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With fall foliage, The Claw is back



The Claw is making its rounds on the streets of Sacramento, picking up piles of leaves, through Jan. 26. (Photo courtesy
City of Sacramento)

Leaf season in Sacramento brings return of street pick-up



Although fall foliage seems to be clinging to the trees, leaf season has returned to Sacramento. That means the familiar Claw is back in action.

Now through Jan. 26, Claw crews will work the streets of Sacramento, methodically scooping up the City of Trees’ abundant accumulation of leaves and other green waste.

November and December produce the majority of leaves: 23,000 tons were picked up by Claw crews during those two months last year. That was a wet winter; rain weighed down the foliage like soaked towels. In 2017, those same two months totaled about 18,000 tons.

Most Sacramento residents should expect seven sweeps down their street by The Claw between Nov. 1 and Jan. 26, according to Erin Treadwell, spokesperson for Sacramento’s Department of Recycling and Solid Waste.

Residents can get a pick-up estimate via the city’s Leaf Season webpage at:
http://www.cityofsacramento.org/Public-Works/RSW/Collection-Services/Yard-Waste/Leaf-Season . On the SacRecycle collection calendar link, insert your address and get a target date for your street, within three days. The Claw schedule is updated twice daily with crews out Monday through Saturday.

During light leaf weeks, The Claw crews can complete their citywide schedule in 10 to 12 days. Wet and windy weather can bring down masses of leaves, especially early in November if there hasn’t been a major leaf drop. That almost doubles the time estimate for completing a city sweep.

Meanwhile, the city continues to pick up residential green waste containers on a weekly basis. Fill those 96-gallon bins before piling leaves in the street; that helps keep curb space open for parking.

If a heavy rain is expected, move leaf piles out of the street and up onto lawn, Treadwell suggested. That keeps leaves from clogging storm drains. Keep piles out of gutters and bike lanes.

“It only takes five well-placed big leaves to clog a drain,” she said.

The biggest contaminant of leaf piles? Poop bags. Please put dog waste in the regular garbage, not street piles or green waste bins, Treadwell said.

For more tips on leaf season: www.cityofsacramento.org and follow links to “Leaf Season.”

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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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