Term-III, Week-8 (07th – 11th September)

Friday, 11th September: Firearm safety.

Firearm safety

Firearm safety









We are getting a chance to study the theory side of the firearms. It all are the safety side of using firearms. Wayne King is our instructor here. He was away to Europe and retuned couple of weeks before. Today he is with us to share his knowledge and experiences related to firearms. Firearms are used for pest control in the horticultural industry. A license from the Arms Officer is must for buying and using the firearm. They are lethal weapons and very careful while using. Mr. Wayne is a voluntary Instructor of New Zealand Mountain Safety Council. He has various endorsement in his license to handle different type of firearms. He explained all norms related to various firearms and demonstrated different type of firearms and how it works.

Seven basic rules are very important for while using firearms.

1 Treat every firearm as loaded
2 Always point firearms in a safe direction
3 Load Firearms only when ready to fire
4 Identify your target beyond all doubts
5 Check your firing zone
6 Store firearms and ammunition safely
7 Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms.

 Firearm are different types and all these have various functioning  actions. Bolt action, lever action, pump action and semi automatic. Cartridges are also in different types. Short cartridge, centre fire cartridge, rimfire cartridge and rifled slugs – for using in shotguns. Pistols are designed for held and fired with one hand. It includes all the firearms less than 762 mm length. Old method firearms were worked by black powder and makes smokes and pollutions. All new firearms are smoke free and even silenced firearms are available on these days. Some new models have telescopic viewer better sight.  It was really enjoyable and lots of new information  about firearms achieved at the end of the day.

 Thursday, 10th September: Propagation – Nursery

Buxus semperviren

Buxus semperviren

A cloudy morning. I was sure that, it is because of the  low pressure coming from the west side of the country. No chance of rain. A mixture of stationary, warm and cold fronts here. There is a chance of little wind in the night. Tomorrow afternoon is going to be clear. Jo has made a list of things to do today and it was displayed in the board. Sowing tomatoes, red onions, leeks, Florence fennel and perennial rocket etc. She talked about various tomato verities and its market demand. We have a giant plant sale is coming soon. It is the time for sell of al the cuttings and seedling we prepared in the nursery. A huge selection of ornamental plants, garden verities, lavender, rosemary,  grasses etc. now we are preparing different verities of vegetable plants. Tomatoes, chillies, basils, red onions, corianders, broccolis etc.  Went around the GH-1, GH-4 and hydroponics.  Moved some seedling trays to the GH-4 for harden off. Some trays picked from GH-4 which are ready for potting up and pricking out. Today some of us pricked out Petunias and Salvias. Some people potted some more stone crops. I have chosen Broccoli ( Purple Sprouting Early), Chilli Pepper ( Hungarian yellow Wax) and Capsicum (Californian Wonder) for sowing. Used Standard potting mix and sand on 50:50 ratio on the hygiene tray and sowed them gently on various trays and covered with little layer of vermiculate and send them to GH-1 for germination. Chilli and capsicum seeds trays are covered with glass pans to protect them from over watering. Later on Some of us shifted number of pots  which plants grown well to the GH-2 . It was necessary to make more room in the GH-4. Much pots, punnets and trays are getting ready here with vearious verities. In the afternoon session, I have trimmed  some Lonicera nitida plants which are sprawling out of the pots. I made them bushy. Later on I trimmed some Mint bush to get them more bushy. Done the hair cut on two Buxus semperviren  plants. One is looking good in its pyramid shape. Some Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and other plants also got a chance to get trimmed by me. Later I decided to do some weeding and prepare the veggie garden. It is thee o clock and time to twist –up the day. Jo made a recap of the day – all the activities executed and Rebecca presented today’s plant profile followed by this. She chose one Iris family plant  for this. Great efforts.

Wednesday, 09th September: Tutorial

Another tutorial day after couple of weeks. Tutorial days are really helpful for completing  the pending tasks especially assignments. Alex was waiting for us to pen his diary. He started with  the price of a brand of Roundup herbicide. Polaris 450 glyphosate (Roundup) 20 litter container cost $ 189 (including GST). As he suggested that, if we are buying house in rural areas with agricultural land  will help to get lots of tax benefits from the government. All kind of fertilisers, herbicides and other agricultural products which we buy for this property will come under the category. GST paid for these products will be refunded periodically from the Tax dept. Even GST amount paid for buying house + property will be  refundable. I have an idea to buy a minimum five hector land with one small house in the rural area and do some works in that soil. After that he has approached everybody and confirmed their areas of interest where we are going to work on after study. It was a time for updating the assignments submission status. It was a reminder for us to complete all the assignments before this term. At the end of this term, another theory exam is coming and he described about the subjects of questions for this exam. Time to prepare for that. After that I moved to computer room for complete my Soil assignment. After completing the same, I started to work on the assignment for ‘Hand pruning grape vines’. Other assignments like Compost, weeds – including Weed management plan and Weed collection reports getting due.

