300 pounds of produce in 6 months!

What can be better than learning and growing? Eating!

From January 1 to June 30 the hydroponic systems in the DC Smith Greenhouse produced:

360 Cucumbers: 151 pounds (68.5 kilograms)

587 Cherry Tomatoes: 90 pounds (40.8 kilograms)

214 Heads of Lettuce: 66.9 pounds (30.6 kilograms)

These systems were tended by students in Horticulture classes. Hort 333 students planted the tomatoes in September 2022 and just had time to enjoy the first harvest in December. Hort 335 continued their efforts and planted the cucumbers. Though our lettuce tanks are empty right now, they can produce full heads of lettuce from tiny transplants in just four weeks.

Hands on learning experiences like these provide students with insight and skills that are essential to understanding and stick with them longer than lecture or reading alone.

students in horticulture classes lift a pink foam raft of lettuce plants from a hydroponic tank in a greenhouse

Hort 333 students harvest their first lettuce crop.

The DC Smith Instructional Greenhouse is celebrating a major milestone!

25 years ago a campus parking lot sprouted a state-of-the-art greenhouse and conservatory. Since then over 30,000 students in hundreds of classes, not to mention countless visitors have come to learn about plants and be surrounded by green, growing things. 

You can be a part of the next 25 years of growing and learning! Help us replace our aging equipment with new, modern systems – like LED light fixtures that weren’t even available when we first opened last century. Make a donation at https://jumpstart.supportuw.org/campaigns/the-dc-smith-greenhouse#/

Come see how we grow! The greenhouse is open to the public weekdays from 7AM to 6PM or visit one of our outreach events this spring. Find current event information at http://science.wisc.edu

  • Saturday April 9th is UW Science Expeditions. We will be open 10AM-2PM. Free house plants grown by students will be available for everyone while supplies last..
  • Saturday May 7th is UW Family Gardening Day. We will be open 10AM-1PM and sharing free vegetable transplants grown by students.

Stay up to date on events and happenings at the DC Smith Instructional Greenhouse by joining our mailing list. https://forms.gle/5bbqAdbRvKrXhnP36 Events are free and open to the public.

Happy Birthday to ME!

We have been the teaching greenhouse for the UW-Madison College of Agriculture for 25 years!

Join us April 9th for UW Science Expeditions and to celebrate our 25th Anniversary! Stop by the greenhouse from 10-2 for a tour from horticulture students, hands-on activities and free houseplants (while supplies last).

Click here to get updates on events and happenings at the DC Smith Instructional Greenhouse.

UW Family Gardening Day 2017

On Saturday May 6, 2017 from 10am to 1pm join us for the 12th Annual UW Family Gardening Day at D.C. Smith Greenhouse, 465 Babcock Drive;  Allen Centennial Gardens, 620 Babcock Drive; and Steenbock Memorial Library, 550 Babcock Drive.

You can park nearby at Lot 40 (460 Babcock Drive), Lot 36 (1645 Observatory Drive) and Lot 34 (1480 Tripp Circle).

UW Family Gardening Day gives everyone a chance to see & explore some of the splendid facilities for teaching, research and outreach in the plant sciences as well as to tour the beautiful gardens on campus. We look forward to seeing you there!

  • Free, family friendly event
  • Tour D.C. Smith Instructional Greenhouse and look at insects under a microscope, learn about research happening at the UW Biotron or construct unconventional flower arrangements.
  • Visit Allen Centennial Gardens for inspiring home garden ideas. While you’re there, pick up a Pasta Four-Pack (while supplies last)
  • Check out the Steenbock library for the Library Gardening Collection and a UW-Extension Master Gardener Q&A session (they will also hand out pots of disease resistant Iron Lady tomato plants while supplies last)
  • Children can also assemble tiny terrariums (using deli containers they can take home) at Steenbock Library with students from the BioCommons
  • Stop by the Babcock Hall Dairy Store for tasty treats (11:00-4:00)
  • Explore hands-on activities with soil, seeds and seedlings
  • Build a terrarium or look at insects under a microscope
  • Use all 5 of your senses to experience plants

UW Family Gardening Day 2016

Hope to see you there!

On the UW Campus at D.C. Smith Greenhouse, Steenbock Library, the UW Biotron and Allen Centennial Gardens

Saturday, May 7th from 9AM – 1PM


  • Gardening advice
  • Free vegetable plants
  • Ideas for gardening in limited spaces
  • Kids! Make a living locket or terrarium
  • Try adaptive gardening tools
  • Free parking in UW lots 34, 36, and 40

Find more details at http://bit.ly/familygardening

Join us during Wisconsin Science Festival!

The Wisconsin Science Festival is next month. The DC Smith Greenhouse will be part of the action on October 16th and 17th. From 9AM to 2PM both days we’ll offer hands-on activities and plant science displays.

Stop by to experience the fascinating world of plants! We’re just a short walk from the Discovery Center and on the way to the Babcock Dairy Store!

UW Family Gardening Day 2014

Join us May 10 to kickstart your garden!

At UW Family Gardening Day you can

  • tour the Allen Centennial Gardens to get ideas for gardening in small and urban spaces
  • get gardening advice from Master Gardener Volunteers
  • pick up a fourpack of vegetable transplants
  • get your hands dirty making a terrarium or living locket

We’ll be on hand from 10AM til 2PM to share our know-how and enthusiasm for plants and gardens.