Botany Greenhouse Operations Policy


All staff and students in the Department of Botany are expected to abide by Botany Greenhouse and Garden Operations Policy. The Rules and General Guidelines are available at the Director's office (144 Birge Hall). All completed forms should be returned to the Director.

Questions regarding the operation of the Botany greenhouse may be directed to:

Mohammad Mehdi Fayyaz
Greenhouse and Botanical Garden Director
UW Department of Botany
144 Birge Hall
430 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1382, U.S.A.

Greenhouse Use

Space Allocation

  1. A Botany Greenhouse Service Request Form is to be filled out and returned to the Botany Greenhouse and Garden Director.
  2. Greenhouse space is to be requested and will be allocated only for the specific time period required by the project.
    No greenhouse space will be allocated for an indefinite period and should not be expanded without consulting the director.
  3. Current space demands, project size, past performance, utilization efficiency, sanitation, cooperation and project importance all considered when allocating space. Every effort will be made to provide space to all those who need it.
  4. Priority will be given to the needs of the faculty, staff and students of the Department of Botany. Other College of Letter and Science greenhouse needs will be met as the facilities permit.
  5. The Botany Greenhouse Director will return a Space Assignment Form to the requesting user. This form will also serve as authorization for the appropriate room keys to be issued from the Botany office (132 Birge Hall).
  6. Botany Greenhouse users will be charged for the resources they use according to the Service Fee Schedule.
    There is no fee for using less than 6 sqf. of bench space for a project that last less than a year.
    Bench space Fee: $1.00/ sq.ft./month.
  7. All first time users of the greenhouse facilities are required to schedule an orientation session with the Director and the Horticulturist. This session will introduce the user to Botany resources within the Botany Department Greenhouse as well as the common facilities available to the department. The correct procedures to handle containers, soil mixes and fertilizers; disease, pest avoidance and control; water systems and watering; and other topics will be discussed and demonstrated.
  8. Any keys issued to the user are to be returned promptly to the Botany Department Office (132 Birge Hall) at the end of a greenhouse project.
  9. Any delays or possible delays in the completion of a greenhouse project are to be discussed as soon as possible with the Greenhouse Director. Extended delays are subject to review by the Botany Greenhouse and Garden Committee.

Greenhouse Project Requirements

  1. Subsequent changes to the cultural practices, greenhouse environmental conditions, programs, etc. are to be requested in writing and approved by the Botany Greenhouse Director prior to implementation.

Use of the Plant Collections

  1. Visitors are welcome in the plant collections rooms. All group activities (classes, tour, etc.) are to be scheduled at least a week in advance in the Botany Greenhouse Office (144 Birge Hall). Botany Department students and staff will be given priority in the use of these facilities.
  2. The use of any plant material from the plant collections is to be approved in advance by the Botany Greenhouse Staff. Plant material taken for scientific or class use is to be recorded on a "Greenhouse Plant Material - Specimen Use Record" available in the headhouse.

Plant Material for Class Use

  1. Plant material to be grown for classroom use is to be requested with an adequate lead time. Two months prior to the first day of classes two copies of all greenhouse requests for course materials must be submitted to the Director and the Horticulturists.
  2. 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. Reasonable quantities of these items are stored in the steel cabinets in the Botany Greenhouse work area or on the shelves in the storage room. A requirement for large quantities or unusual types of supplies requires advance planning and consultation with the greenhouse staff.
  2. Put dirty containers and tools in their proper place. Used pots, flats, tools, etc. are to be placed in the "Botany Dirty Pot and Container Collection Bins" located in the main headhouse corridor. 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 plastic scoops. Do not put these items on the floor. Do not re-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 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. Greenhouse carts are to be hosed off after use.
  9. All new plant material introduced into the greenhouse is to be brought to the potting shed where the staff will inspect it for infestation. Infected plants will be treated before being placed in the greenhouse.
  10. The Botany Garden and all outside beds are to be treated as separate non-sterile areas. After working with plants or soil in these areas, wash your hands before working in any other part of the greenhouse. Do not use or carry tools or containers from these areas into any other growing area of the greenhouse.
  11. All insect and disease problems are to be reported immediately to the greenhouse staff.
  12. All greenhouse space is to be kept clean and orderly by the user(s).
  13. Greenhouse rooms are not storage areas for pots and other cultural supplies. No items are to be stored 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. Small quantities of plant materials or containers which are no longer needed may be put outside the rooms in the access corridors for the greenhouse staff to discard.
  14. 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.

Disposal of Plant Material

  1. Soil and plant material are to be collected in the labeled containers separately from other trash (paper, plastics, wood, etc.) and dumped in the SOIL and PLANT MATERIAL compartment located east of Botany greenhouse.
  2. Greenhouse users who generate transgenic plant waste are to bag their transgenic plant materials in plastic autoclave bags and notify the greenhouse staff promptly for assistance in autoclaving the bags. Autoclave bags are to be supplied by the users.


  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.


  1. Reasonable supplies of clean pots and flats, labels, fertilizer and soil mixes are kept on hand for Botany Greenhouse users. A requirement for large quantities or unusual types of supplies requires advance planning and consultation with the greenhouse staff.
  2. Used pots, flats, tools, etc. are to be placed in the Botany Greenhouse Dirty Pot Bins located in the main headhouse corridor. These items are not to be reused until they have been steamed or washed and chemically sterilized.
  3. All greenhouse supplies should be ordered through the Greenhouse Director. Greenhouse supply catalogs may be checked out from his room (144 Birge Hall).
  4. Project requirements for greenhouse supplies (containers, soil mix, labels, etc.), are to be obtained by researchers.


Services Provided by Greenhouse Staff:

  1. Assistance with design, setup, configuration of environmental conditions, planting and maintenance of greenhouse projects. The staff is also available to assist with problems or special needs that may arise during the course of a greenhouse project.
  2. Provision of proper quantities of supplies for greenhouse projects. This includes special soil mixes as specified by the user.
  3. Watering (including weekends and holidays) and fertilization of plants at the request of the user if a regular schedule can be set up, and watering and fertilizing are not part of experimental treatments.
  4. Disease and pest control programs, usually after consultation with the user.
  5. Growing plant materials for class and research use.
  6. Assistance with the acquisition of seeds or plant materials required for greenhouse projects.

Responsibilities of Greenhouse Users:

  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.

Comments, Questions, Desire to Support: Contact Mo Fayyaz, Greenhouse/Garden Director, 608 262 2235.

Keywords:greenhouse policy   Doc ID:23644
Owner:Henry M.Group:Department of Botany
Created:2012-04-05 10:30 CSTUpdated:2015-08-24 13:47 CST
Sites:Department of Botany
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