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January 27, 2023

A crape myrtle in the landscape

Crape myrtles are popular for their low-maintenance beauty, but they can benefit from some light pruning this time of year.


Turtle crossing the road

Why do Turtles Cross Roads?

May 6, 2022

In the South, there’s a legend that says rain is on the way any time you see a turtle cross the road. There’s very little truth to this myth, even though it does seem like rain is in the forecast after we see one of these creatures slowly making its way across the street. 

closeup of meatballs

The Food Factor: BBQ Venison Meatballs

May 2, 2022

No matter how you slice it, venison is a great addition to your diet. These meatballs are versatile, and there are lots of ways you can add them to your meal plan.

close up of a person pruning a branch with pruning sheers

When and How to Prune Landscape Plants

April 29, 2022

Pruning is one of the least understood gardening tasks and for good reason – it’s confusing. When, how, and if you should prune depends on the type of plant or tree you have and your goal for the plant.

White and pink native azaleas.

All About Azaleas

April 26, 2022

There’s no plant more iconic in the springtime than azaleas. Their bright, colorful blooms are exactly what we need to welcome the warm weather after a dreary winter. 

fruit and vegetable waste is added to a compost pile

How to Start a Compost Pile

April 21, 2022

Are you interested in starting a compost pile but aren’t quite sure where to start? Well, it’s an easy process, but it does require some patience. Here's how to do it.

Cooked tilapia on a plate

The Food Factor: Red Pepper and Parmesan Tilapia

April 19, 2022

This Parmesan crusted tilapia is a quick and easy way to increase your fish intake. The dish has just a hint of red pepper flakes to add some personality.

Blue and purple hydrangeas.

How to Change the Color of Hydrangeas

April 15, 2022

Hydrangeas are a favorite among many Southerners. Their colorful blooms are a classic staple in many landscapes. They typically come in a variety of colors, including blue, purple, white, and pink. But did you know you can change the color of certain hydrangeas? With a little work and a lot of patience, you can change the color of bigleaf and mountain hydrangeas by adjusting the soil pH. How cool is that?!

A woman stands at a kitchen counter.

All About Seeds

April 12, 2022

Seeds are an excellent source of fiber, healthy fats, and many important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are a great way to add some crunch with a nutritional punch!

Hairy crabbed

Common Mississippi Landscape Weeds

April 8, 2022

With warm weather arriving, many people are starting to think about their landscape plan for the spring and summer. It’s so exciting to get those colorful flowers planted. But with warmer weather, we also get unwanted, pesky weeds. It’s inevitable to have some type of weed pop up in your flower beds, gardens, or lawn at some point during the summer.

A bowl of Cajun Spice Blend.

The Food Factor: Cajun Spice Blend

April 5, 2022

Making your own spice blends gives you more control of the ingredients and flavor profile of your meals. This salt-free Cajun Spice Blend will spice up your meals without adding unnecessary sodium.

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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