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Greenhouse Use Policy

Inside the Greenhouse

Inside the Radford University Greenhouse

Located on the east side of Reed Hall, the Greenhouse is accessible from the 1st floor of the building. The outside door (south wing) remains locked except for special occasions. The Greenhouse Facilities provide students, educators, researchers and the public the opportunity to utilize a climate controlled and professionally maintained plant conservatory.

I. Hours of Operation

The normal working hours for the greenhouses are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, it is recommended that you bring your key in case the greenhouse is locked early.

II. General Guidelines

  • Anyone wishing to bring plant material into the greenhouse as an addition to the collection or for research purposes must contact the Greenhouse Manager for an inspection prior to moving plants. The Greenhouse Manager will determine whether to allow the plants into the greenhouses.
  • Do not bring personal plants into the greenhouse to be cared for over vacation periods, personal leaves, or for any other reason. Pest infestations can be disastrous in a greenhouse. All unauthorized plants will be discarded without notice.
  • Greenhouse supplies (pots, soils, fertilizer, pesticides) are not for personal use.
  • No pesticides will be applied without the consent of the Greenhouse Manager.
  • Smoking is not allowed in any area of the greenhouse facilities.
  • Do not remove any plant materials from the greenhouse without consulting the Greenhouse Manager.

III. Greenhouse Space Allocation

  • Researchers and instructors who need greenhouse space will be required to fill out a Greenhouse Space Request Form (form not linked on current site) and return the completed form to the Greenhouse Manager. A reminder will be issued to request space on July 1 and January 1 of each year. Users may, however, request space at any time.
  • Current space demands, project size, utilization efficiency, sanitation, cooperation and project importance will all be considered when allocating space. Every effort will be made to provide space to all those who need it.
  • Priority will be given to the needs of the faculty, staff and students of the Department of Biology. Non-departmental user greenhouse needs will be met as the facilities permit.
  • Any delays or possible delays in the completion of a greenhouse project are to be discussed as soon as possible with the greenhouse staff.
  • All users of the greenhouse facilities are required to schedule an orientation session with the Manager. This session will introduce the user to resources within the greenhouse. The correct procedures to handle containers, soil mixes and fertilizers; disease, pest avoidance and control; water systems and watering; waste disposal and other topics will be discussed and demonstrated.

IV. Greenhouse Project Requirements

  • Project requirements for greenhouse supplies (containers, soil mix, labels, etc.), are to be included on the Greenhouse Space Request Form. Reasonable supplies of clean pots and flats, labels, fertilizer and soil mixes are kept on hand for greenhouse users. A requirement for large quantities or unusual types of supplies requires advance planning and consultation with the greenhouse staff. Special or extra materials should be purchased using research funds or course funds. 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.
  • The greenhouse staff will, upon request, assist with design, setup and configuration of environmental conditions, planting and maintenance of greenhouse projects. The staff will also water (including weekends and holidays) and fertilize plants at the request of the user if a regular schedule can be set up, and as long as watering and fertilizing are not part of experimental treatments.
  • Reserved project space should not be expanded without consulting the Greenhouse Manager.

V. Responsibilities of Greenhouse Users

  • All greenhouse space is to be kept clean and orderly by the user(s).
  • Harvest all plant materials required for experimental purposes in a timely fashion. Plant materials should be disposed of immediately following the project.
  • 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.
  • When removing small amounts of biomass or occasional disposal of plants, the waste containers in the greenhouse are provided for your convenience. If removing large amounts of material which would otherwise fill the waste containers, users are expected to empty the waste containers, or remove their materials directly to the appropriate dumpster.
  • Report all insect and disease problems immediately to the greenhouse staff.
  • Headhouse (potting room) space is "common space." No project material can be permanently maintained in headhouse areas. Headhouse areas must be cleaned up immediately after use. Field equipment may not be stored in the headhouse.

VI. Use of Plant Collections

  • Visitors are welcome in all areas of the greenhouse. All group activities (classes, tour, etc.) are to be scheduled at least a week in advance with the Greenhouse Manager. Department of Biology faculty, students and staff will be given priority in the use of these facilities.
  • The use of any plant material from the plant collections is to be approved in advance by the Greenhouse Staff. Plant material taken for scientific or class use is to be recorded by the Greenhouse Manager. If the Manager is not available to record such use, then an email message detailing date of use, class, specific topic and the 4-digit accession number and Latin name of the plant should be forwarded to the greenhouse manager ASAP.
  • Plant material to be grown for classroom use is to be requested with an adequate lead time, preferably prior to the beginning of the semester. 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.
  • Extra plant materials from the collections which are free from pests are occasionally available for giveaway. There is no pre-determined schedule and plants will be put out on a first-come, first-served basis on the table outside the Manager’s office. Any plants found in trash containers or in the dumpster are there for a reason and should not be removed from such disposal containers.

VII. Greenhouse Sanitation and Equipment Procedures

  • Use clean containers and tools. Clean them after use.
  • Keep the media in soil barrels or tubs clean. Do not re-use spilled soil including that which accumulates on the floor during repotting.
  • Keep all hoses rolled and out of the aisles when they are not in use.
  • All greenhouse benches, soil bin covers and propagation benches are to be kept clean.
  • Greenhouse growing areas are not storage areas for pots and other cultural supplies. No items are to be stored on top of or under the benches. Consult with the greenhouse staff for alternative storage. Any clutter left in the greenhouses or access corridors will be removed without notice by the greenhouse staff.
  • Report breakage, loss or malfunction of any equipment to the greenhouse staff.
  • Greenhouse tools and equipment are not for personal use.