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Environment Blog Posts

Trees waiting to be planted.

October 26, 2021

It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of 2021. With cooler weather arriving, that means there’s not as much to do in your garden besides constantly raking leaves to ensure they don’t take over your landscape. However, there are a few additional tasks you can complete to prep your space for spring! 

white oak acorns.

October 22, 2021

Mississippi has quite an extensive list of native oak trees. With 34 different species found in the state, you may wonder how to tell which is which. Although there are many ways you can identify each oak, the trees’ acorns are a great indication of species. By looking at the acorn’s shape, color, and size, you’ll be able to identify which oak species it came from. 

Here are five of the most common oak trees found in Mississippi and how to identify the species using its acorns:

  1. Live oak – Live oak acorns resemble the shape of a football
  2. ...
colorful fall leaves

October 15, 2021

Autumn is the time of year when nature graces us with a perfect landscape of red, orange, and yellow leaves to enjoy. As you take in the beautiful scenery, you may wonder: What causes the leaves to change colors in the fall months? Many people believe frost is the reason, but that’s actually a myth! 

Different colored pumpkins in a line.

October 8, 2021

Pumpkins are a fall staple and a great way to add a bit of festive decor to your home. I’ve had a pumpkin display out at my home since mid-September. I’ll keep this fall arrangement up until after Thanksgiving and then replace it with Christmas lights and decor.

Buck.

September 30, 2021

The white-tailed deer is one of the most popular game species in Mississippi. We have over 2 million white-tailed deer in the state, and we rank second behind Texas for the densest population of deer in the nation.

Raking leaves

September 28, 2021

Autumn is officially here! It’s not hard to love this time of year. Temperatures are cooling, leaves are changing, and there will be more branches than foliage soon. It’s hard not to love this time of year! As we close out this calendar year, it’s easy to convince yourself there’s not much to do in the yard. Take a break, but also take time to check off these tasks

Lawn Burweed

September 24, 2021

Lawn burweed is something we all dread having in our yards during warmer months. This weed starts growing in the fall, but doesn’t become a nuisance until it’s fully matured in the spring. When temperatures rise, these weeds form prickly spines, or “stickers,” which they are more commonly known as.

Fall Webworms

September 10, 2021

If you’ve noticed spiderwebs in your pecan trees, chances are they’re not spiders. They’re fall webworms.

Fall webworms are partial to pecan and persimmon trees but will also feed on other trees, including Bradford pears.

Nine-banded armadillo

September 2, 2021

Armadillos are one of the most unique looking critters out there. These animals are covered in silver, armor-like plates that protect them The word “armadillo” actually means “little armored one” in Spanish!  

Fire ants.

August 31, 2021

Everyone loves a good myth buster, and we have a very timely one for you! Fire ant beds in your yard can be such a headache to deal with. Many people have used home remedies to control ants. But are those quick fixes really getting rid of the ants in your yard? Let’s take a look at some commonly used home remedies and whether or not they work! 

Purple, pink, and orange mums.

August 27, 2021

With the fall season slowly creeping in, there are many things to look forward to, including the drop in temperature. I enjoy watching the leaves change color and drop, too. That also means now is a great time to pull out your rakes, garbage bags, and compost bins and prepare to remove the leaves in your yard! Here are a few other things for you to accomplish in your garden and landscape during the month of September. 

Mosquito

August 13, 2021

If theres one thing we can all agree on, its that mosquitos are no fun to have around. Mosquitos are often most active when the temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning they are around in Mississippi for a large chunk of the year. 

Raccoon.

August 2, 2021

The Northern raccoon, also known as the backyard bandit, is no stranger to Mississippi. Known for the black bandit mask on its face and its striped tail, these raccoons can be found in a variety of environments. They easily adapt to their surroundings, whether that be in forested areas or cities. 

Orange flowers.

July 30, 2021

After a relatively mild summer, heat and humidity have arrived in full force in Mississippi. Going outside during the afternoon is miserable these days! If you’re like me, I try to get all my outdoor activities wrapped up in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. Be sure you can recognize the signs of heat-related illness, and remember to drink plenty of water anytime you’re outside! Hydration is important!

Green Frog.

July 26, 2021

Is it a frog or a toad? If you stumbled on this amphibian, would you be able to call it by its correct name? Many people believe that frogs and toads are two different types of amphibians. Technically, a toad is a type of frog! At first glance, they may appear very similar but there are a few differences that will help distinguish one from the other. 

A dog lies on the grass in the shade.

July 23, 2021

Heat stress in dogs is just as serious and life-threatening as it is for humans. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), high temperatures can be dangerous for your dogs, even when it doesn’t seem that hot to you. So, I take steps to help make sure my dogs can stay cool when they are outdoors.

Stinkbug.

July 16, 2021

If you have a home garden, you know the headache of dealing with garden pests. Insects can damage the produce, both directly and indirectly. There are a multitude of different insects that can wreak havoc on your vegetables. We asked MSU Extension Entomology Specialist Blake Layton what are the five most common insects he sees in gardens. Here’s his list: 

Blue Jay with nut in mouth.

July 8, 2021

Birdwatching is a favorite pastime of many Mississippians. My grandmother had a bird book she wore out over the years. I fondly remember sitting on the porch swing with her as a child trying to identify the different birds that frequented her house. Sometimes we were successful in finding the bird, other times not so much. 

Bald Eagle flying.

July 2, 2021

There's nothing more majestic than the bald eagle. As many know, the bald eagle is the United States' national bird and is exclusively found in North America. Spotting one in the wild is a moment many will never forget!

Pink rose bush.

June 25, 2021

It’s been an overall mild and rainy summer so far. If you’re like me, there no complaints with the mild weather. Mississippi is notorious for hot, humid summers so I’ll take slightly cooler temps any day of the week! July is a busy month in your yard and garden. Here are a few things to accomplish this month:

  1. July is a great time to take root cuttings from a variety of different plants around your home. Plants like azaleas, boxwoods, camellias, and gardenias can be planted in a fine sand mix to encourage new growths. Our blog post on 
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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

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