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Environment Blog Posts

A person with yellow gloves on planting a shrub.

January 27, 2020

It may be chilly outside, but don’t let that deter you from going outside and working in your garden and landscape. Grab a jacket and your gardening tools, there is plenty to be done during February! 

A tree planted in green grass with brown mulch around it.

January 21, 2020

If you are planning your spring garden chores, mulching is likely on your list. But you may not know that there is a right and wrong way to apply mulch.

A group of house plants sitting next to a window.

January 10, 2020

If you need something green to brighten up your space or get you through the winter months, there is a plant out there for you. But efore you shop for plants, understand the environment of your home or office because different plants have different needs. You must consider six factors when choosing indoor plants if you want to be successful: light, temperature, water, humidity, soil, and fertilization. 

A green recycling bin sitting next to a black trashcan.

January 6, 2020

Video by Michaela Parker

At the beginning of a new year, everyone makes goals and resolutions to keep throughout the coming months. If you want to make more eco-friendly decisions, here are a few tips to help you become intentional with recycling. 

  1. If you are fortunate to have curbside recycling or drop off locations in your community, take advantage of the opportunity! Be sure to check when recycling is picked up and where drop off sites are.
  2. Know what can’t be recycled. Batteries, electronics, plastic bags, clothing, garden hoses,
  3. ...
A person with green gloves pruning a tree with yellow leaves.

December 16, 2019

Do you have improving your garden or landscape on your New Year’s resolution list? If you don’t, you should! Each month, we are going to offer a few suggested tasks to do. So, without further ado, here are four tasks for you to complete in your garden and landscape during the month of January:

 
A group of red poinsettias.

November 26, 2019

Poinsettias, a common Christmas plant, are in bloom during December. (Photo by MSU Extension)

A small tree in a black container inside a freshly dug hole.

November 22, 2019

If you have a certain spot in your yard that you’ve been thinking about planting a tree, now is the time to do it! The hardest part of planting a tree is picking out which type to plant!

Multiple sweet potatoes in a box.

November 8, 2019

Sweet potatoes and yams. They’re the same thing, right?

Not really. They look and taste different. Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are sweeter with a smooth, thin skin. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

A group of yellow and red pansies bunched together.

November 1, 2019

If you’re anything like me, the last few months of the year are always the busiest. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and everything in between, I feel like I’m running all over the place. With colder temps here, the to-do list for your garden and landscape is shrinking. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, be sure take some time to get things prepared for winter and spring! (Photo by MSU Extension)

Colorful flowers planted in a white pot.

October 29, 2019

Container gardening is a quick and easy way to spruce up your front porch during the fall and winter months! My favorite cold weather plant is the pansy. They’re easy to take care of and they bring the perfect amount of color to any landscape. They also act as the perfect spiller plant for a ‘thriller, filler, spiller’ styled container. (Photo by Michaela Parker)

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October 17, 2019

If you have caladiums in your landscape and want to be sure they come back next year, you’ll need to dig them up just before the first frost. Mississippi’s winters are too cold for the plants to survive in the ground.

Ripe muscadines on the vine.

October 15, 2019

If you want to grow muscadines at your home, choosing the right variety can be intimidating. With so many varieties to pick from, how do you know you’re picking the right one?

A mum with maroon budding flowers in a clay pot.

October 1, 2019

Nothing says fall like buying mums to incorporate into your home landscape! They’re the perfect plant to transition from hot to cool weather. With several gorgeous colors to choose from, mums are a must for fall weather.

Rows of yellow mums.

September 27, 2019

Fall is my favorite time of year. The autumn colors people incorporate into their landscape just make me giddy! 

A man kneels in a flower bed next to some plants.

September 24, 2019

Fall is one of the best times to divide perennials, such as daylilies and irises. It is best to divide these kinds of plants when they are not blooming. If you don’t get this task done in fall, don’t worry. You can divide perennials throughout the winter and into early spring.

Dark brown soil in a small white box.

September 3, 2019

You’ve spent all summer planting and maintaining your garden or mowing your lawn and are ready for a break. But before you put your landscape to bed for a long winter’s nap, consider applying lime.

A group of yellow, orange and red flowers.

August 27, 2019

How is it already September? I know I’m not the only one in disbelief that fall is right around the corner! Now’s a good time to prep your garden for the upcoming cooler temps.

Two walls of a kitchen that has been flooded show significant mold damage and damage to the drywall.

August 22, 2019

When you’re ready to hire a contractor to repair or rebuild property damaged by flooding, keep these tips in mind to help avoid being scammed.

A kitchen with white walls and cabinets shows severe flood damage, including mold damage, on floors and cabinets with doors and drawers removed.

August 21, 2019

Getting started on clean-up after a flood can seem overwhelming. Before you do any work, be sure you know what your insurance company needs to file a claim. Take photos and video of damage, inventory items damaged beyond repair, and keep track of expenses.

A man prepares for cleaning floodwater damage by wearing rubber gloves, a face mask, and goggles.

August 20, 2019

You’ve been waiting for months to clean up your flooded home, but before you start this daunting task, you need to purchase the appropriate safety equipment to wear. Mold and other toxins can pose a serious health threat inside a flooded home. By following the manufacturer’s instructions, safety gear can protect you from those dangers.

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About Extension for Real Life

Extension for Real Life is a product of the MSU Extension Service’s Office of Agricultural Communications.

That’s a long way of saying we are professional communicators who get to talk about food, families, 4-H, flowers, and farming for a living. Pretty good gig, right?

The three main writers for the blog are Ellen Graves (Seamstress of Social Media Strategy), Susan Collins-Smith (Content Connector) and Keri Lewis (Captain Cat Herder). But we get by with a lot of help from our friends in Ag Comm and Extension!

You can reach us at 662-325-2262 or extreallife@msstate.edu