Save your banana peels!

As our flower- and fruit- producing plants start working, they appreciate extra nutrients to help them along. After eating a banana, save the peels. Chop them up and place them around the base of roses, citrus and other fruiting and flowering plants. They will quickly disintegrate and add potassium to the root area helping to produce beautiful flowers and tasty fruit.

Protect your plants against aphids

Aphids moving in on your territory? Aphids are a common and unwanted visitor this time of year, especially on roses. Luckily, the Bay Area is also home to Syrphid flies which are natural enemies of the aphid. The Syrphid fly is a stingless fly with black and yellow bands and is often confused with honey bees. They play an important role in pollination as adults, but in their larval state they are hungry for aphids. A single Syrphid larva can eat hundreds of aphids per month. Let the Syrphid larvae do the heavy lifting and dispose of your aphid problem. If you want to take a more active role, merely spray the aphids off with water or gently run your fingers along the stems to squish them. There's no need for harsh chemical pesticides.