March is rose month in Rim Country. Now is the prime time to plant bare root roses. Existing roses should be pruned now and mulch and manure should be layered around the base. Mulching will build the soil, cut down on weeds, hold in the ground moisture, and make the plant stronger and more able to withstand insect infestations. Apply a systemic fertilizer when the buds swell or leaves start to come on. To apply the fertilizer before the new growth starts will encourage growth that might freeze back if we have a late spring freeze.