In mid to late March lawns should be fertilized and areas that do not need to be reseeded can be treated with a pre-emergent or preventative weed treatment. Watering should be done weekly if there is no significant storm moisture. March is perfect for reseeding of bare patches of lawn and should be done before the temperatures get too high. Re-sodding can be done throughout the year; however results are usually better in the cooler parts of the year.
March is also a good time to divide, plant, and fertilize hardy perennials and shrubs. It is also a good time to mulch and prepare annual beds and pots, and plant hardy annuals such as pansies.
Roses can be pruned in late March preferably before bud break which does happen soon when we have warm temperatures. The purpose of this pruning at this time is to keep the bush young, vigorous, and productive. Remove all dead, diseased, and twiggy growth. Healthy Canes should be cut to ½ or less of their current height. The exception to this pruning is climbing and older varieties of roses that flower once. Pruning for these should be after the spring bloom.
Pests to be aware of in March are Piñon needle scale, aphids, and other scale insects. Piñon needle scale egg masses will appear on Piñon trees in late March and should be sprayed with dormant oil or approved pesticide to prevent infestation of the trees.
We will see some beautiful days in the early spring and the temptation to plant will be overwhelming. On these days it is hard not to put in plants we see on shelves at our favorite nursery, but remember the last frost date for Albuquerque is between April 18th and May 8th. If you buy plants that are not frost tolerant, they will need some sort of protection.