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Information for Greenhouse Users

This page contains the information necessary to get started with your teaching or research operations in the College of Agricultural Sciences greenhouse and plant growth facility.

You may also address any questions or concerns to the greenhouse manager, Scott DiLoreto.

Greenhouse Policy and Use Guide

The Greenhouse Policy and Use Guide includes detailed information on greenhouse management, important contacts, greenhouse and growth chamber space rental policies, pest control, available facilities and materials and greenhouse safety.  All greenhouse users should read the guide prior to beginning their work in the greenhouses. (See link to downloadable pdf version of guide at the bottom of this page)

Safety and Required Trainings

Safety is of paramount importance in the greenhouse and Headhouse facilities. It is expected that individuals behave in a manner minimizing risks to themselves and others and learn to recognize and avoid hazards.

The Federal Worker Protection Standard Act requires that all individuals working in the greenhouse environment are formally trained to recognize and avoid workplace pesticide hazards. All individuals working in the greenhouses at Penn State are required to take the Worker Protection Standard Training within five days of entering in the greenhouses. Untrained individuals will be asked to leave the facility until training is completed. The training is available to individuals or groups at your convenience and may be scheduled by contacting the greenhouse manager or PSU Environmental Health and Safety. More information on the Worker Protection Standard and training can be found in the Greenhouse Policy and Use Guide.

Researchers, instructors and students within the College of Agricultural Sciences have access to several workshops within the Headhouse complexes. These workshops are equipped with a variety of power and hand tools, hardware, and many building materials. All individuals planning to use the workshops are required to take a Workshop Safety and Personal Protective Equipment training prior to entering the workshops. This training is provided by the greenhouse staff and can be scheduled by contacting the greenhouse manager.

Greenhouse Pest Control

Although the greenhouse staff regularly scouts crops for pest organisms, it is the responsibility of the user to monitor their crops for the presence of pest and disease organisms. It is strongly recommended that users should familiarize themselves with potential pest and disease problems with their crops. The greenhouse staff is available to help plan and implement an effective pest control strategy and in many cases will provide biological control organisms free of charge. If required, pesticide applications will be performed by the greenhouse staff after consultation with the user. More detailed information on greenhouse pest control can be found in the Guide to Greenhouse and Growth Chamber Policy and Use guide linked above.

Composting and Recycling

All organic waste including plant debris, soil, and potting media must be disposed of in University-provided composting bins which are provided in each facility. Sand, gravel, vermiculite and perlite should also be added to the composting bins. All plastics, metal, and cardboard can be recycled at Penn State and recycling containers are provided in each facility. If you plan to generate a large quantity of recyclable waste, the greenhouse staff can provide disposal containers and coordinate waste pick-up. Disposing of compostable or recyclable materials in the trash will not be tolerated. More detailed information on waste management can be found in the Guide to Greenhouse and Growth Chamber Policy and Use linked above.

This document is intended to serve as a guide and define policy for greenhouse and growth chamber rental and use in the College of Agricultural Sciences University Park campus plant growth facilities. Revised March 2013.

Images of ASI, Tyson, and Forest Research Lab greenhouses