ISU Greenhouse Rules & Information

Our greenhouse is for use of the community gardeners to increase food literacy and build capacity for healthy, local foods in our community. Gardeners who have successfully completed 1 season in the ISU Community Garden are eligible to request participation in the greenhouse. For more information about the origins of the greenhouse at ISU, click here.

Participation in greenhouse growing is a joy and a responsibility. The group of greenhouse growers must collaborate, communicate,and work together to ensure that all greenhouse plants (those that you plant and those that other growers plant) receive care every day of the week. This happens via a system of shifts shared by greenhouse growers. The number of shifts for which you will be responsible depends on how many growers we have each year (more growers = more people to share shift responsibilities!)  During warmer weather, the shifts will be twice daily.

Getting Started:

  1. Contact Ashanti, the ICS Graduate Assistant ( to request permission to participate in the greenhouse, as well as for a training on greenhouse procedures.
  2. Label your plants with your name and the name ofthe plant.
  3. Sign up for shifts to 1) monitor greenhouse temperatures and 2) water seedlings.
  4. If you’re unable to fulfill your scheduled shift, text or call a fellow greenhouse gardener to take your place.

During Your Shift:

  1. Maintain temperatures between 40-80°F. Check the thermometer as soon as you arrive. To cool temperatures, turn on the fan and/oropen the plastic panels. To raise temperatures, make sure all doors and panels are sealed.
  2. If you are working on a cold day, quickly close the door behind you to maintain the heat within the building.
  3. Check moisture of soil on all flats of plants before watering (some plants need more frequent monitoring than others).

Closing Up:

  1. Replenish water buckets for the next grower’s shift. Before outdoor spigots are in use, fill buckets in the bathroom in the ICS House.
  2. Clean up! Make sure all soil mix is put away, any spills are cleaned, and anything that came into the greenhouse with you (water bottles, backpacks, etc.) leaves with you.