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July 19, 2019

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

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


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

3 Tips to Protect Your Home from Termites When Landscaping

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)

2019 planting intentions.

2019 Planting Intentions

March 29, 2019

Many Mississippi crops must overcome flooded conditions to achieve the 2019 acreage forecasts released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on March 29. (Graphic by Phil Smith)

An assortment of snack foods on a butcher block table top, including a green pear, red grapes, baby carrots, pretzels, pecans, dates, almonds, and trail mix.

Smart Snacking

March 29, 2019

Time and money are both precious resources, but you don’t have to sacrifice them to eat healthier foods. Next time you find yourself standing in front of the vending machine at work or dashing into a convenience store for a snack, have a plan! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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

What to Do in Your Garden in April

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.

Fertilizers Explained

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.

Chicken nuggets coated in golden brown panko breadcrumbs on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet.

Chicken Nuggets for Grown-Ups

March 18, 2019

Chicken nuggets for grown-ups is one of our most popular recipes from the original television series. They are a fun, fast, and easy weeknight meal that cuts calories, since they’re baked instead of fried. 

Close up of a pink rose bloom.

Plant Roses Now!

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.

Protect Your Pets from Fleas

March 11, 2019

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

Red grapes dipped in a mixture of peanut butter and Greek yogurt lined up on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.

Peanut Butter Yogurt-Dipped Grapes

March 8, 2019

Looking for a snack that will tide you over until your next meal but not derail your health goals? These peanut butter yogurt-dipped grapes are a fun way to get a serving of fruit and a hit of protein, without racking up major calories!

Pouring planting potting soil mix into pots in the garden.

How to Choose Potting Mix

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