University of Vermont

College of
Agriculture and Life Sciences

Department of Plant and Soil Science

Plant and Soil Science Facilities

Greenhouse Services

The UVM greenhouse complex is adjacent to Stafford Hall and is conveniently connected via interior hallways to Jeffords Hall. Divided into 11 adjoining compartments and an outdoor nursery, these greenhouses are for use by faculty, staff, and students in teaching, research, and extension activities. The indoor compartments cover 8,000 square feet.

Standard hours of operation

Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4:00pm. If your research requires greenhouse space, please notify Colleen Armstrong, Greenhouse Manager (x 60465) at least 1 month in advance of the needed space (SEE APPENDIX "18 -21"). The greenhouses are used by the departments of Plant and Soil Science, Botany, Biology, and Natural Resources. Colleen will allocate a space for your research depending on the environmental requirements of your experiment, extent of bench space needed, and time of year.

Please note: Teaching space has priority over research space. Research space often becomes limited during the spring semester.

If you will be working on research or assisting with teaching projects in the greenhouse that require your entrance outside of standard operating hours, see Anne-Marie Resnik to have your CatCard ID coded to allow you entry to the greenhouse. If you require entry into a normally locked greenhouse compartment, contact Colleen Armstrong for a key (call x60465). Also note that entrance into the greenhouse outside of normal hours requires you to sign-in prior to entry and check to see if any areas have been treated with pesticides. The sign-in sheet is located immediately to the right inside the headhouse door. If you need to access the headhouse after hours, you will need to obtain a key to this door. Again, please contact Colleen Armstrong for a key (call x60465).

Greenhouse Environmental Controls

The desired temperature range for each separate compartment, with both night and day settings, is programmed into the computer system. It will monitor and control the temperature, keeping it within the set range under a variety of outdoor weather conditions. In winter, temperatures can be maintained from 35 to 90F. In summer, most compartments are kept in the 70's-80’s unless it is very hot/humid outside. Compartments 6 and 11 have air conditioning units to help maintain cooler temperatures in the summer, if they are needed. The Q-COM computer system monitors the temperature in each compartment through two temperature probes, one static and one with circulating air. Automatic shade cloths help maintain cooler temperatures under the hot mid-day summertime sun. They also control light intensity in the summer, and in the winter they help insulate the warmer compartments during cold nights.

All compartments are serviced by direct lines containing tap water, fertilizer, and compressed air. The tap water and fertilizer lines are used for watering, and the compressed air is used for aeration in hydroponics and other uses in research projects. Tap water and fertilizer water is pre-heated and the temperature is maintained at 68F or higher. Circulation fans provide a constant air flow to help maintain healthy plants.

Relative humidity and CO2 levels are not monitored or controlled by the computer, but humidity levels can be controlled indirectly through misting, watering, and ventilation practices.

  • Compartment 1 (Conservatory 1: Plant collections)
  • Compartment 2 (Conservatory 2: Plant collections)
  • Compartment 3 (The Fern Room)
  • Compartment 4 (Research/Teaching)
  • Compartment 5 (Research/Teaching)
  • Compartment 6 (Research/Teaching)
  • Compartment 7 (Plant Quarantine)
  • Compartment 8 (Propagation/Research/Teaching)
  • Compartment 9 (The Teaching House)
  • Compartment 10 (Research/Teaching)
  • Compartment 11 (Research/Teaching)
  • The Nursery

More information on the Greenhouse Environmental Controls

UVM Agricultural and Environmental Testing Laboratory Resources for University Researchers

Current Instruments

ICP.AES (inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrophotometer) is used for determination of metals (and a few nonmetals) in liquid samples. We now have a Perkin-Elmer Optima DV thanks to an award from the USDA-NRI competitive grants program. This instrument operates both in a radial mode for normal samples and an axial mode for greater sensitivity. Common elements analyzed include Al, Ca, Cd, Cu, Cr, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Ni, P, and Zn.

GFAAS (graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer) is used for determination of metals at trace concentrations. Our present model (Perkin-Elmer 4100ZL with a THGA furnace) has detection limits of less than 1 ug/L for most elements. It usually determines one element at a time but can be programmed for sequential analysis of four.

Ion Chromatograph (IC) is normally used for the determination of a suite of inorganic anions (F-, Cl-, Br-, NO3-, NO2-, PO42-, SO42-). It can also be used for inorganic cations, organic acids, and more--depending on column choice. The working range is adjustable but usually between 0.05 and 10 mg/L.

CHN Elemental Analyzer (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen) is used for quantification of these elements in solid samples. Sample size is usually 2-4 mg and the working range is 0.1-100%. Samples need to be finely ground for repeatable results.

Flow Injection Analyzer is used for rapid colorimetric analysis. Our current instrument (Lachat QuikChem AE) has manifolds for nitrate, ammonium, phosphate, chloride, and total Kjeldahl digests. Many other colorimetric procedures are available. This instrument can easily process 100 samples per hour and is useful for studies that generate large sample amounts.

