Though deer and other stealthy animals tend to avoid areas of human activity, your fall garden may be too irresistible. Fortunately, autumn is the perfect time to plant a variety of spring-blooming bulbs that are not only beautiful, but also repel unwelcome moochers. (Just be sure to keep your pets away from these plants, which are just as toxic to them as they are to deer and other pests.)
Get to know these double-duty plants that can save your garden from hungry herbivores while increasing its splendor.
• Daffodils -- Beautiful and easy to grow, daffodils come in a variety of types and colors. They contain lycorine, a bitter and poisonous alkaloid that deer and other mammals avoid.
• Snowdrops -- These white flowers, which bloom early in spring, also contain lycorine and grow best in moist, well-drained soil.
• Alliums -- Also called flowering onions, alliums are in the chive and onion family. These round bulbs of light purple flowers bloom in late spring and early summer.
• Hyacinths -- Like daffodils and snowdrops, hyacinths are poisonous. They're also wonderfully fragrant and keep deer at bay.
• Snowflakes -- Another lycorine-containing flower, snowflakes have bell-shaped bulbs that bloom in mid to late spring.
These flowers will help discourage deer, rodents and other garden pests, but if you need a stronger deterrent, your best bet may be a deer fence. Deer are jumpers, so make sure your barrier is at least 8 to 12 feet tall. Fortunately, there are decorative options and plenty of online inspiration you can use to create a fence that works with your home's style and surrounding landscape.