Yesterday was the last official day of the p-patch season, which translates as high time for procrastinators and foot-draggers to clean up plots and prep the soil for spring. Patch-wide, we’d agreed to mulch with autumn leaves and burlap this year in lieu of cover cropping, the latter accused of providing safe harbor to cutworms. That meant dressing our plot with leaves from a nearby park and coffee bags from a local Bucky’s. What’s not to love?

We were mostly good about being ruthless — you need a healthy dose of that this time of year — pulling down all the unbloomed sweet peas, the unripe peppers, and pulling up the entire crop of parsnips, all five of them. The rest of the vegetation we chopped and laid down to compost right back into the soil. But as always not quite everything came out; I’m holding out hope for the occasional bundle of greens through the cold months.

After the chaos of the growing season it felt good to bring back a bit of order to the garden. Maybe I’m projecting but the soil seemed tired, ready for some nourishment and replenishing, and it was almost a relief to cover the beds with their blankets.