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First day of spring, amazing blue skies, unreasonably mild weather, and a surprise day off work; what could possibly go wrong? My fence could go wrong, that’s what. And what does this have to do with seed starting? The veggie garden runs the whole length of the fence, from garage to back door. The fence is falling down. You haven’t seen it in the pictures I post because I have carefully hidden it. Here’s the ugly truth I’ve shielded you from:

I love the old texture of the fence, and the silver-grey color, but the broken posts and boards, the warping panels literally flapping in the wind, the massive holes providing rabbit doors, and the gate which cannot be opened without heaving the whole frame upward with one’s foot: these are things I can live without. The posts in fact, are not fence posts, according to a contractor friend of mine. The placement of the fence violates city codes. The fence leans treacherously over the sidewalk, and someday when it crushes someone’s child or family pet, we will surely get sued. So I ordered a new fence.

When the fence goes up, I know men in work boots will stomp mercilessly all over every inch of my garden. Even though I had it written into the contract to be careful of the “landscaping” and wrote in by name specific plants that they could not harm, I know it’s a lost cause. They will crush everything.

I accepted this before I signed a contract. I was prepared to feel relentless dread and anxiety about these garden marauders for about two weeks. And then, they changed the plan. They needed another week to get supplies. Ah! Make it stop!

Deep breaths, deep breaths; okay, when the dread subsides, I’m left with a visceral burning desire to start some seeds, but because the men in boots will crush everything, I cannot. It’s 80 degrees in March, and I can’t start peas. I can’t start spinach and mustard. I can’t even start a few radishes.

Or maybe I could. I’m scheming how I could squeeze a few batches in strategically without blocking the men in boots and without ruining the garden plan for the whole summer. Or how I could put caution tape around planted areas, and trust the booted marauders, the neighborhood dogs, the feral rabbits and feral children to all respect my seedlings and carefully, delicately step around them.

I’ve cleaned enough liquor bottles and dog poo out of my street gardens to know better. I know I need to wait. I know this temporary delay of gratification will lead to a much better garden in the future. I know it’s early spring and we could still have frost, so really smart gardeners wouldn’t start seeds anyway.

But I’m not a smart gardener. I’m an emotional gardener. I might just go out there and start some seeds right now, otherwise, I’ll DIE!