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Environment Blog Posts

Bright pink flowers in full bloom on a crape myrtle tree on a partly cloudy day.

July 23, 2019

There’s always a lot going on in August. School is back in session, and everyone is trying to get back on their busy schedule. In the middle of the chaos, don’t forget your garden!

A small child runs barefoot through tall grass and has red insect bites on his calf.

July 19, 2019

Being outside in the summertime can feel like a battle against nature. Mosquitoes. Ticks. Chiggers. (Photo by CanStock)

Two partially filled canisters contain rice and flour sit on a speckled black countertop.

July 2, 2019

Everyone deals with the occasional invasion of sugar ants in the kitchen. It’s just a fact of life.

But when they do make their way in, you don’t want to lay out the welcome mat for them. Regina Boykins, Extension agent in Humphreys County has a few tips to help keep ants and other pests out of your kitchen.

A combination container with pink impatiens and red and green coleus.

June 21, 2019

It’s officially summer, meaning the heat is here in full force! I set my watering can by the door as a reminder to water my plants. A few years back, when I first started growing an interest in gardening, I learned the hard way that you have to water your plants regularly because of the Mississippi heat. Don’t be like young Michaela. Always water your plants! (Photo by Michaela Parker)

A young woman with dark hair extends her palm forward with the Healthy Homes Initiative logo on her palm.

June 4, 2019

Maintaining a healthy home can be challenging, but it IS possible. Use the “right hand rule” to make your home a healthy one.

Tiny brown insects scattered across the underside of a green eggplant leaf.

May 31, 2019

No matter how you slice it, gardening is a risky business.

We have no control over the weather, waves of pestilence, the threat of plant diseases. It’s a wonder we don’t all just chuck our gardening tools and say, “See you at the farmers market.”

Multiple clusters of blueberries in varying stages of ripeness adorn a branch covered with green leaves.

May 28, 2019

If edibles are on your list for the landscape or garden this year, check out the list of Mississippi Medallion winners. They are proven performers when it comes to our Mississippi climate.

Our horticulture experts help select several plants, including fruits and vegetables, each year that make the cut. 

Two red and orange marigolds in focus with several yellow, red and orange marigolds out of focus in the background.

May 21, 2019

I love riding around town looking at everyone’s front yard landscapes. I know how much work goes into making it look top-notch! A lot has been done, but there’s plenty more to do in your yard and garden.

Several small and compact violet flowers on long stems with green foliage.

May 7, 2019

Do you want surefire performance in your landscape and vegetable garden, but don’t know what to look for when you go to the garden center?

A plant with variegated, triangular leaves.

April 30, 2019

Do you have a mysterious plant coming up in your yard and you’re not sure how it got there?

Extension has answers. Our experts can tell you what it is and the best ways to eradicate, control, or manage it.

A group of tomato plants tied around a wooden stake in black plastic containers sitting on a shelf.

April 23, 2019

I spent a lot of time working in my yard during April. I planted several pots, pruned my shrubs, and put down a fresh layer of mulch. It would be easy to sit back and admire my hard work, but with the warmer weather coming in, there’s still so much to do! 

A red-throated hummingbird hovers over a red geranium.

April 16, 2019

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures and fun to watch. We usually begin to see them in Mississippi in March. Here are a few tips to draw them to your landscape.

A flower pot with three types of full sun flowers sits in the sun.

April 12, 2019

If you have a sunny area where you’d like to try out some plants, consider putting them in a container for a trial run.

Plant them in the ‘thriller, filler, spiller’ fashion for a container with lots of visual interest. The thriller is the main focal point. A filler plant will help fill in the majority of the pot, and the spiller plant will grow to flow over the sides of the container.

A closeup of a red variegated coleus plant.

April 9, 2019

Container gardens are a quick and easy way to spruce up your porch, deck, or landscape. Just make sure you choose the area you want to place the container before heading to the garden center. (Photo by Michaela Parker/Cindy Callahan)

Several worker eastern subterranean termites eat a piece of dead wood.

April 2, 2019

Termites are probably not something you consider when you are gardening. But many landscaping tasks, including digging and mulching, can put your home at risk for termite damage. (Photo by Blake Layton)

A picture of several pink tulips with one in focus and others blurred in the background.

March 26, 2019

It’s officially spring! The temperatures are finally starting to warm up after a cold and wet winter. Gardening is the perfect excuse to spend some much-needed time outside. Grab your gardening tools—there’s a lot to be done! (Photo by Michaela Parker)

Close-up of a portion of a clear bottle filled with bright blue liquid that is water-soluble fertilizer dissolved in water, against a blurred dark green background.

March 22, 2019

Now is the time to fertilize some landscape plants, but there are several different kinds of fertilizers available. MSU Extension horticulture specialist Gary Bachman helps you understand what’s in fertilizer and the different types available.

Close up of a pink rose bloom.

March 15, 2019

If you’re thinking of planting roses, spring is one of the best times. MSU Extension/From Extension Publication 2835 “Roses in Mississippi” 

A medium-sized black and white dog lies on green grass.

March 11, 2019

It’s a given. Our beloved pets will attract some unwelcome guests: fleas. (Photo by Susan Collins-Smith)

Pouring planting potting soil mix into pots in the garden.

March 4, 2019

Choosing a potting mix may seem simple, but not all mixes are created alike. When buying potting mix for containers, you want to look for mixes with ingredients that will help your plants thrive. (Photo by CanStockPhoto)

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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