Zone-Pushing Success


Virginia writes:

“I have used milk jugs & anything else with a lid to make a wall of heat retaining water for over 40 years!! I know people are just getting back to nature or homesteading so a lot of these OLD ideas are being treated as new, it’s just funny to me.     

The water method has worked for me in the mountains of Tennessee during winter, in Oregon during snow, and now in 29 Palms, Ca. {desert} where I just bought a house…”


One of my favorite things about writing Push the Zone: The Good Guide to Growing Tropical Plants Beyond the Tropics was discovering the zone-pushing methods of the past. Smudge pots in Florida, for instance; or the large walls used to hold in heat so peaches could be grown inside of Paris back in the 1600s.

In the book I combine both “new” ideas with the wisdom of the past, then mix it all together with humor and some crazy ideas that only a truly mad gardener would try.

In yesterday’s video, I harvest our little patch of turmeric and mention how easy it is to push the zone with both turmeric and ginger:

Don’t let the cold defeat you. If you want to grow something tropical but don’t have the climate, chances are you can pull it off with a little ingenuity.

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  • 1.7 million dollars?? I think you forgot to carry the 1. I hope Rachel does the math schooling.

    I love your videos and the view from your new place. Sorry that it doesn’t come with room to garden but you can’t have everything in one package. Enjoy what if offers, for now, and then enjoy the place you will be buying (hopefully ) soon.

    I would happily support you on Patreon……..Just sayin’
    I’ll look for another way to support… and do my little part.

    Many Thanks

  • My greatest success zone pushing so far is a cempedak in the subtropics that is in its second year. I’m in about zone 10b but unlike Florida we never get below freezing (I hear even in the warm areas they get a freak freeze every few years).

    Time will tell if the thing actually fruits, but very excited that it is still growing with just a little microclimate selection.

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