So the other night I was on Facebook and I noticed that my favorite mad gardener, David the Good was looking for folks to give honest reviews of his new book “Push the Zone”. In exchange he was willing to provide a review copy, given that it had not yet gone on sale and by definition a review can’t be honest if the reviewer aint yet read the book. Now as a fan of David’s youtube channel, but someone who had not yet read any of his books, I figured I’d throw my hat in the ring, especially since it meant free book, and he wasn’t attaching any of them stringy things.
I was definitely glad I did. Though I knew his video style was irreverent, wacky, and entertaining as hell it wasn’t until I was reading his book that I realized he wrote the same way. Now many of you might think I’m a bit dumb for not realizing that all the products of a mind as twisted and tweaked as his is would share certain uniform characteristics, but I was actually a little worried that the book would be as dry as his videos aren’t. Fortunately my worries were most definitely in vain. His unique sense of humor most assuredly shines through in his prose.
The information contained in the book, which primarily pertains to ways in which one can grow tropical plants outside of tropical regions (Hence the title) is top notch, very easy for even a complete noob of a gardener like myself to understand, and provides both practical advice as well the underlying theory on which his advice is based, without delving so far into the theory as to be academic gobbledegook to someone whose thumb is far more often black than green. (That would be me, I am the far more Mr Bones than Alec Holland when it comes to plants.)
In addition to general information on greenhouses, thermal banks, finding micro-climates within your property and various other ways to “push the zone” he goes into detail on how to use other plants in order to increase the cold tolerance, ways of adapting plants to the cold, and even various strategies for many specific types of tropical species, including grafting, and selective breeding. All in all, for anyone who is hoping to grow citrus outside of south Florida, coconuts in Georgia, or maybe even coffee in Tennessee, this is the book that will help you do it.
Sadly, as fun and interesting as the book was, it won’t help me learn not to kill tropical plants when living in a tropical region. Then again, I’m not sure even David is that good.