This one’s for the plant daddies. It’s for the girls who feel kinship with Georgia O’Keeffe. It’s for all the gays who yearn for the last frost date, young tree buds, and tulips poking through early spring soil. My friends, gardening season is upon us.
LGBTQ+ folks have carved out space in horticulture the same way they have in other areas of life—by excelling. After all, who better than a queer cowboy to plan the ideal veggie patch or design the perfect mixed border?
For a look into gay gardening culture, you need search no further than Mr. Plant Geek or the myriad LGBTQ+ gardening clubs around the world. Lavender Magazine’s Glorious and Gay is another great place to learn about the work of queer gardeners.
But what about gardening itself? If you’re new to the practice, growing anything but weeds can feel overwhelming. Luckily, we have generations of knowledge—much of it gained by gay gardeners—on which to draw. Here are four basic tips to get you started.
1. Location, location, location.
Like shopping for real estate, choosing a spot for your new garden patch or flower bed is all about location. Find a spot with the right amount of sunlight in a convenient location that doesn’t flood with every rain. And of course, make sure you can reach it with your water hose.
2. Prep your soil.
Add compost, leaf mold, or aged manure to make your soil more hospitable to new life. It may seem like a lot of work right up front, but this will make a huge difference in the long run.
3. Grow what you eat.
If you’re growing food, don’t let it go to waste. Focusing on fruits and vegetables you already eat will motivate you to tend to the garden regularly and help prevent waste. If you end up growing more than you can eat, gain friends in the neighborhood by offering them leftover produce.
4. Don’t skip out on weeding.
Just like missing leg day, you’ll live to regret it. Weeds that are barely visible today will grow and spread in no time. Keep your plants healthy and prevent pests and disease by weeding regularly.
For more on gardening and gay gardening culture, check out Mr. Plant Geek’s blog. He covers a range of topics from basic pointers to rare flower varieties.