Operations Policy


    The Plant Biology greenhouses are located within the Plant Sciences Laboratory greenhouse complex. The Plant Sciences Greenhouse complex is shared by 3 departments in 2 colleges. While many of the resources of this facility are to be shared, many are not. It is important that all users respect the property and activities of others in this facility.

    The forms referred to below are available at the Plant Biology Greenhouse in 1220 PSL. All completed forms should be returned to Debbie Black (1220 PSL). Questions regarding the operation of the Plant Biology greenhouses may be directed to:

          Debbie Black
          Plant Biology Greenhouse Manager
          (217) 333-7857
          1220 PSL, mc-634

Greenhouse Use
    Hours of Operation
      The normal working hours for the greenhouses are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, it is recommended that you bring your key after 4:00 p.m. in case the greenhouse is locked early.

    Store Room Hours
      The storeroom is open Monday thru Friday 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM and 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM. It is locked the rest of the day. If you need supplies when the storeroom is closed, see Debbie Black or other Plant Care Facility staff.

    Space Allocation
    1. Greenhouse space is to be requested by filling out a Service Request Form and returning it to the Plant Biology Greenhouse office at 1220 Plant Science Lab. Those filling out the form are encouraged to discuss the options available for greenhouse projects with Debbie Black.
    2. Priority will be given to the needs of the faculty, staff and students of the Department of Plant Biology. Other School of Life Science greenhouse needs will be met as the facilities permit.
    3. Any delays or possible delays in the completion of a greenhouse project are to be discussed as soon as possible with the greenhouse staff.
    4. Plant Biology Greenhouse users will be charged for the space and resources they use according to the Service Fee Schedule.
    5. Greenhouse keys will be issued by Debbie Black and must be returned to her when your project is completed.

    First Time Users
      All first time users of the greenhouse facilities are encouraged to schedule an orientation session with Debbie Black (Plant Biology Greenhouse Manager). This session will introduce the user to Plant Biology's resources within the Plant Sciences Laboratory greenhouse as well as the common facilities available to the department.

    Greenhouse Project Requirements
    1. Project requirements for greenhouse supplies (containers, soil mix, labels, etc.), are to be included on the "Plant Biology - Greenhouse Project Request Form". Users must allow adequate time for the greenhouse staff to obtain additional supplies if large quantities or unusual types of supplies are required for an individual greenhouse project. Greenhouse crop requirements and the required environmental conditions are also to be listed on the Greenhouse Service Request Form.
    2. Changes in cultural practices or environmental conditions can be requested with the "Plant Sciences - Greenhouse Service Request Forms", available outside of 1220 PSL. Greenhouse users are encouraged to discuss the changes requested with Debbie Black.

    Policy for ACES and other non-Plant Biology Researchers - Fall 2009

    1. Plant Biology will be given priority at all times regarding the assignment of greenhouse space in the Plant Biology Greenhouses.
    2. Researchers may not occupy space for more than six months without approval. After this time, their request will be reviewed based upon the needs of Plant Biology researchers.
    3. ACES researchers may not sublet greenhouse space to other users or researchers per the Plant Biology policies.
    4. ACES researchers need to comply with all regulations stated in the Plant Biology Operations Policy.
    5. Fees will be billed on a quarterly basis.

    Greenhouse Space/Base Fee
    Includes space in the Plant Biology Greenhouse space, lights, pots, and labels.

    Includes watering, fertilizing, room clean up, pest control done by the Plant Biology staff.

    Soil or Soilless Mixes
    Includes the custom soil mix or prepackaged soilless mixes and other soil amendments.
    Charged Per Order

        Total: $1.20/sf/mo. plus Soil Orders

    Plant Biology Commercial User Policy

    Policy for Commercial Greenhouse Users - Fall 2006 (updated July 2010)

    1. U. of I. researchers will be given priority at all times regarding the assignment of greenhouse space in the Plant Biology Greenhouses.

    2. Commercial Users may not occupy space for more than six months. After this time, their request will be reviewed based upon the needs of U. of I. researchers.

    3. U. of I. researchers may not sublet greenhouse space to commercial users, just like they cannot sublet space to other U. of I. researchers, as per the Plant Biology policies.

    4. Commercial Users need to comply with all regulations stated in the Plant Biology Operations Policy.

    5. Fees will be billed on a quarterly basis.

Commercial Greenhouse Users Fee Schedule:

Greenhouse Space/Base Fee
Includes space in the PSL or Turner Hall greenhouse, pest control, and general project maintenance (e.g. whitewash application removal, assistance with project set-up and dismantling, cleanup, etc.)

Includes watering, fertilizing, potting, transplanting, plant disposal, etc. done by the Plant Biology staff.

Includes the use of pots, flats, inserts, saucers, and labels. Plant Biology Staff cleans and sanitizes the containers between uses.

HID Lighting
Includes the replacement of HID. flourescent, or spot bulb replacement and recycling.

