Jason travels the state most week-ends taking his "Pop-up" market stall to towns where there is very little access to specialist bulb suppliers. Jason travels as far North as Quorn, to the far West, the Riverland and down to Mt Gambier. During the week, he's home working in the family nursery with his "Mum" Frankie - weeding, planting etc.
This was his very first presentation, and although nervous to begin with, he soon settled down like a true pro, being ably supported by his "Mum" when some detail was needed. He says that he's still learning - but aren't we all?
Jason's chosen subject was Tulips. He initially covered the historic background of the introduction to Europe (and more particularly Holland) from the far East; all most interesting.
As can be seen from the photographs on this page, there were a huge number of Tulips and other bulbs on display, and for sale. Some of the original (Species) tulips were available, and as Jason said, these are by far the hardiest types, and are quite comfortable if correctly planted in the garden with not being lifted at the end of their growing season. Other later (hybrid) varieties are far more sensitive to conditions, and need seasonal lifting and frequently need to be grown in pots for success in South Australia. (Jason said that in some areas, these bulbs can be planted about 350mm deep, and are then able to get through our hot summer with little adverse affects). Many of these hybrid bulbs were also available from the stock that he brought with him.
During his discussion he mentioned that it was common practice for breeders to remove flower spikes from an entire crop to encourage larger bulb growth and offset production prior to lifting for sale.
Fertilising was also covered: he suggested that top feeding (granules) a week after first emergence, and then fortnightly twice more (a total of 3 feeds) to encourage leaf growth. Nutrition for flowering purposes should have been stored during the previous growing season.