"Push The Zone"
A New Book For Gardeners
From David The Good

Dateline: 27 January 2017

David The Good's newest book, Push The Zone, is now available at Amazon. I just finished reading it this morning. In short, I thoroughly enjoyed it (Click Here for details).
The first two paragraphs of the Introduction give a good overview of the book...

This book won’t help you grow limes in a Minnesota backyard. It won’t help you grow cocoa on a Manhattan rooftop. Additionally, it won’t help you find the girl of your dreams. Although you probably already knew that.

What it will do is give you a broader growing range. If you’re a few hundred miles from a warmer climate where something you want to grow lives, the following ideas might just be able to get that plant working in your backyard, much to the surprise of your neighbors.

I live in New York State, where it gets mighty cold, and there is no way I'll ever be able to grow tropical plants in my garden. Nevertheless, many of the fundamental zone-pushing concepts in this book can definitely be applied to my 4b-5a USDA Hardiness Zone. 

I'm thinking, for example, of peaches. They don't grow particularly well in my zone because of the cold. But in the zone 6 regions of Pennsylvania, a few hundred miles south of me, Pennsylvania peaches are a big deal. After reading Push The Zone, I now feel confident that I could successfully grow a peach tree by finding and/or creating microclimates.

However, this book is definitely geared for gardeners who live in more southern regions of the United States.

What makes Push The Zone special is that it's not a data dump of dry information. Not at all. Instead, the book delivers a boatload of downright useful information by telling good stories. And they aren't just stories about David's personal experiments and discoveries in the realm of zone pushing. There are stories and recollections from other zone-pushing gardeners that David has met and learned from over the years. Stories always make a book more interesting.

David's writing style is brisk and uniquely amusing, but the lessons he teaches about zone-pushing are not just entertaining... this is a very serious book. 

Thus far, I've read four of David's six books, and I enjoyed them all, but I think Push The Zone may well be his best so far.

Oh, and if you haven't been to David's web site lately, Check it out Here

Then, of course, there is the YouTube announcement....


  1. I don't try to grow tropical here in northern zone 5...but I have been growing winter salad gardens for 12 years now. Started when we had that first big nationally publicized e. coli problem in spinach. Well, I can't live without salad...and I had all these black plastic waterline hoops and sheets of plastic I used to protect my young hosta collection from spring frosts...so I planted spinach, mache and lettuces in August, covered them when it got cold and hoped for the best. To my amazement, it worked! When it would get real cold (below zero) I would shovel light fluffy snow over the plastic or cover the hoops with a tarp over the plastic. A few times during real cold, 25-35 degrees below zero, the lettuces' outer leaves would get blasted. But once we got past the Persephone Period (the days of less than 10 hours of sunlight - here its Nov. 5 to Feb. 5) they would start putting out new leaves and grow merrily. Imagine my surprise 5 years later when I discovered Elliott Coleman's awesome book "The Winter Harvest Handbook"!!! Man, he's got it all figured out!
    But I do think it would be wise for all of us to "push the zone" a little. With recent wild weather swings, best to be prepared to deal with either much colder or much warmer conditions...perhaps even in the same growing season!

  2. I have lived in northeast NE and had a peach tree, temps sometimes getting to 25 below zero. They actually do okay there, but invariably, when we'd have an early spring and the tree would set on blossoms, we'd get a cold snap and there it would all go--no peaches. Really disheartening. I think if one had a wall on the north and west side, and been able to cover the tree, it would have produced. And I LOVE peaches!

  3. Elizabeth L. Johnson said,
    It is a lot of work having an orchard; 30 trees here in zone 9. Our summer's so hot, I don't need a dehydrator. I just use a tray with whatever on it laying on the deck, or placed inside a hot car with the windows rolled up. Course, I have to watch out for the squirrels on the deck! They like fruit. And we have to water all summer, orchard and garden. We have plenty of citrus trees around, and I get to sell five-gallon bucketfuls of lemons to the grocer. A lot of labor, but so rewarding and self-sufficient. Yep, 3 peach trees and 2 nectarine trees live in our orchard. Northern California's zone 9 is remarkable. We'll try growing an avocado tree one of these days!

  4. I live on the edge of Southern California's deserts. The only thing I'm hoping this new book has that I haven't found elsewhere is how to grow tropical items in semi-arid. Does it cover that sort of thing?

    1. Unfortunately, no. My suggestion is to build ponds and deep mulch, if possible. Aridity is really tough on many tropical plants. Cocoa, for instance, can't take even the moderate humidity of South Florida - it likes the air wet, wet, wet. If I were in your climate I would probably stick to Mediterranean crops if possible. Figs, olives, dates, pomegranate, etc.

    2. Oh, hello David! I just devoured Grow Or Die and will shortly add more to it from your list. Excellent stuff.

      There are some tropical items some friends of mine grow around here - notably bananas and papayas - but I know they're outliers in this sort of thing. Mediterranean does indeed work well here, and pretty much anything from Greece, Italy, or Israel (for examples) does fine. I'll stick to that, as you suggest, though I would dearly love to do some from the lush list of tropicals.

      Thank you!