About Mark

Learn How To Garden Dot Com is run by Mark Abbot-Compton.

Mark’s video show – The 10 Minute Gardener – came about because his Mother wanted advice on gardening…but was only prepared to invest 10 minutes of her life a day on her garden.

Now Betty is in her 80s – so if she can do it, then so can you!  And that’s the purpose of Learn How To Garden – to give you the kind of information that you need, and fill in the ‘holes’ of the teaching of some of the so-called ‘Experts.’


53 thoughts on “About Mark”

  1. I’ve just found you through RT from @papaver. What you are doing is such a great work on gardening. Where I live the ground is acidic, stony, and very difficult to grow. Any advice you’ll be posting is going to help me immensely. Thanking you in advance, greetings from Wallonia..

  2. Can you help me, I’ve lost my password and now I can’t see your videos anymore.
    Please can you help me?
    Greetings from Holland,

  3. May I take this opportunity of thanking your mother for being the catalyst for The 10 Minute Gardner and to you for Learn to Garden. I am fast approaching 52 and for the first time am venturing into the world of gardening. Your website and twitter page are going to be constant companions!

  4. Hi mark. Just watched your you tube video on freesia planting of bulbs. I will now try this. Many thanks
    New beginner….:)

    1. Hi Angela
      Bulbs really are great as they are so forgiving and really do perform in the garden in fact you can plant them up side down and over time they will right themselves, though I am not suggesting you do this! I love freesias and they are well worth growing.

      Kind regards

  5. I need some beginner instruction on 3 plants. How do I properly store Jerusalem artichoke until it is time to plant? The paper bags they arrived in have large venting but the tubers have begun to mold. There were no instructions despite the fact that the carton had a slip of paper indicating that there would be instructions in the carton. In the same shipment I also received bare root hazelnut tree (about 12 inch) and bare root gooseberry (same size), both have fiber strands around roots and are in plastic bags. I called vendor to inquire, a young person on the phone apparently knew nothing about gardening and could find no information other than that I should store plants in an unheated garage until planting. I was told that if my plants die they will replace them. Please advise me if you are willing. I am in southern Idaho, USA

    1. Hi Julie

      Try to get hold of some mycorrhizal funghi to put into the planting holes when you plant your gooseberry and hazel. Try to get both of them into the ground as soon as possible but if you cannot plant either put them in a bag with some moist compost round the roots or make a trench in the garden and put the roots in that and just cover them until you can properly plant them in the ground. I suggest you watch my film on bare root fruit trees.

      As far as Jerusalem Artichokes are concerned if you cannot plant them out I would put them in a 5 litre pot in normal potting compost so they can start to grow and then plant the whole thing into the ground. Artichokes are much happier in the ground than when they are dug up.

      Kind regards


  6. I’ve gardened for many years now, but was intrigued by your 10 minute gardeneing process. Always interested in something new.

  7. Hi Mark
    Have just found your fabulous video on Stephanotis floribunda I know why it has stopped flowering ! Many thanks for your advice – am having trouble viewing courgette planting but will keep trying.

  8. After viewing your quince jelly video, I cooked three quinces. Much to my surprise the first stage was real fast. The fruit cooked to a soft pulp quickly. However I stood a looong time stirring the thick strained pulp. And it was worth it !!! Thank you, Mark. I have confidence in your instructions. Did you see the photo of the membrellos? They look like rubies and taste really delicious. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Doris

      I am thrilled that you have successfully made the Membrillo – it really is worth the effort and your pictures are fantastic, thank you. I will attempt to add them to the film post!

      Kind regards


  9. I just moved from a flat with a couple of pots on the balcony to a house with a large mature garden. Making heaps of mistakes but the gardening bug has grabbed me! Love your videos and the way in which you present them 🙂
    I do have a question though – we have 3 large mature apple trees that have been a bit neglected. One is almost 4 meters tall and only carries very small and unwell fruit. Would I be doing the correct thing by removing a large part of the upper canopy to revigorate? I was thinking of cutting one part to only leaving one lateral branch (would be about the 1/3rd limit). Would this help get better fruit?

  10. Mark I’m an allotment holder in Dublin, Ireland and have really enjoyed your practical, down to earth advice in your videos! Thank you!

