House 1 (faculty, student exps)
12 benches, supplemental lighting
House 2 (faculty, student exps)
House 3 (collection plants)
Guidelines for Greenhouse Use
Please discuss all usage with Bill Gresh, Greenhouse Manager, before beginning an experiment or before bringing plants or soil into the greenhouse. He is present from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Mon-Fri. If your experiment is especially large, confer with other greenhouse users to make sure that their plans will not be affected.
The Greenhouse Manager will show you where to place your pots, and will attach a "care note" on the greenhouse layout poster on the wall. If your plant care needs change at some point, you must (a) inform the greenhouse manager and (b) alter the details of the care notes. The care notes are used by student greenhouse assistants to provide care on weekends and afternoons, so keeping these detailed and up to date is critical. If you would like to be especially sure that an experiment or collection plant receives particular care, repeat these instructions on a large plastic label as well, and make sure this label is prominently displayed on the bench.
Label your experiments. Please use a 5" yellow plastic label to provide information such as your name, course number, species name, and planting date. (A single label is sufficient for each experiment.)
All changes to the light levels, air handling, and other mechanical functions should be done by the Greenhouse Manager. Changes in photoperiod or temperature can have adverse effects on other's experiments, and he will coordinate these decisions (with the faculty greenhouse users).
If you come to the greenhouse to measure plants, to water, or just to socialize, record your visit in the Greenhouse Log binder. There is a page dedicated to each day, and you should leave notes in the space provided. You can also check to see when the Greenhouse Manager or student assistant was here, if you are curious when your plants were last watered. There is a greenhouse layout drawing on each page, so you can also "circle" your experiment and add comments in the margin (e.g., "I watered my experiment at 7:45 AM, fyi"). The Greenhouse Manager will read these pages and contact the user if there are actions to be taken.
Starting an experiment involves the generation of a lot of dust in the headhouse. Please clean up after finishing-sweep off benches, clean and replace tools, and switch off the overhead and undercabinet light banks if you are the last one to leave.
At the conclusion of the experiment: (a) tell Greenhouse manager so that he can adjust the "bench in use" notations on the greenhouse layout map, (b) dump pot contents into trash bin, (c) clean all pots with warm water, (d) allow pots to dry, and (e) return all pots and flats to their original locations. The Greenhouse Manager is not there to complete (b) through (e). Faculty are usually very interested in whether students complete these steps on their own.
Soap is toxic to some plant species, so do not use detergents when cleaning pots. If you really, really want to clean something thorougly, use a dilute soaking of bleach.
If you notice insects on your plants, please leave a note in the Greenhouse Log.
Please do not bring in plants from outside if they contain insects or appear diseased.
Never, ever bring in houseplants to be "doctored" or "stored for vacation." Doing so introduces diseases and insects into the greenhouse, and adds extra work for the Greenhouse Manager.
Do not use the greenhouse for starting seedlings for your garden. The Greenhouse Manager does not have time to care for these plants.
Before you spend time looking online for seeds, ask Jose-Luis Machado (room 112), and Nick Kaplinsky (106). Each has refrigerator full of seeds from past experiments.
Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center stocks (Arabidopsis thaliana seeds)
Lehle Seeds, Inc. (A. thaliana, tobacco, crop species)
Carolina Biological (carries Rapid Cycling Brassica seeds, maize mutants, etc.)
Swarthmore Hardware (carries vegetable, flower seeds in Spring)
Crop plant seeds:
Buy seeds with your credit card, then submit a reimbursement request to Matt Powell, Biology Department business manager. Label the seeds with your name, purchase date, and ordering information so that unused seeds can be used in future years.
Plant information links
http://plants.usda.gov/ (Info on almost all plants)
http://www.cdr3.com/catalog/ca00003.htm (Tree info)
http://www.backyardgardener.com/tm.html (Seed germination database)
ttp://www.leubner.ch/ (Seed germination info)
http://www.biologyorg.com/ (Browse thousands of sites by category)
Do not pack pots with dry media--sometimes pockets of dryness will remain (even after subsequent watering) that will damage developing seedlings or transplanted roots. Instead, pre-wet a large amount of media in one of the black mixing bins so that the media is somewhat moistened but not dripping wet.
If your experiment is going to be several months long, add a fixed amount of slow-release fertilizer to the media.
If your plants are susceptible to aphids, consider adding slow-release, system insecticides to the pots.
Small pots dry out in several hours during hot weather, so use a larger pot size if you want to ensure that your plants do not die on hot weekends.
Use clear-plastic saucers for pots that are drying out too quickly.
Do not use the "shower" nozzle setting when watering your plants. Although the shower setting can quickly wet the surface of large numbers of pots, invariably a good fraction of pots receive inadequate amounts. Because all the surfaces are wet, you won't know which pots need more. Surface-watering will result in poor root formation and, on hot days, will produce "crispy" plants in pots that didn't get the right amount. Instead, use the "drench" setting (at right) for each pot, and wait until the pot begins to drain from the bottom. Pot-by-pot watering takes about 10x as long, but is critical to prevent loss of plants.
Pots on different parts of the benches will dry out much faster than other locations, so usually "spot watering" is needed every several hours on hot days. Spot water with the "drench" setting, of course. Note that sunny days on cold days will sometimes result in greenhouse temperatures in 90s, so do not relax during the winter.
Do not water pots that are clearly fully wet already -- doing so will just cause root rot, fungus growth, and algal growth. Eventually, fungus gnat larvae will begin to develop, and will eat root tips.