Soil or Soilless Mixes
Includes the custom soil mix or prepackaged soilless mixes and other soild amendments.
Charged Per Order

    Total: $4.00/sf/mo. plus Soil Orders

    Use of the Conservatory and Plant Collections

    1. Visitors are welcome in the conservatory and plant collections rooms. All group activities (classes, tour, etc.) are to be scheduled at least three weeks in advance in the Plant Biology Greenhouse Office (1220 PSL). Plant Biology, SOLS and plant sciences departments on campus will be given priority in the use of these facilities. Greenhouse Use Request Forms are available outside room 1220 PSL.
    2. The use of any plant material from the plant collections is to be approved in advance by the Greenhouse Manager. Plant material taken for scientific or class use is to recorded on a "Greenhouse Plant Material - Specimen Use Record" available in 1220 PSL.

    Plant Material for Class Use
      Plant material to be grown for classroom use is to be requested with an adequate lead time. Requests for first time uses of a crop should be requested far enough in advance to allow for a test crop to be grown. A delivery schedule for the plant material is also required.

Greenhouse Sanitation Procedures
    General Sanitation Procedures
    1. Use clean containers and tools. All pots, flats, tools, etc. are to be steamed, or washed and chemically sterilized before being used in any greenhouse project.
    2. Put dirty containers and tools in their proper place. Used pots, flats, tools, etc. are to be placed in the "Plant Biology Dirty Pot and Container Collection Bins" located in the 1500 alcove. These items are not to be reused until they have been steamed or washed and chemically sterilized.
    3. Wash your hands before working with plants. This is especially important when working with propagation materials (seeds, seedlings, cuttings, and planting media) or if you smoke.
    4. Avoid putting plant material, containers or tools on the floor or other contaminated surfaces. The floor is not a desirable work surface.
    5. Keep the steamed soil in soil carts or tubs clean. Use only the white plastic shovels and scoops that are stored inside the white plastic soil tubs to move soil around. Do not put these items on the floor. Do not use spilled soil including that which accumulates on the floor during repotting.
    6. Do all of your work with the plants first. Then clean up the work area and greenhouse as a second, separate operation.
    7. Keep all hose ends clean and hung up off the greenhouse floor when they are not in use.
    8. All greenhouse benches, soil bin covers and propagation benches are to be kept clean. Do not use or lay any unsterile tools, containers, etc. on these areas. Do not stand or put your feet on greenhouse benches. This will help to avoid carrying diseases up to the crop level. Plastic benches are to be used to keep tall crops off of the floor. Greenhouse carts are to be hosed off after use.
    9. Any plant material brought into the greenhouse must be disease and pest free. Debbie Black must be notified BEFORE any plant material is brought into the greenhouse. Special care is to be taken when plant material is brought in with soil attached to its roots. The potential to contaminate greenhouse soil supplies is high in these cases.
    10. All insect and disease problems are to be reported immediately to the greenhouse staff.
    11. All greenhouse space is to be kept clean and orderly by the user(s)
    12. Greenhouse rooms are not storage areas for pots and other cultural supplies. No items are to be stored under the benches. Any clutter left in the greenhouses or access corridors will be removed without notice by the greenhouse staff.
    13. Do not bring personal plants into the greenhouse to be cared for over vacation periods, personal leaves, or for any other reason. All unauthorized plants will be discarded without notice.

  1. Do not attempt to operate any equipment before receiving instruction in its use. Check with the greenhouse staff before using any greenhouse equipment.
  2. Report breakage, loss or malfunction of any equipment to the greenhouse staff.
  3. Greenhouse tools and equipment are not for personal use.

    Services provided by the Plant Biology Greenhouse staff include:
    1. The staff is available to assist with problems or special needs that may arise during the course of a greenhouse project.
    2. Watering (including weekends and holidays) and fertilization of plants at the request of the user. The Greenhouse Staff will not assist with any watering and/or fertilizing which are part of experimental treatments.
    3. Disease and pest control programs, usually after consultation with the user.
    4. Growing plant materials for class and research use.
    5. Assist with the acquisition of common seeds, plants or other materials is required for greenhouse projects.

    The greenhouse user will in general be expected to do the following:
    1. Assist with the acquisition of unusual seeds or plant material required for the greenhouse project.
    2. Carry out all experimental treatments and make all experimental measurements.
    3. Harvest all plant materials required for experimental purposes.
    4. Maintain an active role in the progress of the greenhouse project.
    5. Notify the greenhouse staff promptly at the end of a greenhouse project. Assist with the disposal of unneeded plant material and the removal of equipment at the completion of the experiment.

    Trash Disposal
      Plant material and used soil are to be collected and disposed of separately from other trash (paper, plastics, wood, metal, etc.). Separate receptacles labeled for PLANT AND SOIL MATERIAL ONLY or TRASH ONLY are available throughout the greenhouses.

    Shoes and Clothing
      Appropriate footwear is required for greenhouse staff, users, and visitors. No open-toed shoes should be worn when working in the greenhouse facilities for health and safety reasons.

      Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the Plant Biology Greenhouses.

    Disposal of Plant Material after Project Completion
      It is the responsibility of the Greenhouse User to coordinate disposal of the plant material in a timely manner after project completion. The greenhouse staff will be available to assist.


    Copyright 1997, 1998 Department of Plant Biology, UIUC