NIR Spectrometer (near infrared) is used primarily for nutrition analyses of animal feeds. The instrument can be calibrated to analyze dried, ground plant tissue for a number of constituents. Standard "wet chemistry" results are statistically matched with near infrared scans. Current calibrations are most applicable for dairy nutrition but many other applications are possible.

Standard Fertility Tests: Kits are available for each test from us or UVM Extension offices. These kits include a mailer, sample bag, and information form. Turn-around time is usually within five business days.

Field Crops: includes pH; available P, Mg, K, Ca, Al, and Zn; reserve P; effective CEC; and fertility recommendations

Horticulture and Home Grounds: includes pH, available P, Mg, K, Ca, and Al; effective CEC; and fertility recommendations

Other Available Analyses:
  • FOLIAR ANALYSIS (includes N, Ca, Mg, K, P, Zn, Mn, Fe, and Al)
  • MANURE ANALYSIS (includes total N, NH4, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn, Cu, and B)
  • COMPOST ANALYSIS (includes conductivity and C:N ratio, total N, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn, Cu, and B)
  • WATER ANALYSIS Options: pH, sodium, calcium, magnesium, metals (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu), nitrate, nitrite chloride, sulfate

More information on UVM's Agricultural and Environmental Testing Lab

Entomology Research Laboratory

The Entomology Research Laboratory represents a team of scientists committed to the development of effective biological control agents for forest and greenhouse insect pest management. Insect pest problems are addressed with an interdisciplinary approach, using insights drawn from six senior scientists and the assistance of six technicians. Emphasis is placed on practical aspects of research to solve ‘real world’ problems. Though focused on agricultural problems of Vermont, our projects have national and international significance as well. Through our work we attempt to develop management options that are environmentally sound, economically viable and sustainable and encourage their implementation through extension and education. They strongly believe in the value of cooperative research and foster links with scientists and pest managers from a broad range of agencies and organizations; among them the VT Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation, University of California, Rothamsted Experimental Stn. (UK), and Mycotech Inc. (USA), Koppert (NL). Support of their research is sought from a broad array of funding agencies including, the VT Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation, USDA (Hatch, Forest Service, Agriculture Research Service and SARE), University of Vermont, Greenhouse Growers Associations, local, state and national sugar-maker associations and private foundations.

The vision of the scientific team at the Entomology Research Laboratory is to enhance agricultural productivity throughout the United States by addressing issues of insect pest management of national significance. Through their work we attempt to develop management options that are environmentally sound and economically viable, and encourage their implementation through communication and education. Research on fungal pathogens for IPM of greenhouse and forest pests has been their major thrust for several years. Each member of this team possesses unique and complementary expertise. The team is rapidly assuming a leadership role in insect pest management using fungi. They are committed to meeting the needs of growers nationwide, and have shown that our IPM strategies offer new and innovative benefits to pest management over a wide geographical range.

Research projects underway are designed to investigate fungal pathogens for the control of 3 serious greenhouse pests: western flower thrips, sweet potato whitefly and green peach aphid; and a variety of important forest pests, including: pear thrips, gypsy moth, maple leafcutter, Asian long-horned beetle, and Viburnum leaf beetle. Strong links are maintained with the Forest Service, Extension personnel and greenhouse growers to ensure that the research will produce practical solutions to pest problems. Their contacts and research associations are global and involve, Asia, the Middle-East, and Africa.

Horticultural Research Center

The University of Vermont Horticultural Research Center, also known as the "Hort. Farm," is home for many trees, shrubs, perennials, apples and small fruit. More than 700 kinds of ornamental trees and shrubs, many of them uncommon or unique, are planted at the Hort. Farm. One of the largest known mature ornamental crabapple collections in the Northeast is located here. Purchased in the early 1950s, the 97-acre Hort. Farm is used for agricultural research and instruction of UVM classes and by professional plant organizations and gardening groups. For over 40 years, University horticulturists have been testing new and unusual plants for their adaptation to the Vermont environment, especially to our cold winters.

The Hort. Farm has restricted access. You must have a gate code for access. See your advisor to obtain the code. Researchers and visitors are asked to sign in at the Blasberg Building each time they visit the property and check for warnings of pesticide usage on the grounds. Your office key opens the doors to the Blasberg Bldg. The Hort. Farm is located off Green Mountain Dr. which is off Shelburne Rd, about 1 mile south of the I-189/Shelburne Rd. intersection.

If you plan to conduct research at the Hort. Farm, please see APPENDIX "22" for a copy of the policies and procedures at the Hort. Farm.

If you have any questions regarding the policies and procedures, please contact Terry Bradshaw, at: 658-9166

Plant Diagnostic Clinic

The Plant Diagnostic Clinic is available to graduate students, faculty, staff and all citizens of Vermont for identification of weed, insect and disease problems in all crops. See Ann Hazelrigg in Rm. 201 Jeffords Hall or call her at 60493/ x60491 (clinic). (SEE APPENDIX "23")

Last modified April 23 2012 10:09 AM