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Time to put the veg garden to bed

Time to put the veg garden to bed

Time to put the veg garden to bed after a fantastic year, with enough summer sunshine to coax fruit into a frenzy and filling basket after basket of beans, fat pea pods and elegant courgettes.

As the summer harvest slows, though, it's time to get the veg garden ready for its winter rest so it's in perfect shape for doing it all again next year. Follow our step-by-step guide and you'll be raring to go again in spring.

Clear spent veg plants after picking the last of the crop and add to the compost heap, but bin or burn any which have been suffering from disease.

Pull up supports and dip the ends in wood preservative before hanging them up under cover and they'll last another season.

Have a last weed through to make sure you aren't letting any nasties get through winter. Hoe off annual weeds and fork out perennials like bindweed by the roots.

Cover beds with well-rotted stable manure or compost 5-10cm deep, so worms can pull it down over winter, ready for your plants to enjoy next year.

Protect the soil with a covering of black polythene, available off the roll in our garden centre, to keep it dry and weed-free till spring.