The St. Paul campus is home to more than 75,000 square feet of greenhouse space, 18 growth chambers, 25 walk-in coolers, and a variety of classrooms and labs equipped with the latest technology. Students studying horticulture have access to classrooms, labs, research areas, and the Plant Growth Facility. In addition to utilizing our on-campus facilities, our researchers and graduate students conduct their research at facilities throughout the state.
Plant Growth Facility and Greenhouses — The Plant Growth Facility is a hub for the college’s research and classroom activities. The facilities include two acres of greenhouse space, a head house support area, classrooms, and environmental growth chambers. It is run by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. During its 2011 review, the USDA CSREES National Review Committee praised the Plant Growth Facility for its outstanding spaces and management.
Learning Garden for Horticultural Science — The Learning Garden for Horticultural Science was created in the late 1970s with the purpose of growing, planting, and maintaining herbaceous plants. Originally the garden was used primarily for hundreds of annual plant trials, but in 1992 the garden was expanded to become an outdoor laboratory for horticulture students. Today, the garden serves many purposes in addition to being a space for cold hardiness trials. Classes utilize the space to practice plant identification, learn horticultural techniques, grow material for floral designs, and observe insects; non-profit organizations use garden space for youth outreach, and interns spend summers in the garden putting their classroom knowledge to use.
Research Laboratories — While the Plant Growth Facility, greenhouses, and the Horticultural Research Center are critical to the breeding programs, the central hub of laboratory-based activity occurs in Alderman Hall. Research done in the department spans the molecule to the ecosystem and crosses boundaries that normally separate application-oriented and basic mechanism research. The department is home to state-of-the-art plant growth facilities that allow carefully controlled studies of plant development and responses to the environment. Also present is a plant metabolomics group with advanced chromatographic and mass spectrometry instrumentation, continuing a departmental tradition that dates back to the beginnings of the applications of high-performance liquid chromatography to biological problems.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the Horticultural Research Center — Each year, faculty and students from horticultural science participate in research projects conducted on the grounds of the Arboretum. The Arboretum is home to one thousand-plus total acres, 32 display and specialty gardens, 48 plant collections, and more than 5,000 plant species. Just a mile away from the Arboretum is the Horticultural Research Center (HRC), which was founded in 1908. The HRC has approximately 230 acres of land focused on the breeding, genetics, conservation, and management of fruit crops and woody landscape plants. It also contains office space, lab space, and a research winery that supports a grape breeding program.
Research and Outreach Centers — The department also conducts research through six Research and Outreach Centers managed by the college, which are located in different areas of Minnesota. The mission of these centers is to support research that enhances the quality of agricultural production, human health, renewable energy, and the environment—and to disseminate the benefits of this research to the public. They are:
- North Central Research and Outreach Center (Grand Rapids)
- Northwest Research and Outreach Center (Crookston)
- Southern Research and Outreach Center (Waseca)
- Southwest Research and Outreach Center (Lamberton)
- West Central Research and Outreach Center (Morris)
- Rosemount Research and Outreach Center (Rosemount)