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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: . 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: and follow links to “Leaf Season.”


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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