Guidelines for Greenhouse Users

In order to maintain the facility in a professional manner and to suppress the likelihood of insect and disease problems it is the responsibility of the primary investigator to ensure users under their supervision follow these simple guidelines:

  • The greenhouses are open between 8 A.M. and 5 P.M. Monday thru Friday, outside of those times the doors should be locked. If you have permission to work in the greenhouses outside of normally open hours please insure doors are secured both after you enter the building and leave the building. Doors into and out of Keck Greenhouse range (G5) must be kept locked at all times.
  • If you are potting plants do so in a way that does not allow loose media to fall in the gravel areas under greenhouse benches. For small potting jobs use one of the benches in the hallway or lay a sheet of plastic over a greenhouse bench and work on that surface. For large potting jobs the use of a wheelbarrow filled with media is recommended.
  • Proper spacing, pruning and staking of your plants in the greenhouse allows for a better growing environment by increasing air circulation, allowing available to light reach the crop and helping to control insect and disease within the crops.
  • All senescing and dead material should be removed from plants, pots and benches and floors swept weekly. All trash should be removed from greenhouse rooms and not allowed to accumulate. Garbage cans in the hallway should not be used for plant and soil disposal as leaving plant materials in the greenhouse hallway garbage cans may lead to the spread of insect and disease problems to other locations. Please remove discarded plants and soil to dumpster in gravel area.
  • Weeds serve as an alternative host for insects and disease so insure weeds are pulled and disposed of before they become larger problems inside the greenhouse. Once seed begins to develop on the weeds the problem is much more difficult to control so remove weeds from your pots and the gravel areas under benches you are using as you see them. All weeds should be disposed of in the trash dumpster located in gravel area outside the greenhouse facility.
  • If you have transgenic plant material it will need to be bagged and steamed before it is discarded in the trash. A steam operated sterilizer unit in the greenhouse hallway is available for plant material and soil/media that is required to be sterilized. Prior to operating the sterilizer new users must consult with the greenhouse technician to ensure the steamer is safely operated. Before placing materials in the steam box all plants should be put into a sterilizing bag and sealed shut to prevent insect and disease problems from spreading. Users will need to supply bags.
  • Do not introduce problems into the greenhouse by bringing in personal plants or plants from other areas. All plant material being brought in from outside areas or other research facilities should be inspected by the Greenhouse Manager before it is brought into the facility.
  • Concrete walkways are to be clear of obstructions; these areas are not to be considered storage areas. Items found in these areas block access and create hazards and will not be allowed to remain.
  • Media is not to be stored in greenhouse growing areas unless is will be used within a short period of time. Temporary storage will be provided for pallets of media in the metal storage building and any individuals who wish to store quantities of media should contact the Greenhouse Manager for more information. Materials and equipment that are not being used in the greenhouse should be kept in an alternative storage area as high temperatures, humidity and UV radiation act to degrade most materials. Federal, State and University policies require that chemicals are not to be stored in individual greenhouse areas; if you need to use chemicals in your experiment contact the Greenhouse Manager to make storage arrangements.
  • The only chemical applications that will be allowed in the greenhouse are those made by individuals who hold a valid Virginia State Pesticide Applicators license. All chemical applications must be done in adherence with the SPES Greenhouse pesticide application standard operating procedure.
  • Doors to individual compartments and outside areas should be kept closed in order to keep insects from spreading and to ensure the mechanical equipment operates correctly.
  • All hoses should be replaced on hose hangers when not in use and water supply turned off. Please do not allow hose sprayer ends to lay in contact with the ground.