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Environment Blog Posts

Stink bug on a leaf.

May 19, 2023

If you have a home garden, you know the pain of managing the pests that feast on your crops. Luckily, you won’t have to guess what bug is snacking on your plants! We’ve gathered information on common pests found in Mississippi gardens to help you identify and manage the bugs that are giving you problems!

A house sparrow.

May 5, 2023

Have you ever noticed the small birds hopping around parking lots scrounging for food and wondered what kind they were? There’s a good chance they were house sparrows. 

A black lawn mower mowing a yard.

April 28, 2023

May is here and you know what that means, it’s go time! 

A monarch butterfly on an orang flower.

April 25, 2023

There’s nothing as magical and whimsical as a garden filled with colorful butterflies. They’re fun to watch, but they also play an important role in our environment.

Black swallowtail caterpillar on a plant.

April 21, 2023

Did you know that certain plants provide food to certain butterflies? Just like adult and baby humans eat different things, the same applies to butterflies!

Storm clouds.

April 14, 2023

In Mississippi, we’ve taken our fair share of hard hits from severe weather lately. The tornados that ripped through the Delta and North Mississippi have changed lives forever. With hurricane season looming just behind tornado season, it’s important to understand the differences in two common weather alerts: watches and warnings. 

Two lambs stand along side a sheep in a pasture as the sun rises in the distance.

April 6, 2023

Some people use lamb and sheep interchangeably to identify the animal, but they aren’t exactly the same thing. So, what’s the difference between them? Yes, lambs are baby sheep -- that’s the main distinction. But here are some other differences between the two:

White daisies.

March 31, 2023

After an unseasonal cold snap in March, spring has officially started and the warmer weather is here to stay– at least for a little while. Hopefully, the cold didn’t damage your plants! Working on your yard is a great excuse to spend time outside now that the weather is nice. Here are a few things you can work on in your landscape for the month of April:

Hummingbird next to red flowers.

March 28, 2023

Everyone loves Ruby-throated hummingbirds! I have fond memories of watching these hummingbirds visit the many feeders my grandparents put out each year. You probably have a similar story! Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures, with their bold-colored feathers and fast-fluttering wings.

Frayed Daffodils

March 17, 2023

For a few short weeks, daffodils grace the planet with their beauty and remind us of warm weather right around the corner.

Blue phlox.

March 10, 2023

Native plants are talked about quite a lot in the gardening world. Everyone talks about what great plants they are to have in your landscape, but what exactly are they? 

Orange milkweed.

March 3, 2023

I woke up to a dusting of yellow pollen on my car this week, the true sign that spring is on its way! Several flowers are blooming, making the world a little more vibrant after a cold, gray winter.

A blue jay on a branch.

February 28, 2023

Blue jays are easy to recognize by both their noisy call and bold blue feathers. Also known as jaybirds, blue jays are members of the crow family and native to the United States.

Bradford pear tree blooms

February 24, 2023

If you have Bradford pear trees on your property, you are quite familiar with the odor they release. How could such a beautiful tree smell like rotting fish? The odor isn’t the only thing that makes this tree undesirable.  

A Mole and a Vole.

February 17, 2023

Moles and voles are often confused with one another. They both can cause damage to your lawn and their names sound very similar. You can use the beginning letter of their name to help you remember the difference! 

Yellow, purple, and blue pansies.

February 3, 2023

The weather has been brutal lately. Cold and dreary one day, warm the next. Nevertheless, signs of spring are starting to pop up. Yellow daffodils have already started to bloom, providing everyone with a reminder that the cold weather will soon be moving out of the area. 

House Finch.

January 31, 2023

We’re on month two of learning about the different types of birds in Mississippi. For February, we’re discussing the house finch.

A crape myrtle in the landscape

January 26, 2023

Crape myrtles are popular for their low-maintenance beauty, but they can benefit from some light pruning this time of year.

A bee sits on a flower

January 12, 2023

Pssst…You know you don’t have to be a beekeeper to help support honey bees, right?

Person with teal gloves planting tree.

January 6, 2023

Curb appeal is what everyone aims for, but how do you get that great looking yard? We all want a landscape that looks like it’s straight out of a magazine, and 2023 is the year to make it happen! Each month, we’ll put out a quick checklist of tasks to stay on top of yard maintenance. Here’s January’s list:

  • January is a great time to plan, audit, and assess what’s going on in your landscape. What do you want to plant in your landscape? What did you plant in the past that didn’t grow as planned? Think about what you’ve accomplished and what you want to see get done. You can
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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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