Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns Grow – Authors in Bloom Blog Hop
Have you ever tried to grow your own oak tree from an acorn?
It’s not as easy as you might think, but it’s not too difficult either. After all, Mother Nature has been doing it successfully for a pretty long time. 😀
So far, I’ve managed to grow two healthy oak trees, and I’m working on my third this year.
After so many failings with ornamental trees–they either hate our soil, hate our harsh winters or hate our plethora of garden pests–my husband and I looked to the woods surrounding our property and decided we’d let nature show us which trees did best.
Oak became the first obvious choice (with Maple and Birch following close behind–Pine, though also plentiful, was not a contender; I didn’t want needles and sap close to the house).
The tricky part was getting them to grow in the decorative spots we’d laid out for them. Sure, we could order an oak sapling from one of those catalogs or check with a nursery to see if they had any, but why spend money when there were so many acorns just lying around?
Stick an acorn in the ground and wait to see, right? Almost. There are a couple things you need to do to increase your odds of a successful planting.
First – is the acorn still viable?
You can’t tell how long an acorn has been on the ground by looking at it. If it’s been there too long, it probably won’t sprout. Easy test? A bucket of water.
That’s right, gather those acorns just like the neighborhood squirrels do and put them in a bucket of water. The viable ones sink to the bottom. Toss the floaters back out to the squirrels.
Second – the acorns need a winter rest.
(At least in my part of the country — New England.)
To simulate this, place your viable acorns in a sandwich bag with some damp (not water logged!) peat moss and store them in the refrigerator vegetable drawer for about three months (or roughly from November to February). Check the bag periodically, make sure it’s not getting too damp in there (will cause mold!), and watch closely for signs of sprouting.
Third – fertile soil and a deep container.
Once you have a sprout, do a little happy dance 😀 and plant that darling gem in a container of fertile soil (I like the peat moss mix from Home Depot) and keep it indoors until the weather outside is consistently above freezing. It’s important to use a tall container with lots of space because oak trees like to send out a very deep tap root when they first sprout.
Eventually you’ll get a little sapling growing.
Allow the pot to sit outdoors for a couple weeks after threat of frost has passed, so the sapling acclimates to the weather, then transplant it into the ground where you want your mighty oak to live a long, healthy life.
• Stake the sapling as it grows for the first few years to add support in bad weather.
• Consider a fence or covering for the sapling if you have a large deer population in the area. They just love to eat little oak sapling leaves and that could stunt your tree’s growth or even kill it.
Then sit back and watch your tiny acorn grow up. Because oaks are natural to this area, ours have been growing quite rapidly.
Now For a Little Writing Analogy
I’m an author, you knew a tie-in had to be coming, right? 😀
Just as a little acorn turns into a mighty oak, so does the seed of a story idea become a full-fledged novel.
My workshop Avoid the Rough: Turning Your Story Idea Into a Workable Plot, takes you through the process of growing your story idea, filling out pieces of character and conflict and more, into a plot that’s strong enough to fill an entire book.
So, if you’re a writer looking for a way to kick start that idea you’ve had rolling around in your mind forever but can’t seem to get anywhere with, consider this workshop. I’m giving it this month April 7-25 over at Lowcountry Romance Writers, and again in October at the RWA Online Chapter.
Time for Some Blog Hop Prizes
What’s a blog hop without a few prizes, right?
Leave a comment here on my page about what you’re looking forward to most this spring–for me it’s some weather other than snow!–and then visit all the other pages of the blog hop (and comment!) and you’ll be entered into a drawing for the Grand Prize! A Kindle or Nook (a $200 value) and a $25 gift card worth of ebooks!!! (Winner’s choice which ereader and ebook retailer gift card.)
• A second prize of $25 ereader gift card will also be given, available to INTL residents (VOID where prohibited by law).
NOTE: Be sure to include your email address in the comments areas so the blog hop organizer can contact you if you win.
Only visitors who visit every stop on the blog hop are eligible for the grand prize.
Visitors to my blog here, are eligible to win your choice of:
• An autographed print copy of my young adult time travel novel WISHING YOU WERE HERE (U.S. addresses only!)
• A handmade 1950s-style pearl bead bracelet, inspired by Sable Courtney, the antagonist in WISHING YOU WERE HERE. (U.S. addresses only!)
(If you choose the bracelet, I’ll contact you to get your wrist measurement before making it. Allow four weeks for delivery.)
To enter MY DRAWING, leave a comment for one chance to win. Like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter or join my monthly newsletter for additional entries. A Rafflecopter has been set up to make entering easy:
Winners will be announced April 18. The winners of the eReader will be announced on the blog hop organizer websites: www.diannevenetta.com and www.acozyreaderscorner.com. I will announce the winners of my prize here on my blog. Good luck!! 😀