A homegrown strawberry is unmatched in flavor. Picking your ripe, sweet cherries is an accomplishment. Growing your own blueberries is worth the required effort. To be successful at growing these and other fruits, it takes planning. Gooseberries are the only fruit I can think of where you ju…

The Manhattan City Commission moved forward this week on a long-needed project: Replacing the roundabout at Grand Mere Parkway. It’s never really been designed right, and so it helped give roundabouts a bad name around here.

The 2020 Memorial Day started out hazy but turned into a lovely day. I placed cut peonies on a few relatives’ graves. Having a variety of peonies aids in having at least one cultivar blooming on the day. They make beautiful flowers for the landscape as well.

Maybe it’s just me, but I get the sense we are using most of our bandwidth these days in search of an elusive sweet spot between the way it is and the way it used to be. School, business, government, any system that used to involve gatherings of groups of people.

About two years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture hired the first National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) employees. Now, close to 80% of NBAF’s operational workforce has been hired and several employees are even celebrating work anniversaries.

Since you’re reading this editorial, it’s a pretty good guess that you subscribe to The Manhattan Mercury. As a subscriber, you ought to know that there’s a bill in Congress that would allow you to take a tax credit for the cost of your subscription.

“Good grief,” Charlie Brown groused at the end of many Peanuts comic strips. His exasperated exclamation evoked frustration and acceptance. In my first week of teaching virtually to high school students, I, too, said, “good grief” more than a few times. I said some other words, too.

I was again in a social setting over the weekend, outside of course, and six feet away from anybody. The discussion turned, as it inevitably does these days, to the coronavirus. This particular group was familiar with the death of a universally well-liked middle-aged guy who died last week a…

Now is a good time to be dividing perennials, planting new plants and finishing all your spring plans. Soil temperatures are right for root growth. Soil moisture is good this fall. Plants have this fall and next spring to get established before the normal stresses of summer occur.

It’s time to change the channel. No, I’m not referring to the remote control for your television set, I’m talking about a remarkable broadcaster who found a new channel of communication through which to serve his community.

A soil test will indicate how much soil you need or if you need to adjust it to grow healthy plants. It is easiest on you and the plants when the test and results are in before the plants. Since roots grow in many directions, the soil needs nutrients spread throughout the root zone. This is …

Riley County crossed the 1,000 mark in coronavirus cases this past week. That’s more than the initial projections showed would turn up in our community. The good news is that the hospitalization number has been lower than expected, and so the medical system has managed to handle the pandemic…

Our two young grandsons don’t know much about Donald Trump or Joe Biden or about the issues that separate them and tens of millions of Americans. That’s mostly because the adults in the boys’ lives avoid such topics around them.

So now the count is up to 10 K-State football players with confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the past few days. There were 14 earlier in the summer, so roughly a quarter of the team has been infected.

It is common for many plants to look bent out of shape in late August. The rains of this year have helped plants along. However, leaves show signs of disease and may have fallen off. Holes, webbing and off-colored leaves indicate insect feeding. Before too long, the leaves will turn color an…

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Like most things in the movies, high-containment biosafety work is dramatized to engage an audience. While highly inaccurate in most cases, the theatrics do have a benefit beyond the movie plot. They draw in a new generation of curious bioscientists — ones like National Bio and Agro-Defense …

One last thought about the matter of Julie Gibbs getting a drink at a bar in Aggieville: It’s really all about the rule.

The person in charge of our community’s battle against the coronavirus violated her own rule last weekend, standing at an Aggieville bar to order a drink. She acknowledged this, and apologized, after The Mercury’s news staff pinned her down about it.

The soil test results are back, grasses and weeds have been killed, and now the soil needs graded. These are the first steps in preparing for seeding a new lawn. Once these steps are accomplished, seeding can begin with hopes of a perfect lawn by mid-October.