First of all, the most overlooked aspect of a successful planting is soil preparation. Break up the soil in the planting area and mixed in potting soil. Quality potting soil contains all kinds of goodies that topsoil or even organic compost do not such as sphagnum moss, perlite, Actino Root Protection, and pH balancers all of which provide the plant roots with an excellent environment for growth. Also, you can add sand; it’s another great addition to your planting areas, as central Arkansas soils tend to be heavy and drain poorly. Adding these materials loosened the soil, created better air flow, and provided additional drainage.


Next, it was time to consider the plant materials themselves. Before you head to the store, do some research! Start by learning how much sun your areas get and at what time of day they get it. For best visual impact, plant a few larger areas of color as opposed to many small ones. Take into account the style of your home; more formal landscapes will look better with fewer plant varieties where as more casual landscapes can accommodate a larger variety of colors and textures. We used to suggest thumbing through magazines and books for ideas but now there is Pinterest, an online network that gives users the opportunity to find what they like and pin it to a specific board.

For spring color, the options are numerous! The Proven Winner series of annuals has been selected for hardiness and greatest visual impact. And it’s not all about the flowers! Coleus and other foliage plants offer vibrant colors. For instant color, consider planting hanging baskets. Depending on how your landscape is arranged, adding groupings of planters in your annual color areas, filling with a combination of plants, and surrounding them with a solid mass of low growing annual color can provide height and additional visual impact.


Mulch provides good weed control, soil moisture retention and can keep plant roots insulated. Plus, it keeps landscape beds looking fresh!