Sacramento crews now picking up street piles
The Claw is a popular member of the City of Sacramento street crew.
Courtesy City of Sacramento
It’s leaf season and, in Sacramento, that means it’s Claw season, too.
And after Thursday’s storm, many Sacramento neighborhoods could use a visit – leaves are everywhere!
Now through the end of January, The Claws – Sacramento’s specialized fleet of articulated tractors – will be making the rounds, scooping up leaf piles on city streets. Jan. 23 is the last day that residents can set out piles for pick-up.
On average, each household will get about seven visits from The Claw, estimate city officials. Residents can find out when The Claw will be in their neighborhood with The Claw calendar, available on Sacramento’s official Leaf Season webpage, www.SacLeafSmart.org.
In all, The Claw crews expect to pick up about 20,000 tons of material this season. Besides leaves, branches and other pruning debris are also accepted. (No tree stumps allowed.)
Although organic food waste (along with leaves and yard debris) now goes in the green-waste container, don’t dump food waste or paper into leaf piles. The Claw won’t pick them up.
Here are more leaf season tips:
* 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.
For more information: SacLeafSmart.org.-- Debbie Arrington
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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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