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Spring fragrance from bulbs you plant in September.

"They're having a smellathon down my front walk," reported one proud gardener. Sure enough, multitudes of freesias spilled over both sides of the path, infusing the air with their scent. If you plant some or all of the bulbs shown here, you too can have a smellathon next spring-or even earlier. These six fall-planted bulbs are ones most noted for fragrance.

In Southern California and the desert, the three narcissus and freesias grow best. Buy bulbs now, then wait until late October or November to plant so soil is cool. In cold-winter areas, both hardy hyacinths are best outdoors. Plant promptly. Bloom is later than stated in captions.

For children, fragrant bulbs are a special treat, and these are easy enough for even the youngest to help plant.

You need a site with rich, fast-draining soil and at least a half-day of sun in spring. Grape hyacinths will bloom with least sun and need some shade inland. You can plant all these bulbs in big pots.

In the ground, space tiny bulbs (grape hyacinths and freesias) 2 to 4 inches apart; place others 4 to 8 inches apart. Plant them about twice as deep as the diameter of the bulb. For children, the easiest way is to give them a stick the length of the right spacing, and mark the trowel with tape at the right depth.

In containers, put bulbs side by side, with their tips just below the soil surface.

Keep soil moist. Add controlled-release fertilizer to the planting hole or potting mix, and complete water-soluble fertilizer when shoots appear and again in spring.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Sep 1, 1989
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