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The Claw is (almost) back!

Sacramento's Leaf Season begins Sunday

The Leaf refuse collecting machine
The Claw will be back in action in Sacramento starting Sunday.
(Photo courtesy City of Sacramento)





Scraaaaaaaaaaape! That scary sound of metal against concrete will be music to many Sacramento gardeners’ ears.

It’s that time of year again: The return of The Claw!

The day after Halloween, Sacramento officially starts “Leaf Season” and nearly three months of in-street leaf pick-up.

According to Sacramento’s Recycling and Solid Waste Department, The Claw operates Sunday, Nov. 1 through Jan. 24. (And yes, Claw crews work on weekends.)

When will The Claw be on your street? Check
SacLeafSmart.org for updated estimates of Claw pick-up schedules. The City also offers a free and handy SacRecycle app for your phone so you can get the latest Claw news anywhere any time.

Some reminders:

Leaf piles can be no bigger than 4 by 4 by 9 feet (and just one per household). Make sure there is space between the pile and the curb so water can flow down the gutter. Also, place the pile at least 6 feet away from cars, boats, basketball hoops or other obstructions. The Claw needs room to maneuver.

Don’t put plastic bags in street piles (including bags full of leaves). And don’t contaminate the leaf pile with trash or dog poop (a common problem).

During leaf season, the City of Sacramento continues to pick up green waste containers. Fill those first before piling leaves in the street, advises the recycling and solid waste department. The containers will get picked up 13 times during Leaf Season while residents can expect seven visits from The Claw.

For more information: SacLeafSmart.org .

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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