Environment Blog Posts
July 17, 2018
With Mississippi's legendary summer heat, everyone wants some shade trees in the home landscape. But with shade comes a unique challenge: what plants thrive with less sunlight? (Photo by Gary Bachman)Read more
July 10, 2018
Whether you work or play outdoors in the summertime, you are a prime target for mosquitos and ticks.
Aside from being irritating, insect pests can carry bacteria, parasites and viruses, such as West Nile virus, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which could make humans sick. It’s important to protect yourself. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)Read more
June 25, 2018
Let’s face it. Sometimes we need a quick, inexpensive bouquet of flowers to give to a friend or family member or to freshen up our own spaces.
Jim DelPrince, Extension horticulture specialist, shows you how to use landscape materials to supplement those pretty bouquets you see at the supermarket and get more bang for your buck. (Photo credit: Zac Ashmore/Cindy Callahan)Read more
May 18, 2018
Native plants are excellent choices for any landscape. They are adapted to the climate, which makes them low-maintenance. Planting native varieties of flowers, plants and shrubs provides food and shelter for native wildlife. (Photo by Tim Allison)Read more
May 10, 2018
Magnolias are synonymous with Mississippi, and the leaves and flowers are popular materials for all kinds of floral arrangements – wreaths, swags, table runners and other seasonal arrangements. (Photo by Zac Ashmore)Read more
May 3, 2018
Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures and fun to watch. We usually begin to see them in Mississippi in March. Here are a few tips to draw them to your landscape.Read more
April 24, 2018
If you like to enjoy the great outdoors during spring and summer, you are not alone.
Whether you’re out hiking, fishing, camping, kayaking, horseback riding, or working in your backyard, you’ll likely come across many types of wildlife, including snakes. Just the thought of a snake can cause many people to shudder with fear. But learning about the kinds of snakes you may encounter in your area and how they behave can help you avoid a dangerous encounter.
Most people refer to snakes as poisonous and nonpoisonous, but the actual scientific terms are venomous and nonvenomous...Read more
April 19, 2018
A yellow-gold insect buzzes around your head and your first instinct is to swat. Or run. Or swat while running.
The fear of being stung can send me into fight or flight mode in seconds . . . and I’m a beekeeper. True story. No one likes being stung! (Photo by Mississippi Entomological Museum/Joe Macgown)Read more
April 13, 2018
Growing herbs in containers on your porch or doorstep gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
Most herbs grow without fuss, look lovely, smell wonderful, and add fabulous flavors to your home-cooked meals. More flavor means you can cut back on salt and fat! (Photo by Canstock Photo)Read more
April 10, 2018
When I think of the beach, I picture soft, white sand and pristine, blue water. But our beaches and oceans have a dirty little secret: trash.
That’s right, several tons of trash end up in our waterways and on our beaches every year in Mississippi. In 2017 alone, volunteers with the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup collected 13 tons of trash from 40 sites along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This trash isn’t just unsightly. It threatens the Gulf Coast’s ecosystem.
April 6, 2018
Air plants are popular, easy-to-care-for decorations. They are ideally suited for dorm rooms, apartments, and offices where watering plants may be more challenging, but are a lovely addition to any space. They also make great gifts, because you can buy materials in bulk. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)Read more
April 3, 2018
MSU scientists are on the lookout for a cucurbit crop bandit. And they need your help!
Cucurbit downy mildew is a sneaky thief with the ability to quickly and significantly reduce yields or wipe out entire crops of susceptible cucurbits, including cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and squash. (File photo by Rebecca A. Melanson)Read more
March 20, 2018
Compost is a great soil conditioner. It helps the soil hold water and improves clay and sandy soils. Starting your own pile is easy and can help keep organic waste out of landfills. (Photo by Gary Bachman)Read more
March 8, 2018
What do doughnuts and volcanoes have in common?
Properly applied, mulch can:Read more
March 2, 2018
If you want to get rid of weeds in your home lawn, now is the time to apply herbicides to control them.
Late February and early March is the ideal window to apply pre-emergent herbicides that control various weeds in home lawns. But you want to make sure you buy the right ones and apply them correctly.Read more
February 26, 2018
Intimidated by gardening? Yes?
Our advice: start small. You don’t have to commit to a half-acre garden. Try planting a few of your favorite vegetables in containers.
(Photo by Gary Bachman)
February 22, 2018
Sometimes bad news can feel overwhelming, as if one person can do little to make a difference. Growing plants that support honeybees and butterflies doesn’t solve a major world problem, but it can give these important pollinators a boost while also offering loads of beautiful color to your yard or garden. Now is the time to plan! (Photo credit: Kat Lawrence)Read more
February 12, 2018
Southern landscapes are filled with crape myrtles of all sizes and colors because they are easy to grow and provide beauty for several months. However, they do need a little TLC this time of year. (Photo by Gary Bachman)Read more
February 6, 2018
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you might already be racking your brain for a gift idea to give to that special someone. Have you ever thought of making the gift yourself? (Photo/video by Jonathan Parrish)Read more
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