The Hazards of Gardening In The ‘Hood…Be Careful Out There

Gardening in the ‘Hood is like gardening elsewhere…except for one additional chore.

If you live in the ‘Hood, you need to perform a daily check of your gardens for trash left by what I will call the “party people.”

They arrive during the afternoon or late evening…engines & mufflers announcing their arrival…


They park, have a quick meal, and throw their trash on the sidewalk or in your garden…

Fast Food Trash

Fast Food Trash

Afterwards, they may quench their thirst with a libation or two…or three…


Some may engage in additional activities…

Syringes & Needle Trash

Syringes & Needle Trash

Each morning you should carefully check on the detritus left by your visitors! The debris field can be quite extensive at times.  It is recommended that you use a trash pickup stick for this purpose. Latex gloves are also a good idea!

Fortunately, most of the trash is disposed of in quick order:

  • The empty beer and liquor bottles obviously go in the Recycle Can
  • Paper and food wrappers likewise go into the Recycle Can

However, the disposal of used condoms and syringes is another matter altogether.  Technically they are bio waste and should be disposed of accordingly. Blue Can or Gray Can?? I can’t decide.  Perhaps, the garbage company will provide Sharps containers and biowaste cans that we can strap to our trees…with signs>>”Used Condoms” and “Used Needles” Emoji


  • To reduce the risk of fire from the many discarded cigarettes keep dead vegetation and leaves under control.
  • To reduce your risk of getting a needle stick from the discarded syringes, use a pickup stick.

In addition, it is advisable to wear heavy gloves while pruning in case you encounter a discarded syringe in a hedge or bush. You don’t want to get a needle stick forcing you to get tested for all kinds of nasty diseases.

Happy Petaluma Gardening!!

P.S. Perhaps the Petaluma Garden Club has additional suggestions!!

See you at the Petaluma Arts & Garden Show!


2 thoughts on “The Hazards of Gardening In The ‘Hood…Be Careful Out There

  1. Love it! My yard trash isn’t quite as interesting, mostly cigarettes — sometimes feel that because I live on a pretty, busy street, my sidewalk is popular for that last walk/cigarette before turning in. I did have a scarey experience several weeks ago. Was weeding in the backyard, and “something” came up out of the ground next to me — brownish grey, about the diameter of my thumb — looked other-worldly! The plumber, who was in the front yard supervising the installation of the back flow valve unit, came back and took a look. He identified it as a slug, but said he’d never seen one that big before. We can find excitement right in our own front yards!

  2. Ah, but you haven’t lived until you find someone sleeping on a couch by the side of the house. At least he brought his own couch!!

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