By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Where are you going with that? When you’re cleaning up your garden this fall, be careful where you put plants that had a disease.

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The things that cause plant diseases don’t always die during the freezing temperatures of winter or the heat of a compost pile. Some diseases can even linger in the soil – that’s one reason you don’t plant the same thing in the same place every year, because plant pathogens can hang around and ruin next year’s crop. It depends on the fungus, bacteria, or other culprit that’s gotten to your potatoes or tomatoes or other plants – some can overwinter, others won’t.

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So, if you’re pulling out plants that died from a disease you can’t identify – the safest answer is to toss it all into the regular trash can, not in your compost heap nor those paper yard bags that go into the community pile either.

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As much as I love composting because it’s an easy way to clean up your yard while turning leaves and garden debris into fabulous fertilizer, when I’m in doubt about why a plant died, I just throw it out.