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Ask Adam

Posted: Monday 5 March 2012
by Adam Pasco

In the run-up to Gardeners' World Live, we're launching Ask Adam – a new feature where I'll regularly answer a selection of your topical gardening questions.


Gardening is never plain sailing, but that’s part of its appeal. Over the years I've tried to provide simple information on practical techniques and growing plants in my articles, and I hope I’ve succeeded most of the time. The challenge for those of us offering advice is that gardening isn't an exact science.

Just as two cooks can follow the same recipe exactly, and end up with different results, so it is with gardening instructions. There are so many variables outside our control. In the kitchen it could be differences in ingredients, measurements, or the heat of an oven. In gardens, the results are influenced by variations in the quality of seed or compost, the weather, where we live, the way we water, feed or care for plants, and those dreaded pests and diseases.

But that doesn't stop me lending a helping hand and offering advice whenever I can, and that's something I really enjoy doing at Gardeners' World Live. Throughout the five days of the show I'm joined by a host of other gardeners running practical demonstrations and answering questions. It's fun taking questions from an audience and being put on the spot. What often transpires is that the person asking the question is not alone, as many of those in the audience (frequently including me) are experiencing the same problems.

So in the run-up to Gardeners' World Live, we're launching Ask Adam – a new feature where I'll regularly answer a selection of your topical gardening questions.

Do you need advice on what to grow in your garden? Would you like to know about gardening to attract wildlife, or to help your community? Perhaps you'd like to ask for help with an ailing plant, or advice on tackling pests. Whatever you want to know, simply leave your question in the comments section, below. But first, a few helpful pointers:

  • Ask focused questions on specific topics (for example “what shrubs could I grow in acid soil?” rather than “what should I grow in my garden?”)
  • Keep your question brief and to the point, with concise background details like variety names, soil type, description of planting position, etc
  • Please let me know the area of the country in which you garden

My first set of answers will be published on this site on Thursday 15 March, and then every fortnight afterwards, up until Gardeners’ World Live in June.

You can continue leaving questions on the forum right through spring, as I'm sure new questions will arise with warmer weather (we’ll link to the forum folder from each of the Ask Adam answer pages).

Hopefully my answers will help many of you garden more successfully this year. And if you'd like a personal reply to your question, do come and find me at Gardeners' World Live, running at the NEC, Birmingham from 13 -17 June, 2012. Check show timetables to find out where I'll be each day ­– either in the Grow Your Own Garden or the Gardeners' World Live Theatre. I'd love to see you there.

So, if you have a gardening query, just Ask Adam!