  11. Hi Mark, I’ve forgotten my password and am sadly unable to view the March newsletter. Can you reset it for me please? Thank you! Kim

  12. I absolutely enjoyed your propagating video. Your a good man, who loves his mother dearly. I applaud your efforts and know many others do also. Robert

    ps. I have shared these videos with my mom. Thank you for the gift.

  13. Hi Mark, found your videos on youtube so helpful, reading gardening advice is one thing but seeing it done (and done well) is an entirely different thing, really helpful. I would very much like to see more, please subscribe me to your newsletter service.


    1. Hi Blizz

      Thanks for your feedback, really appreciated! I have added you to my subscribers list, welcome to Learn How to Garden.


  14. Enjoy your videos very much – they are so useful.

    We moved from the city to an island/ farm a year and a half ago here in The Netherlands, so this is our second growing season and things are looking much better now. Everything I’ve learned about gardening comes from tireless teachers like you, so THANK YOU.

    1. You are very welcome Michele, thank you for your feedback. I am grateful to the superb tool manufacturer in the Netherlands (Sneeboer) who I work closely with.


  15. Hi Mark, I’ve always wanted to grow a herb garden but was never sure of how to do it properly until I watched your videos on youtube. Now I have sage, lavender, thyme, lemon thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley, chives, green basil, red basil, lemon basil, spearmint, peppermint, applemint, chocolate mint and strawberry mint growing in my garden so thanks so much for your advice

    1. Hi Kelly

      Wow, thats quite a herb garden you have grown, I am really pleased that you have learnt so much from my films!


  16. I just watched your video about planting and care of citrus. I have some additional questions please in regards to the stuff you placed under the pot so it does not rot from to much watering , what was that stuff? It looked like pebbles kind of.
    And also, i bought what i thought was a lemon tree (eureka) i think it was named. But now being 3-4 months later the fruit i have on it growing show no signs of turning yellow.
    How long should a lemon trees fruit take to be ripe?
    And is there a way to find out if maybe it’s not a lemon that it’s a lime tree instead?
    I live in Oregon, USA and it’s just fall here as of today and you mentioned that the citrus could handle temperature as low as 10 degrees is that correct?
    I love your style of videos best i’ve seen i think very informative.
    Thank you,
    Leslie Holt

    1. Hi Leslie

      What is put into the bottom of the pot was a single piece of broken terracotta potto cover the drainage hole.

      Lemon trees can take as long as nine months to ripen a lemon and whilst you ask could they be limes because the fruit is not changing colour, limes in fact will ripen to a lemon yellow colour if left on the tree long enough. We tend to pick most limes before they are fully ripe.

      The only sure way to find out if you have a lime tree or a lemon tree is to wait until it is fully ripe and then taste it as there are also lots of hybrids.

      Citrus can handle temperatures as low as minus 10 degrees but they will defoliate and they need incredibly good drainage to deal with the low temperature.

      Great to hear that you are enjoying my films, thanks.


  17. I am a doctor and score a absolute zero in gardening, though very interested probably due to lack of time and absolutely lack of experience. But since about 5years I have been growing few vegetables like tomato, chillies and spinach.
    I would like to learn more
    I would like to subscribe to your news letter.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Sharada

      You have been added to my subscribers list, let me know if you have any specific questions, great to have you join us!

      Kind regards


  18. I have just found your site and am thrilled. I was told to cut off the old leaves from the Hellebore’s in the autumn and now am not sure if that is the right thing to do. I have 2 large raised beds of Hellebore’s that start to flower in December and LOVE them.
    thank you, cleo from Seattle

  19. I have just cut my Autumn raspberries down to the ground. CanI put well rotted manure over the whole bed to mulsh it or just around the stumps of the canes. I have also forgotten my password to your newsletters site. Thanks for great info so far. You are my gardening God.

  20. Hello Mark. Quick question about applying the nutrients A and B to a Quadgrow. We’re waiting for about 4 weeks until the nutrient in the compost is used up (according to what it says on the bag, and following advice from Greenhouse Sensations) before filling the reservoirs under the pots.
    The question is: do we mix up 25 litres of nutrient solution at that point? (Previously , pre-Quadgrow, we applied Tomorite solution only after the first trusses had set.)

  21. Hi Mark i like your vids ,very well presented ,and fun ,your first vid a watched pickling gerkins,still use same recipe

  22. Hi Mark,
    I have a ‘leggy’ fig in a pot, i have no idea how to prune it to create a bushier plant and get the maximum figs.
    Any advice would be very welcome.

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