Suddenly everything is growing! - After a slow start everything in the garden has started to burst into life. Green shoots are everywhere, buds are opening up and the birds are working overtime to feed their chicks. So it is important to get on top of things before it all gets out of hand. Even though plants in the ground and pots are shooting up it is well worth giving everything a feed to keep them healthy. Pot plants will need some extra nourishment if they are to flower well, using a good quality feed watered in. For open beds chicken pellets spread around will do the job, and these provide nourishment for quite a time. Whether you are feeding pot plants or those in the ground do use the correct dosage, as too much can cause damage. Plant feed is like wine, one glass is very nice but a whole bottle, not so good. DIY stores and nurseries have a very good range of feeds that are not too expensive. If you wanted to grow some plant, vegetable or herb from seed but never got around to it, do not despair. Although we started some sweet peas, tomatoes and sunflowers from seed, keeping them in our conservatory during the cold spells, we have also bought some very healthy herbs and vegetable plants from our local DIY shop. This saved us space and meant we got just the right amount of healthy plants to put into pots or the ground. You should still be able to get a wide range of plants that you could repot or put in the flower beds straight away. For herbs such as basil we often buy living herbs in pots from the supermarket. We then put them in bigger pots with additional compost and they last very well. We use a lot of fresh mint and chives when cooking so these are kept on the herb ladder outside. If we are going the have a summer as hot and dry as last year then regular watering is essential. Plants growing in pots dry out very quickly, especially if it is windy, so a daily water should be part of the routine. This is also the time of course when garden pests such as white fly and slugs, suddenly appear from nowhere to ravage your crops and plants. There are numerous methods of control and as with plant feeds they should be used according to instructions. Slug pellets only need to be put on sparsely and it is also a good idea to pick up as many dead snails as possible and bin them so that the birds do not eat them. This is a wonderful time of year in the garden, full of promise of flowers and fruit, vegetables and herbs, to come. Most importantly of all take the time to sit in a chair with your drink of choice and enjoy it on a sunny day.