When the growing season is over, it's time to take down the garden and put dead plants to use. Make compost out of them!
Composting is the process of letting microbes work on organic matter like leaves, plants, vegetables, and fruits to turn this organic matter into a nutrient-rich addition to your garden soil. I do not let potato peels, apple peels, apple cores, dead tomato and pepper plants, rotting tomatoes, peanut shells, eggshells, and cucumber peels go to waste. I compost them along with grass clippings and leaves, then I use the compost to enrich my garden soil in the spring.
There are many excellent websites about composting, with this being the first one I found on a Google search: VegWeb
. Go there, read up, and start putting those scraps to work!