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Countless disappointments have been caused by replacing dead rose-bushes in an established bed without changing the existing soil. Preparing a hole is not sufficient. Soil which has grown roses for many years gradually becomes "rose-sick" since all roses take considerable quantities of plant nutrients from it. The existing roses will, however, continue to flourish for many years because their roots are constantly spreading to new areas which have untapped supplies of plant foods.
If a gap is to be filled, first remove the soil for each new bush to at least 12 in. deep and 18 in. across and exchange it for soil from another part of the garden where roses have not been grown. (In the case of well-established climbers and ramblers make the hole 18 in. deep and not less than 2 ft. across.) Then prepare the ground in the usual way. This is hard work but it is necessary. Empty spaces that exist in early spring or late autumn can be filled with dormant plants.