JEH JEH LIVE - The Birmingham Botanical Gardens Annual Spring Plant Sale is this weekend. This year it is located in the Macy's Upper Parking lot at Brookwood Village. There is a Preview Party tomorrow night from 5-6:30pm and a members-only sale from 6:30-8:30pm. The public sale runs Friday from 9am until 7pm, Saturday from 9am until 5pm, and Sunday from 11am until 3pm. Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale features over 100,000 plants, most of which have been nurtured by volunteers at The Gardens. This sale allows a unique opportunity, providing expert knowledge on the plants and by offering unique plants difficult to find in ordinary garden centers. And your purchase helps The Gardens reach its educational goals. The Spring Plant Sale furthers The Gardens' mission of promoting public knowledge and appreciation of plants, gardens and the environment while providing consumers seasonally appropriate planting advice from experts and satisfaction from supporting a worthwhile cause with each purchase. For more information, visit www.bbgardens.org.
ZOO CREW - Mickey visited with Karla Farish from the Birmingham Zoo to learn more about the Dwarf Nigerian Goat. For more information, visit www.birminghamzoo.com.
BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT - Mike talked with Ice Cube and Regina Hall about their new flick - "Barbershop: The Next Cut." Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer are reunited in "Barbershop: The Next Cut," directed by Malcolm D. Lee. It's been more than 10 years since our last appointment at Calvin's Barbershop. Calvin played by Cube and his longtime crew, including Eddie played by Cedric, are still there, but the shop has undergone some major changes. Most noticeably, the once male-dominated sanctuary is now co-ed. The ladies bring their own flavor, drama and gossip to the shop, challenging the guys at every turn. But despite the good times, big laughs and camaraderie within the shop, the surrounding community has taken a turn for the worse, forcing Calvin and his friends to come together in an effort to not only save the shop, but their neighborhood. "Barbershop: The Next Cut" features a starring ensemble led by Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Anthony Anderson, Eve, JB Smoove, with Oscar winner Common and Nicki Minaj. This film is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for "sexual material and language." It opens in theaters nationwide on Friday.
ASK THE DOCTOR - Dr. Stan Hewlett is a board-certified general surgeon. He also focuses on several different advanced surgeries - especially the "Whipple" surgery using the da Vinci robot for Pancreatic Cancer cases. He joined us to tell us more about the process and take viewer questions. Dr. Hewlett is currently the only physician in the central Alabama area that has the ability to perform a robotic technique of the Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer patients. By undergoing this procedure via the robot, patients are able to start chemotherapy in about three weeks instead of six ... like those who undergo the open procedure. This additional three week delay stems from the large incision needing to heal before starting chemo. But with the robotic Whipple surgery, patients come out with only five tiny incisions ... four are small enough to be covered with Band-Aids. In addition, those who undergo this surgery via the robot experience less fluid loss ... which means less inflammation, less swelling and less pain. Less pain with smaller incisions means fewer narcotics, quicker recovery and ultimately ... and a faster return to regular mobility. Dr. Hewlett answers questions about this surgery technique.
GARDENING - Bethany O'Rear, Regional Extension Agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, discussed controlling fire ants in the garden. We are starting to see evidence of one our most hated insect pests – the fire ant! Fire ants are common in Alabama - in yards, flowerbeds, playgrounds and gardens. There are several approaches to fire ant control at home and in the garden. You can treat individual mounds with a bait or contact insecticide or broadcast a fire ant bait that the ants pick up and take back to the nest and feed to the queen. This is the main means of fire ant control, as baits have a tiny amount of active ingredient placed on a biodegradable carrier particle along with a food attractant. For maximum control, the baits should be applied in spring and fall. It is relatively inexpensive and environmentally sound. Fire ants in the area generally pick up most of the bait particles in a short period of time, meaning there is minimal impact on non-pest ants. The Baits are most effective when they are broadcast across the infested area. That way, they can control the fire ant colonies that you can't see because they haven't built mounds. If there are only a few nests to worry about, Flanders recommends the individual mound treatment option. In compliance with the product label, each mound should be treated when it is warm outside, but not too hot. In the winter, this means treatments during the middle of the day. During the summer, it is best to treat in the morning or evening. These times are when the ants are closer to the surface and therefore, the mound treatment is most likely to affect the queen. You have to kill the queens. It may take one application—or it may take two or three. Follow the directions on the label for vegetable gardens and for fire ant control. Whether it is a big or small colony the queen must be killed, otherwise the mound will require additional treatments. Broadcast a long residual insecticide across the area to kill smaller colonies and prevent new colonies for a period of time. For fire ants in vegetable gardens, use control products that have vegetables on the label. If the vegetable garden is small, most fire ant colonies can be killed by broadcasting a fire ant bait around, but not in the garden. This is helpful if you can't find a fire ant bait that can be used in a vegetable garden. More fire ant baits are legal to use in home lawns and other grassy areas than in vegetable gardens.
STRAWBERRIES - With a relatively mild winter, fruit is ahead of schedule. This year's strawberry crop is several weeks earlier than normal. Several local farms offer a u-pick operation where families can enjoy harvesting these delicious strawberries together. To find a u-pick in your area, visit http://fma.alabama.gov/Default.aspx. A few include:
In Blount County:
Jerry Marsh Farm - 205-681-8514
Witt Farms - 205-259-0753
Trina Smith - 256-385-6772
In St. Clair County, A&P Farms - 256-538-5100
In Cullman County, Burk's Farms - 256-385-2812.