Environment Blog Posts
February 23, 2021
While it seemed like winter would never end last week, many parts of Mississippi are already experiencing spring-like temperatures. I can’t think about the return of spring without thinking about bees!
For several years, my husband and I kept several bee colonies after he took an MSU Extension beekeeping course. When people ask us how to get started beekeeping, it’s no surprise our first recommendation is always, “Talk to your local Extension agent!”
February 19, 2021
If you’ve noticed irregular, snake-like raised ridges throughout your lawn, Eastern moles have most likely found themselves at home. They are known for building a network of tunnels underground, and typically spend 90 percent of their lives there.
Eastern moles are around 5 to 7 inches long and are covered in brown or grey fur. At a glance, they look similar to mice. Despite their resemblance, they are actually more closely related to shrews and bats than they are mice! Eastern moles have hairless snouts, paddle-like claws, and poor eyesight. Their eyes are sensitive to the light...
February 10, 2021
Video by Michaela Parker
Pruning your rose bushes is one late winter chore you shouldn’t overlook! It’s so easy to neglect yard maintenance, especially during cold weather. Pruning helps shape the bush, remove dead canes, open the center for air flow, and stimulate new growth.
Pruning any plant can be intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite easy. Before you get started, it’s comforting to know that roses are very forgiving plants. They will grow out of many mistakes you may make. Whew!
You’ll need three tools: sharp pruners (never use...
January 28, 2021
Everyone’s favorite yellow daffodils will be popping up soon and you know what that means! Spring will be here soon! While you wait, there are a few things you can start doing in your yard and garden to get ready for spring.
January 21, 2021
“What does the fox say?” That’s a question we may never know the answer to, but I’m sure we’ve all heard the song before!
January 14, 2021
Having “stickers” in your yard can be quite the nuisance. Stumbling upon a patch of stickers while walking barefoot is a painful experience. Plus it’s painful for your four-legged family members! Formally known as lawn burweed, these winter annuals are no fun to deal with.
December 21, 2020
Staying on top of your gardening chores can be quite the task. When do you plant shrubs? When do you prune crape myrtles? That’s why we’re here!
December 18, 2020
If you celebrate with a real tree, you’ll have to decide how to dispose of it once the holiday is over. You have some good options for recycling the tree instead of sending it to the landfill.
December 10, 2020
Propagating plants may sound like a hard task to take on, but it’s a cost-effective way to add beautiful plants to your garden. It’s yet another reason you should have friends who are gardeners!
November 24, 2020
12/12. We’ve finally reached the end of 2020. I think everyone can agree that it’s been a heavy year. Here’s to 2021, right? I hope staying active in your lawn and garden has brought you a sense of normalcy during this crazy year. If anything, hopefully it’s been a good distraction!
November 11, 2020
Choosing, cutting, and bringing home a real Christmas tree is a fun, family tradition that makes memories to last a lifetime. If you plan to have a real tree this year, be sure to observe some safety rules.
November 4, 2020
Video by Michaela Parker
Cooler temperatures mean it’s campfire season! There’s nothing like spending time outside roasting marshmallows over an open fire. Whether you’re in your back yard or on a camping trip, knowing how to build a campfire is a skill everyone needs to know! You never know when knowing how to build one will come in handy.
- Prepare your area. It’s recommended to select an area away from flammable materials. Choose an open area that’s clear of trees. If you’re building a campfire from the ground up, build a ...
October 27, 2020
Video by Michaela Parker
The year is winding down. The weather is finally cooling off and the leaves are slowly, but surely, changing colors. Cooler weather means fewer things to do in your garden. (Are you rejoicing or feeling bummed?) Before we wrap up the year, however, complete a few tasks in your lawn and garden to be ready for the spring! Here are four tasks to do in November:
- If you’ve ever wanted to plant trees or shrubs in your yard, now is a good time to do so. Wait to plant your tree or shrub until after the soil ...
October 2, 2020
Did you know that watering mums from the bottom is best? Watering at the base of the plant keeps water off the leaves and reduces the chances of fungal problems. Check out our other tips to keep your mums looking good all season.
September 28, 2020
Video by Michaela Parker
We’ve finally made it to fall! The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing colors, and I can’t wait to purchase pumpkins and mums for my front porch!
If you’re trying to stay on top of what tasks you should be doing in your yard and garden, check out these four for the month of October.
- It’s time to plant your spring flowering bulbs, such as daffodil, daylilly, & iris! Hold off on planting tulips and hyacinths until later in the year. If you purchase them now, place them in the refrigerator for ...
September 24, 2020
Backyard drainage problems are not fun to deal with. A big rain comes and suddenly your backyard turns into a puddled mess! Having standing water in your yard can lead to turf diseases, mold, or wood rot to your home. Nobody wants to have to deal with that! Consider installing a French drain in your yard during the upcoming fall and winter months. A French drain allows water to naturally drain from your yard.
September 17, 2020
Are you tired of seeing used masks and gloves dropped in the parking lot at the grocery store? Me, too!
“Pandemic litter” is a relatively new problem, but pollution is nothing new. I grew up watching the ad that admonished, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute!”
Battling the coronavirus requires the use of some single-use items, but they don’t have to end up on the ground!
Here are three tips to help keep Mississippi beautiful!
September 4, 2020
If you want fewer fire ant beds in your yard, the best way to achieve that goal is to maintain a consistent management plan throughout the year.
August 28, 2020
And just like that, we’re three-fourths through the year! Cooler temperatures will be here before we know it, hopefully sooner rather than later. Even though we all know the heat will stay around a little longer, it’s time to start preparing for fall and winter.
August 21, 2020
If there’s one thing all Mississippians can agree on, it’s that the summer sun can be brutal. I enjoy spending time on my back patio, but it’s hard to enjoy without shade. I’ve noticed several restaurants, parks, and pools have installed shade sails to provide shade to visitors. Why not install one in your own back yard?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org