Clean Gardening Practices will keep your soil and your plants healthy. Now while you are harvesting the bountiful crops you have grown this summer, keep an eye out, and keep a wheel barrow handy. As you weed, and when you cut off the unusable tops of certain plants as you harvest them--take them to the compost pile. Do not leave them in your garden.
Clean the garden area of debris and weeds. They are breeding grounds for insects and can be a disease producing mess. It is better to buy a good mulch to put around your plants then hope that the weeding and thinning of plants will be a good mulch for the garden. They are not. Put them in your compost bin where the intense heat of the composting process with kill insects and disease.
We have had a crop of volunteer sunflowers in an area by our vegetable garden where I also have a bird feeder. We let them grow because we had room and the little Gold Finches love to eat them as they ripen. It was going great until I stopped feeding birds at the feeders because of an influx of brown squirrels. These little monster-pests are worse then red squirrels, and more destructive than chipmunks. They crawled up the sunflowers and decapitated the biggest ones. They had a mess all over our yard. Needless to say, there are no more sunflowers standing as tall as my hollyhocks. We pulled them, cut off the seed heads and hung them on the clothes line away from the squirrels but available to the birds (Until the squirrels find a way to get to them anyway.)