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Environment Blog Posts

A large, red mum.

October 2, 2020

Did you know that watering mums from the bottom is best? Watering at the base of the plant keeps water off the leaves and reduces the chances of fungal problems. Check out our other tips to keep your mums looking good all season.

A hand with a a grey glove on planting a series of bulbs in the soil.

September 28, 2020

Video by Michaela Parker

We’ve finally made it to fall! The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing colors, and I can’t wait to purchase pumpkins and mums for my front porch! 

If you’re trying to stay on top of what tasks you should be doing in your yard and garden, check out these four for the month of October.

  1. It’s time to plant your spring flowering bulbs, such as daffodil, daylilly, & iris! Hold off on planting tulips and hyacinths until later in the year. If you purchase them now, place them in the refrigerator for
  2. ...
A person using their foot to shovel dirt from a trench.

September 24, 2020

Backyard drainage problems are not fun to deal with. A big rain comes and suddenly your backyard turns into a puddled mess! Having standing water in your yard can lead to turf diseases, mold, or wood rot to your home. Nobody wants to have to deal with that! Consider installing a French drain in your yard during the upcoming fall and winter months. A French drain allows water to naturally drain from your yard. 

An assortment of litter retrieved from a watershed displayed on a wooden dock.

September 17, 2020

Are you tired of seeing used masks and gloves dropped in the parking lot at the grocery store? Me, too!

“Pandemic litter” is a relatively new problem, but pollution is nothing new. I grew up watching the ad that admonished, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute!”

Battling the coronavirus requires the use of some single-use items, but they don’t have to end up on the ground!

Here are three tips to help keep Mississippi beautiful!

Close-up of a fire ant mound

September 4, 2020

If you want fewer fire ant beds in your yard, the best way to achieve that goal is to maintain a consistent management plan throughout the year.

Four house plants in white pots.

August 28, 2020

And just like that, we’re three-fourths through the year! Cooler temperatures will be here before we know it, hopefully sooner rather than later. Even though we all know the heat will stay around a little longer, it’s time to start preparing for fall and winter.

Two wooden chairs on a porch underneath a tan shade sail.

August 21, 2020

If there’s one thing all Mississippians can agree on, it’s that the summer sun can be brutal. I enjoy spending time on my back patio, but it’s hard to enjoy without shade. I’ve noticed several restaurants, parks, and pools have installed shade sails to provide shade to visitors. Why not install one in your own back yard? 

Descriptive graphic explaining what webworms are and how to treat them.

August 14, 2020

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

A cluster of bright pink roses.

July 30, 2020

Whew. It’s hot outside! Just a trip to the mailbox makes me break into a sweat. As you’re outside working in your lawn and garden, remember to stay hydrated and come inside if you start feeling overheated Here are four tasks to complete in your yard for the month of August: 

An orange butterfly on a yellow flower.

July 23, 2020

What are pollinators and why are they important? Bats, bees, beetles, birds, butterflies, and other mammals play a vital role in our environment. These creatures help move pollen from one flower to another, which helps fertilize plants so they can reproduce.

An emerald ash borer sits on a green leaf.

July 16, 2020

Do you have ash trees or white fringe trees in your home landscape? If you do and you love them, you should be on the lookout for the emerald ash borer.

A bright green moss pathway with large pavers.

July 9, 2020

A moss pathway is an easy way to add a special touch of elegance, enchantment, and royalty to your landscape. A pathway covered with bright green moss seems like something a king or queen would have in their landscape, right? 

Watering colorful flowers with a blue watering can.

June 22, 2020

And just like that, we’re over halfway through the year. How is that possible? I have spent more time at my home over the past few months than I have in a long time!

A poison ivy vine.

June 18, 2020

With many summer attractions closed or limited due to COVID-19, people are heading into the great outdoors. As you’re exploring nature, you don’t want to have a run-in with the dreaded poison ivy.  

A close-up of a white-tail deer's face.

June 11, 2020

Oh, deer! White-tailed deer can be quite the nuisance in the garden. It’s disheartening to see deer ate the flowers in your back yard for a snack. 

A cluster of blackberries on a bush.

May 28, 2020

It’s starting to get hot out there, y’all! Don’t let the Mississippi heat deter you from taking good care of your garden and landscape.

Liquid drench is poured from a watering can on a fire ant bed.

May 21, 2020

This is the time of year to start a good fire ant management plan that can reduce the number of beds in your yard by 80 to 90 percent.

Closeup of someone spraying mosquito repellent on their arm.

May 14, 2020

With all the rain we’ve had this year, mosquitoes have plenty of places to breed. But you can take some easy steps to keep their numbers down.

Bright green sedums displayed in a gold picture frame.

May 12, 2020

If you’re looking for an easy garden project this summer, look no further! Sedums, commonly referred to as succulents, are popular because they are relatively easy to care for. 

An Asian hornet on a rock.

May 8, 2020

No, that’s not a murder hornet. But you may have seen one of these four look-alikes that do live in Mississippi.

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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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