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Frost on a plant.

It’s hard to believe we will be closing out another year at the end of the month. If you’ve followed our monthly garden checklist, we know it’s been a busy year for you! Staying on top of the chores in your yard and garden is quite the undertaking, but isn’t it rewarding? To wrap up the year, here are a few things to take care of:

  1. Keep an eye on the weather. Mississippi is known for its unpredictable weather, and you don’t want a sudden cold snap to ruin your plants! Bring cold-sensitive container plants indoors and apply 6 to 8 inches of mulch in your garden or flower beds
  2. ...

Blue Jay with nut in mouth.

Tips for Identifying Backyard Birds

July 8, 2021

Birdwatching is a favorite pastime of many Mississippians. My grandmother had a bird book she wore out over the years. I fondly remember sitting on the porch swing with her as a child trying to identify the different birds that frequented her house. Sometimes we were successful in finding the bird, other times not so much. 

Bald Eagle flying.

Critter of the Month: Bald Eagle

July 2, 2021

There's nothing more majestic than the bald eagle. As many know, the bald eagle is the United States' national bird and is exclusively found in North America. Spotting one in the wild is a moment many will never forget!

A lady in a kitchen holds a smoothie and gives a thumbs up.

The Food Factor: Strawberry Swirl

July 6, 2021

As the days heat up, I’m looking for ways to cool off! This recipe for a Strawberry Swirl gives me all the health benefits of whole fruit with the refreshing coolness of a frozen drink.

Pink rose bush.

July Garden Checklist

June 25, 2021

It’s been an overall mild and rainy summer so far. If you’re like me, there no complaints with the mild weather. Mississippi is notorious for hot, humid summers so I’ll take slightly cooler temps any day of the week! July is a busy month in your yard and garden. Here are a few things to accomplish this month:

  1. July is a great time to take root cuttings from a variety of different plants around your home. Plants like azaleas, boxwoods, camellias, and gardenias can be planted in a fine sand mix to encourage new growths. Our blog post on 
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Fire ants around rocks

How to Get Fire Ants Out of the Vegetable Garden

June 29, 2021

Do you have fire ants in your vegetable garden? Me too. Good news for all of us! There are some fire ant baits that are safe to use around food plants.

A plate of chicken wings cooked in the air fryer.

The Food Factor: Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

June 22, 2021

If you love fried chicken wings but want a healthier option, these Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings cooked in the air fryer are for you!

Canned fruits and vegetables on a shelf.

How to Preserve Foods at Home Safely

June 18, 2021

Are you planning to can fruits and vegetables this year? Whether you’re new to canning or you’ve done it for years, Extension has resources to help you make sure it’s done safely. 

A cup of Orange Delight sits on a counter.

The Food Factor: Orange Delight

June 15, 2021

If you are a fan of The Food Factor and are of a certain age, you may remember one of my favorite childhood flavors—the Orange Julius®. A trip to the mall wasn’t complete without a stop for a creamy, frozen citrus treat!

Tomatoes growing on a vine.

Quick Tips for Growing Tomatoes

June 11, 2021

There’s nothing more satisfying than homegrown tomatoes. You don’t have to be a gardening expert to grow delicious tomatoes in your backyard. Here are a few tips that will help you grow the best looking (and tasting) tomatoes out there:

Woman smiling at a table.

School’s Out: How to Make Meals and Snacks Count

June 8, 2021

The kids are out of school, and for some of us, our schedule is a little bit out of routine. As a mom of four, I know how hard it can be to keep those summer bellies full, so I want to share some of my go-to tips to help.

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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