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Lush green plants.

If you have an area in your yard where you want to create a border between property lines, reduce noise from busy streets, or soften a fence line, we have a solution


Woman in blue lab coat holding up paper.

Understanding Soil Sample Results

August 5, 2022

Having healthy soil in your garden results in healthy plants. Whether you’re planting vegetables, flowers, grass, trees, shrubs, or anything in between, a soil sample is the first thing to check off the list. Gathering a soil sample from your landscape and having it tested by MSU Extension’s Soil Testing Lab should be the initial step in any gardening adventure. Plus, it’s pretty easy to do!

A pitcher of homemade sports drink on a counter

The Food Factor: Homemade Sports Drink

August 2, 2022

Most of the time water is the best choice before, during, and after physical activity. However, there are times when you might benefit from a sports drink.

rosemary, basil, and dill collage

3 Herbs to Grow Outdoors

July 29, 2022

Many herbs are easy to grow in the garden or in containers. Rosemary, basil, and dill are mainstays in my garden because I like to use them while cooking in my kitchen.

A knife spreading strawberry jam on toast.

Three Fruit Jam Recipes

July 26, 2022

Summertime is a great time to try new recipes with in-season produce. Whether you garden yourself or have several friends who share their produce with you, there is always plenty of fresh produce to choose from this time of year.

a snake

Venomous Snakes: How Can You Tell?

July 22, 2022

In my opinion, snakes are not cute and cuddly like some other wildlife, such as rabbits and baby deer. However, they do an important job in nature and benefit humans by controlling pests, including mice and insects, that can spread disease and damage property.

Snakes do not seek out humans, but we can and do come across them. If you happen to encounter one, it’s unlikely it will bite unless it feels threatened or you surprise it.

Six of the 55 different kinds of snakes in Mississippi are venomous. Although the risk of a venomous snake bite is low, it can happen. It’s...

A man cooks food on a grill.

Tips for Healthy Grilling

July 19, 2022

Meat typically comes to mind when we think about backyard barbecues, but you can cook much more than that on the grill. Try adding fruits and vegetables this summer to go along with your protein choices.

Three photos of butterflies in a collage.

Three Common MS Butterflies

July 14, 2022

Butterflies are a fan-favorite insect among many people. Not only are they pleasing to watch, they also play a vital role in our environment. Butterflies are pollinators, meaning they move pollen from one flower to another, fertilizing plants so they can reproduce. They’re both beautiful AND beneficial! 

Glass of Creamy Blueberry Shake

The Food Factor: Creamy Blueberry Shake

July 12, 2022

This Creamy Blueberry Shake is great for quick breakfast or an on-the-go snack.

Purple petunias.

How to Deadhead Petunias

July 8, 2022

Petunias are great summer annuals to have in your landscape. They offer beautiful blooms that can withstand the Mississippi heat and thrive up until the first cold snap of the winter. Get the most out of your petunias by properly deadheading them! Deadheading the wilted or dead blooms only encourages new blooms to grow and keeps them looking great for several months.

Tuna cakes on a plate

The Food Factor: Tuna Cakes

July 5, 2022

If canned tuna is a pantry staple in your house, these Tuna Cakes can be on your dinner table in no time!

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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.

Blog content is created by a core team of communicators, including Susan Collins-Smith, Ellen Graves, Natasha Haynes, Qula Madkin, Michaela Parker, and Jonathan Parrish. 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