Greenhouse Lessons

These lessons are designed to address multiple Pennsylvania Academic Standards in different subject areas, not just Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Lessons focus on students actually doing and using IPM as opposed to just learning about it; they offer hands-on, inquiry-based practice in greenhouse IPM, which may be especially useful for students looking towards careers in greenhouses.

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First published in 1962, the book Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, alerted the world to the dangers of misusing chemical pesticides. The effects of chemical pesticide use described by Carson can occur in any town, in any place.

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“What’s that?” This is usually the first sentenced uttered when an organism is found in an unexpected or unwanted place. Properly identifying the organism is the first step in a successful integrated pest management (IPM) plan, and understanding its biology is the second step.

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“What should I do? I found a pest!” After finding an unwanted organism or disease in the greenhouse, it must be scientifically determined if action needs to be taken to manage the pest. Routine scouting for pests and monitoring their populations are the foundations for making your integrated pest management (IPM) plan successful.

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“Aphids are destroying the plants in the greenhouse! What do I do now?” First, it must be determined if action is necessary and if so, what actions should be taken? What are the costs and benefits of managing the pest versus doing nothing?

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In the 21st century, consumers are driving the market towards items grown and built in more environmentally friendly ways. It is the perfect time to give them what they want. In this lesson, students will design advertisements educating the public about IPM and the dangers of pesticide use, while promoting the use of IPM in raising the greenhouse crops.