Pick appropriate plants. Not all plants are created equal. We can select plants that are appropriate for the areas we live in. When we pick native plants for our area, they are automatically in tune with the temperature and rain conditions that already exist. These plants will not need the same level of fertilizer and water care that non-native plants do. To find which plants will work best research what plants are native to your surrounding areas and try them. Poke around in www.plantnative.org to get started.
Often native plants will have among them some species that are naturally repellent. These plants have developed around local conditions and local pests. Some may even repel animals naturally. For example, lavender is a naturally repellent plant although its not native to my area, I put it around my garden in pots to help repel insects from my other plants. Plus I love lavender, it might be my favorite plant.