Environment Blog Posts

A piece of hardware cloth encircles a small, layered pile of organic waste.

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
Side by side photos showing the right and wrong ways to mulch around a tree trunk. (Photos by Kevin Hudson and Gary Bachman)

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
Miniature green bok choi plants grow in small window box containers.

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)

Read more
A brown swallowtail butterfly with white spots drinks nectar from a flowering pink and yellow lantana plant.

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
Green leaves cover branches that end in pink crape myrtle blossoms.

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
This Valentine's arrangement has a stuffed bear and a red heart hugging an arrangement of twigs with candy attached using red ribbon.

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
:Black, white, and red logo showing a stylized wild hog with a red circle and a diagonal line across. Text reads Hold Our Ground Operation H.O.G.

January 26, 2018

Got wild hogs? You need a trap. Winter is the best time to use this management tool.

Read more
The green leaves of an oak tree create a canopy overhead while the thick, rough brown bark covering the leaves and branches dominates the right side of the photograph.

January 23, 2018

This time of year, my love for trees joins my love for all things free, thanks to the generosity of several organizations, including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil & Water Conservation District, and Mississippi Soil & Water Conservation Commission. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Read more
Close-up of a young leafy green vegetable plant growing in a salad table with other herbs and marigolds.

January 16, 2018

If you are planning for your vegetable garden this spring, a salad table or two might be in order. Salad tables are a great addition to a traditional vegetable garden or wonderful on their own.
​(Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Read more
Two birds visit a platform feeder full of black oil sunflower seeds

January 9, 2018

2018 arrived with a breath of fresh, frigid air. Colder temperatures can mean limited food for our feathered friends. Many people like to provide supplemental food for birds in the winter, which is a great way to draw birds to your backyard for observation.

Read more

December 6, 2017

Teaching your children or grandchildren about nature can start in your own backyard. Birdwatching is a simple, inexpensive way to start a conversation about our natural resources and their importance in the ecosystem.

But first, you’ll need a set of binoculars that you can actually see through clearly. If you have only one set, you’ll want to adjust them properly for each user. 

Read more
Bud vases filled with greenery, holly berries and roses

November 28, 2017

With Thanksgiving celebrations behind us, we’re beginning to decorate our homes for Christmas, and calendars are filling up with Christmas parties. That has everyone thinking about hostess gifts, parting gifts and thoughtful gifts for friends.

Our floral design specialist Jim DelPrince has an easy, inexpensive bud vase that can meet all those needs. He’ll show you how it’s done.

Read more
Close-up of a fall decorative basket with pine cones, pumpkins, gourds and artificial flowers and grasses.

October 31, 2017

If you want to freshen up your fall décor or add a new piece to the mix, this project is for you. Our MSU Extension Service floral specialist Jim DelPrince shows you how to make an easy and pretty basket to hang on a wall or door.

Read more
Plastic debris is seen in an open black trash bag sitting on the beach at the 2016 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup.

October 10, 2017

How much trash does your family generate? How much of that trash is single-use plastic, like water bottles and food packaging?

You might be surprised to know that much of that plastic ends up littering our waterways, beaches and oceans. In fact, the No. 1 item polluting these areas is plastic.

Read more
Two men hold a hammerhead shark while conducting research aboard a boat.

September 28, 2017

Our Extension photographer Kevin Hudson went out to sea to snag some great photos of the Master Naturalist training last weekend. We wanted to share a couple with you! On hand was our new Extension marine fisheries specialist Marcus Drymon. 

Read more
Deer University logo showing buck with huge rack.

September 26, 2017

Gear ready? Check.

Hunter’s Safety Course & hunting license? Check.

Know the rules for your hunting spot? Check.

I’ve learned a lot about hunting since marrying into Mississippi 10 years ago. And whenever I really want to score points with my husband, I bring home information from MSU Extension experts. Now everyone can access science-based information whenever they want it, thanks to a new podcast, Deer University!

Read more
headshot of Dr. Jay McCurdy, PhD

September 19, 2017

Are you longing for a great looking yard next summer – the kind that wins the neighborhood Yard of the Month award? Well, there are a few things you need to do now to get that lush, green carpet.

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 extreallife@msstate.edu

Recent Posts

A piece of hardware cloth encircles a small, layered pile of organic waste.

You don’t have to have a fancy enclosure to compost your organic waste. Inexpensive hardware cloth can be used to enclose a small, layered pile. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)

Go Green: How to Start a Compost Pile
A medical doctor holds a vile of medication and talks to a young man in the Rural Medical and Science Scholars program.

Tyler Wilson, right, shadowed Dr. Steven Brandon during the 2016 Rural Medical and Science Scholars program. Participants in the program also receive college credit for two pre-med courses, visit various medical facilities, participate in lab-based hands-on learning activities and take part in a communications and study skills workshop. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Explore Healthcare and Science Careers with Extension Program
A green smoothie fills a tall clear drinking glass and has a red and white striped straw in it.

A green smoothie made with spinach, fruit juices, frozen banana, and yogurt is a healthy way to start the day. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Go Green: How to Make a Green Smoothie