, annuals, trees & shrubs, vegetables, lawns, and houseplants.
Garden Trivia

True or False: Houseplants can reduce the levels of harmful VOC (volatile organic compounds) gases, such as formaldehyde, in the home or office.

Read on to see the answer!
Light is important for plant growth. Without it, there is no photosynthesis, and plants cannot grow and thrive. Light is often the most limiting growth factor when growing houseplants, starting seeds, or nurturing any plant indoors. Because of this, many houseplants benefit from supplemental lighting. Here's a complete guide to providing supplemental light for houseplants, seedlings, and other indoor plants.
An attractive landscape requires careful planning for seasonal interest throughout the year. Since the Iowa landscape is dormant for about four months of the year, extending the attractiveness of the garden into the winter can help make the season a little more bearable. Many herbaceous perennials can help add shape, color, and texture to create interesting landscapes, even in winter!
From its humble beginnings in the mid-1950’s to its current status as one of the most popular and well-attended tree care conferences of its kind in the country, the ISU Shade Tree Short Course (Ames, IA) is the place to be February 21-22, 2024.
All-America Selections has been trialing edible and ornamental plants for over 90 years, presenting awards to entries that will impress home gardeners with their performance regionally or nationally. There have been plenty of exciting new winners that merit a place in your garden that will be highlighted in this series. 
Other Items of Interest
Garden Trivia Answer

False (and a little bit true!). While a 1989 NASA study showed that VOCs were reduced by houseplants in small sealed chambers, there is no evidence that shows that houseplants remove significant quality of pollutants in the home or office. The dynamics of indoor air quality are far more complex than the highly controlled testing environment of the study. New research shows the results of the NASA study just don't translate directly to "real world" conditions. Learn more in this article: Improving Indoor Air Quality with Houseplants.
See our previous issue here.
Not yet subscribed? Subscribe to receive all the latest Hort and Home Pest News!
Have a gardening question? Contact your local Extension office.