Tuesday, 08th September: Propagation – theory

Lonicera nitida

Lonicera nitida

As per time table, today is the day for propagation – theory. Jo was leading us today for this. We have  propagation records which carry all the details of the propagation activities we conducted during this academic year. Various type of seedlings and cuttings we propagated through out this year. Some herbaceous, soft wood, semi hard wood and hardwood cuttings. Beside this we done many kind of seed sowing, seedling pricking and  potting. Different methods used for preparing, sowing, germinating and pricking out these seedlings. Many deciduous and evergreen cuttings. Divisions used for propagating peonies and Iris.. Scaling is the propagation method for lilies and other such verities.  It all are in mind and we need to record them in a systematic order in to the Propagation Record. Different growing media used for different propagation activities. Standard potting mix, seed sowing mix (50:50 of standard potting mix and sand), punnet mix and hydroponics mix used for all these. Used Rockwool in the hydroponics. Mist bed, heat bed, harden off  are various methods used for germination and pricking out. Stratification (provide an artificial cooler temperature for seeds to germinate fast – use chillier) and scarification (scratch the seeds in the sandpaper or rubbing agent and help them to germinate fast) are the different method used for some kind of seed germination. Seed sources like private garden, polytechnic campus or nurseries are also should be recorded in this book. A systematic work can help to achieve twenty credits easily. Some times we forgot to record the continuation of the works. Some cases somebody else carried out the following work in the nursery propagation room. We all went around GH-1, GH-2 and GH-4 to find out the yellow and white labels. Yellow labels have the name of the person carried the work and its date.  White labels have details of the plant. It is the only method to complete the records. We have carried some weeding in the GH-4 and moved to the hydroponics and spend some time make this floor clean and tidy. Some hospitality people from China are going to visit our campus and surroundings soon. Got little time to do some wedding in the peony garden also.

Afternoon session was a time to complete al the pending diary and assignments. I have worked with Soil assignments and completed almost all. Much satisfied outcome for this day.

Monday, 07th September: Compost



Another one more day to learn about and compost, its importance and making techniques. We gathered at Bannockburn campus. Roger started the topic with the definition of compost. It is a natural process of decay to change all organic wastes in to a valuable humus rich material. One compost heap is collection of great number of bugs having  a large time consuming a mountain of food. Micro-organisms like Bactria, fungi and other bugs need a suitable condition to do this process. The rate of composting is affected by nutrient balance, moisture level, temperature and aeration. Carbon nitrogen ratio is also important for compost process. 40:1 is the best suitable level of Carbon Nitrogen in the compost. But if the ratio is >30:1, it will make the compost process slow. If ration is < 25:1, excess nitrogen will be escaped to atmosphere as ammonia. Mineralization is the process of release of  Nitrogen  from the organic matter by decomposition. 60 % of moisture content is ideal for compost process. More or less will make compost process slow. Aeration control the compost process getting too hot. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the product of compost process reaction. Temeprature of the compost process can go up high as 65 C. Bacteria is the  smallest organisms in the compost process. Mainly three different kind of microbes work in the compost process. Thermophilic bacteria (hot bacteria >40C), mesophilic bacteria ( mid temperature bacteria between 0-40 C) and psychrophilic bacteria ( bacteria which works in lowest temperature level – between -20C and 13C) When the compost cools down, all the mesophilic  bacteria again re-colonise and predominate at the 0-40C temperature range. Fungi is the second most efficient decomposers in the  process. Actinomycetes, Centipedes, Millipedes and Springtails are also play important role in the compost making process. Different type of ready made compost bins are available in the market. We can make simple compost bins with out much efforts.  Unused pallets and wood peaces are useful for making compost bins. In the afternoon session some of went nearby sheep farm to collect sheep manure for compost process. We made a huge compost heap using all dried materials, saw dust, dried leafs, green materials and added sheep manure and activators. Watered them at last. We have used the temperature probe to check the heat level if the compost heap we made last week. It all was less that <15 C because of the coolest weather on the previous days. Hope that temperature will come up on coming days and compost process will get fast. 


0 Responses to “Term-III, Week-8 (07th – 11th September)”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: