Many say April is the busiest month of the year, with rapid plant growth during this month. If growing your own bedding plants these may need daily watering & feeding while they are still in their trays & pots. Many established plants in borders & beds will also require attention: staking tying in & sometimes pruning also vegetable seed sowing is at it’s peak. Last chance this month, until the autumn to feed the lawn, and it will benefit from it’s first cut with the blades set really high. If you have broken lawn edges cut out a square of turf , lift and turn the cut piece, putting the damaged edge towards the lawn, firm in & fill the damaged area with soil & seed , firm down and in a couple of weeks you will not be able to see the join! Unfortunately with the warmer moister days our old friends slugs & snails will be out and about, search them out by baiting, trapping or hand picking & dispose of them as your conscience dictates. A good way of protecting young plants, from these invaders is to cut up clear soft drinks bottles into ring about an inch long, and place round each plant, even the most adventurous slugs and snais will find these too uncomfortable to climb over. As always keep up the war against weeds, they appear like magic almost overnight,also keep up with the hoeing, the secret is to just keep hoeing until you have finally got rid of them. Bedding plants are on sale in shops & garden centres now, but do not tempted to buy them this early unless you have a greenhouse of frost-free frame. Important jobs this month:- Sow seeds of Summer bedding, herbs, shrubs & many vegetables. Prick out & pot up young seedlings & cuttings before they become overcrowded. A useful point worth noting here, plastic pots do not “breathe like porous clay pots, so water does not evaporate so quickly. This means that the compost can easily become sodden, with too much watering. Mixing the potting compost with grit helps the water to pass down to the roots more quickly. Back in October I wrote about saving some heritage tomato seeds, drying them on water soluble tissue, I am pleased to report this worked really well for within ten days they had all germinated, giving me plenty to donate to our annual plant sale, Saturday May the 12th, I must see what else I can try this year, I am a great believer in “something for nothing”, but bear in mind this method will not breed true on F1 seeds. Start hardening off some earlier grown bedding plants in the cold frame. Ventilate greenhouses whenever possible. This encourages sturdy plant growth. Remove Winter insulation & get ready to apply shading. Place supports around border perennials, that will require staking better to do it now & let the plants grow up through them & hide them. Plant up your hanging baskets & keep them in the greenhouse, porch or other frost free position. Apply a slow-release fertiliser to containers applied now will last the plants the whole growing season. If growing sweet peas start removing side shoots & pinching out tendrils, if growing sweet peas in the cordon method. Feed shrubs trees, new hedges & fruit bushes as necessary. Hard prune shrubs, such as buddleja, that produce their best show on new vigorous wood. Prune Spring flowering shrubs, that are more than three years old, once they have finished flowering. Protect brassicas, such as cabbages & cauliflowers , with brassica collars, to protect them against cabbage root fly, if thinning carrots try to do this in the evening as they are less likely to attract the dreaded carrot fly. Earth up early potatoes to protecting them from light & frost.