Okay, so you’ve made it. You’ve carved out your own little space for yourself amidst the hectic hustle and bustle of London life. A place to call home in those stolen hours where you’re not hunched over your desk manically trying to hit targets that would frankly only be reasonable if the number of working days in a week could somehow be doubled and what’s more you’re pretty sure - certain - that the new hire with the far superior grasp of social media (‘Juliet But Everyone Just Calls Me Joolz That’s Right With A “Z”’) is gunning for your job…
Where were we? Oh yeah, so none of that matters because you’ve just signed the lease on a new place that is more than comfortably within zones 1-2 and an absolute bargain at only three times the amount it would cost in the town you grew up in. What’s more it even has a garden! Sure, its kind of small but there’s just about room for a BBQ in there and there’s even a small area just perfect for growing plants and other things. Beats sitting indoors with the curtains closed to stop the sunlight ruining your Netflix session doesn’t it?
At Floom, we’re hugely into the idea of cultivating our own gardens, as modestly sized and urbane as they might be. Below are five tips for the month of April to help kickstart your new hobby...
1. Live Off The Land
We’ve all seen enough post-apocalyptic movies to know that the only people who have a chance of surviving are those who can grow their own food. April is the perfect month to start preparing for the inevitable zombie outbreaks of the future, as it’s the time of year where vegetable growing really starts to take off. You can chit and plant potatoes over the month, and sow outdoor seeds for everything from carrots and cauliflower to lettuce and leeks. If you have growing space indoors then you can add a bit of pizzazz to your future harvest by sowing seeds for sweet peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and globe artichokes.
2. Reap What You Sow
Of course, imagine for a moment that you’ve been doing this for a while, and you’re not just some clueless newbie who is only now dipping a distinctly un-green finger into the world of growing. If you had been, you’d be hitting the time of year where its time to harvest a delicious springtime yield: rhubarb, radishes, asparagus and (most importantly for your street-cred) that still-trendy-it-seems kale.
3. Bring Some Colour
If you’re going to be seeing out the zombie apocalypse (not sure how I got started with this particular setting-of-scenes but I’m gonna run with it), you’re not gonna have ready access to the entertainment of old: for example videogames, window-shopping and internet-based flower marketplaces. But that’s okay! You can brighten things up yourself, by growing your own colourful, flowering plants. April is a great time to plant opulent opium poppies, a whole host of different antirrhinums and sweet peas (as sweet in scent as they are in name).
4. Defend Yourself!
It’s probably no coincidence that the month your gardening really takes off is also the month that sees a whole host of insectoid nasties and fungal pests attempt to descend upon your lovingly-tendered plot. In particular, look out for aphids and mildew who are gonna want a piece of your garden before the month is out. Blast away the aphids with a gentle spray of water and neem oil mix (you can use washing up detergent but we’re all about the organic where possible). If you catch an outbreak of mildew in your garden then there’s a range of natural options but baking soda mixed with horticultural oil and water seems to be a pretty popular method.
5. Be A Little Fruity
If you want to get a little fruit garden going then now is the perfect time to plant pot-grown fruit trees and bushes. If you’re lucky enough to have some strawberries on the go then you’re going to need to de-blossom any that were planted after September, ventilate any that you’re growing under cloches and get them nice and mulched with straw.