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Environment Blog Posts

Person planting vegetables.

February 26, 2024

Spring is right around the corner, and you probably are getting an itch to start setting out plants in your landscape and garden. If you’re new to gardening, you’ll need to know what plant hardiness zone you’re in.

Blackberries growing.

February 16, 2024

Looking to plant a fruit plant on your property but not sure which to choose? May we suggest blackberries! Blackberries are among the easiest fruit plants to grow, and they produce tasty berries that are perfect for baking!

Pink roses

January 31, 2024

Roses and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand. If you’re like me, roses are at the top of your list of favorite plants. They’re a flower that never goes out of style! 

If you’d like to plant a rose bush or two at your home, spring is a great time to do so. Roses not only look great in the landscape, but they also take less time to maintain than other plants.

If you’re looking to plant roses this spring, here are a few varieties to choose from:

Yellow buttercup weeds.

January 26, 2024

Whether you have a large lawn, field, or pasture, you’ve probably had to deal with pesky weeds. 

Loblolly Pine Tree

January 12, 2024

Have you ever wondered what kind of trees are in your yard? Or maybe someone asked you about a certain tree in your yard, and you didn’t have an answer.

Annual bluegrass weed.

January 5, 2024

The new year is a great time to start learning about topics you don’t know much about.

A pile of gifts wrapped in various papers and ribbons.

December 15, 2023

When you think about the holidays, all the food, gifts, holiday décor, and gatherings with friends and family likely come to mind. What you may not think about is how much garbage we create during this season. Check out these tips that can help you recycle this holiday season.

Pink holiday cactus

December 8, 2023

Holiday cacti are popular this time of year. They are a great addition to holiday décor and are even a great gift! If you’re like me, I’m running out of gift ideas for my loved ones.

Eurasian Collared Dove

December 4, 2023

We’ve reached the end of our yearlong series that introduced you to some of Mississippi’s birds! We hope these blog posts have helped you identify and learn more about our feathered friends.

Red and Yellow Poinsettias

November 17, 2023

If you’re like me, you’re starting to think about your holiday plans. How will I decorate for Thanksgiving and Christmas? What will I gift my friends and family during this festive season? Plants make perfect gifts and add a nice touch to your holiday decor.

Red-Headed WoodPecker

November 3, 2023

Many birds aren’t as easy to identify as red-headed woodpeckers. With their bright red head and neck feathers and loud pecking noise, they surely know how to make their presence known!

A person putting mulch on a flower bed.

November 1, 2023

We’ve almost made it to the end of the year. Isn’t that hard to believe? As we start to wrap up the year, take some time to think back on all you’ve accomplished in your yard and landscape.

A redbird sits on a platform bird feeder full of black oil sunflower seeds.

October 27, 2023

Want your feathered friends to have a supplemental source of food this winter? Set out a bird feeder for them. There are many types of bird feeders, but they are not all created equal. Check out the common types of feeders and decide which ones will work best in your yard.

Four jack-o-lantern pumpkins

October 20, 2023

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I love having pumpkin carving parties with friends. Pair the night with apple cider and a bonfire, and it’s my ideal day!

Man raking leaves

October 16, 2023

To rake or not to rake? Some people believe you should rake up fallen leaves, while others think they shouldn’t be touched. So, what is the right answer?

A rake in orange leaves.

September 29, 2023

As of September 23, it’s officially fall! Cue the pumpkins, apple cider, and bonfires! The weather normally takes a while to realize that it’s actually fall but isn’t this cooler weather glorious!

Tufted Titmouse

September 27, 2023

The tufted titmouse is a bird you’ve likely seen in parks, woodlands, and in your back yard. They’re native to the eastern parts of the United States and are attracted to areas where there is an abundance of broadleaf trees, such as oaks, hickories, and maples. 

Soil testing boxes full of soil waiting to be tested.

September 21, 2023

Early fall is one of the best times to test your soil. A soil test can tell you if your lawn or garden needs critical nutrients and how much. This way, your plants and your wallet will stay healthy. You won’t waste your money applying fertilizer or lime that your plants don’t need.

Southern Brown Turkey Fig

September 8, 2023

Figs are in season from July to October. So, now is the perfect time to find some figs to eat and cook with! There are two main fig varieties found in Mississippi: Celeste and Southern Brown Turkey.


September 1, 2023

“Rockin’ robin, tweet-tweedle-lee-dee!” You sang that sentence as you read it, didn’t you?





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

Recent Posts

Person planting vegetables.
Knowing your planting zone and selecting the right plants for your zone puts you on the path for gardening success! (Photo by Canva Pro)
What are Plant Hardiness Zones?
A woman stands in a kitchen and holds a serving of Chicken with Peachy Ginger Sauce.
Slow Cooker Chicken with Peachy Ginger Sauce is an easy meal for those busy weeknights.
The Food Factor: Slow Cooker Chicken with Peachy Ginger Sauce
Blackberries growing.
Some of the blackberry cultivers are upright, while others have trailing tendencies that require trellising. (Photo by MSU Extension)
Tips for Planting Blackberries