Term-IV, Week-1 (12th – 16th October)

Friday, 16th October: Grafting Practical


Grafting - Apple tree - Rind (Bark) Graft

As part  of our course, we have theoretically studied the grafting and budding couple of months before. Now the time for use these knowledge in to  and complete the practical skills. We were at Bannockburn campus. Alex and Trevor were their. Alex spend some time to refresh the theory studies in this subject in the first hour. After the tea break we moved to the ground. Trevor prepared some apple trees for the Bark (Rind) grafting. We had ‘Sunrise’ verity of scion in the stock and grafted them. We worked on pairs. Myself and Suzetai were working together. We done the grafting quiet well, cutting scion, opening bark, insertion of scion, taping and waxing well. In the afternoon session, we have grafted some ‘Samba’ cherries and later some ‘Southern snap’ Apples in the root stocks at the garden bed. I am waiting to see the result of my grafting and hope that most of them will success. At the end of the day, it was sad that, some of the grafting knifes were stolen by someone…..

Thursday, 15th October: Propagation – Nursery


Hedge trimmed Buxus...

This propagation – Nursery day is sued to be a preparation for the giant plant sale at out polytechnic. We have cleaned all the parts of Nursery, hydroponics  and shade houses. Weeding,  setting plants and shifting them for hardened off before selling were the main tasks. Myself worked with some others to complete the hedge trimming of ‘Lonicera’ and ‘Buxes’ used as a garden fencing at the polytech compound. A great experience in the hedge trimming of these plants and done quiet well. At  the end of the day, Calum presented the plant profile.

Wednesday, 14th October: Tutorial

Yes… tutorial day.. I always like the tutorials day because it is a chance to finish all the pending tasks like blogs, assignments and projects. This morning, Alex carried out continuation of the irrigation studies for an hour. Later we all moved out and engaged with completing assignments and such tasks. I used this day to complete my ‘Compost’ assignment and submitted that.

Tuesday, 13th October: Irrigation

Today,  we continued with irrigation topic. Irrigation systems design required some calculations. Calculating volume of water, size of the water storage, length of the lines, radius and area of the sprinkler delivery, water pressure and size of the pipes are really interesting and useful. Design and installation of automatic irrigation systems – Solenoid valves and controllers need little basic electrical knowledge..  I am little familiar with all these before. We turn around the places to see the irrigation systems, dams, water sources and various irrigation methods. Some brain storming – mathematical questions were really helped to keep away the afternoon hangovers in the classroom. Another day with bundle of knowledge in the field of irrigation….

Monday, 12th October: Irrigation


Ruben flowers at campus..

Welcome back to the polytechnic after two weeks holidays. I was working with Vinetech, a viticulture contracting company at Cromwell. We were doing pruning at Gibbston valley near Queenstown. It was a great experience… A wonderful time to experience the studies in practical. At the end of two weeks work, I have been selected as a best pruner, fastest pruning without loosing consistency. Ms. Andrea, business partner of the Vinetech awarded me a bottle of ‘Red Tussock’  vine. I am much excited for appreciating my skills. I strongly believe that, the full credit for this appreciation will go to my teachers at polytechnic.

This is our final term during this one year full time study. Much more things to be completed during this short term. Some work experiences, field trips, plant sale, learing and practicing subjects like Irrigation and bees. Practical skills for grafting plants, shoot thinning and fruit thinning etc. prepare and present an Enterprises Report before end of this term is going to be a big task. One practical exam just before at the end of the term. Yes, off course, there will be a great moment… big fruit.. our Graduation  Ceremony  at the end of this term….

Alex, Jo and Trevor were welcomed  all us. Alex explained a brief about this term activities. Later today, we started to learn design, install and maintain an irrigation system. Water is a necessary thing for the plant growth. Place like Central Otago is well known for drought area and need a strong irrigation system for the healthy horticultural activities here. For install an irrigation system, a well design, quality irrigation equipments and accessories and a water source are much needed. We are going to cover the areas like  irrigation terminology – the bits and pieces used for irrigation systems, various types and styles of irrigation, fundamentals of designs, installation methods and techniques and maintenances.. Drippers, mini sprinklers, over head sprinklers,  overhead sprinklers and popup sprinklers are well known and common. Travelling irrigators are becoming popular in the farming activities. They are comparatively very expensive.  Day ended with a vast knowledge in the field of irrigation…


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