A fellow Gabber sent me a link last week to a good and well-balanced review he wrote after reading Push the Zone: The Good Guide to Growing Tropical Plants Beyond the Tropics:
“…the practicality of Grow or Die necessarily came at the expense of the insanity of Compost Everything. However, his newest book, Push the Zone: The Good Guide to Growing Tropical Plants Outside the Tropics arrives at a nice compromise between the two positions of his prior work. Some of the concepts contained make good fodder for worrying my fiancee, others I will actually implement in my own gardens this week as I start some plants slightly earlier than anticipated.
The central concern I imagine people have is one of whether the book is worth the five dollar cover price and handful of hours it will take to read it. If you don’t garden at all, and you aren’t particularly intellectually curious, shame on you. However, the book is worth the price and effort of reading it, even for a cretin like you, because you will pick up a few new strange and interesting anecdotes. Acquiring interesting anecdotes will make you seem like a more interesting person, which will lead to business and personal success. That’s well worth the cover price.
Now suppose you still aren’t a gardener, but you are the intellectually curious type. Push the Zone teaches practical applications for thermodynamics that I bet you haven’t thought of before. You will have added breadth and depth to your knowledge of a seemingly everyday subject matter that some spend a lifetime studying. For the intellectually curious, that should be enough to warrant picking it up.
If you’re like me and do a little gardening where we get days at a time below freezing, and some years we get two feet of snow in a day, you’re not going to be “growing tropical plants beyond the tropics” while keeping them outside. No matter how many of David’s bag of tricks I use, I think growing citrus or Papaya along the banks of the Chesapeake is asking a bit much. However, that doesn’t mean the techniques described in the book are useless to me. On the contrary, the techniques described in the book are exactly the sorts of things that will help to extend my growing season by a few weeks. That means more productivity from my gardens, and a longer amount of time that we can eat homegrown produce.
If you’re living in the southeast US and love to try new things in your garden, this book is simply an indispensable guide. You will not only learn helpful techniques to apply to your own gardens, but you’ll learn about the author’s specific experiences with growing tropical plants in North Florida and Tennessee. That kind of first hand knowledge and experience is invaluable to help in trying new things in your own garden…”
Click here to read the rest.
When I was working on the book, I knew I was limited in my zone-pushing experience by only having done so in North Florida and Central Tennessee. Both locations aren’t super cold. Yet my publisher urged me to write the book anyway, as he felt the concepts were sound enough that they could be adapted far beyond where I conducted my experiments. I agree.
If you live in New York, this book could help you grow something like peaches which might otherwise be considered impossible. You might not be able to grow coffee like I did (a few hundred miles north of its “proper” range, I must add), but there will be things you can grow with these techniques that previously seemed impossible.