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Curtainus Maximus

GrowerTalks June 2018

Nearly 45 years ago, Wadsworth Control Systems installed its first curtain system—a blackout at Irwin Greenhouses in Canyon, Texas. The system ran on a time clock to maintain a balance of day and night, creating the necessary environment for the crop of kalanchoes, chrysanthemums and poinsettias. To a lesser degree, the curtain addressed a second need, one that had just arrived in every American’s life.

The Newest Control from Wadsworth Control Systems: Seed

CNGA LooseLeaf Tech News

Greenhouse automation was pioneered in Colorado, and Wadsworth Control Systems was the first company to design and build greenhouse automation products in the U.S.  This contribution earned our father, George Dean, a place in the Horticultural Hall of Fame in 1992.

That set a high bar for the third generation of the Dean family. With the release of the Seed control, we believe we’ve made another significant contribution to the greenhouse industry.

Gary Dean interview in CGNA LooseLeaf magazine

What is your product focus?

Our products take care of three main greenhouse functions: climate control, curtain systems and ventilation automation. Our…

Greenhouse Upgrades Part I

If I were a grower, I would want to put my precious capital into something that helped me reduce costs, reduce labor and increase quality all at once. Hot water heaters can do just that.

To do a good job of heating your greenhouse space means delivering the heat evenly. The heat should be delivered in a way that allows your plants to take away the most benefit possible. We call this “distribution efficiency.” If you heat with hot air furnaces, no matter the type or efficiency, your distribution efficiency is probably around 50%. This means of all the heat you generate, only about 50% is put to good use by your plants. The rest is lost to leakage in your glazing, or rises immediately to the peak, where it does nothing beneficial for you.

Using Temperature to Control Growth

An early morning DIF or DROP, which lowers the greenhouse temperature before sunrise, can help control plant growth and save on energy costs.

Reducing temperatures at sunrise creates a morning DROP and reduces stem elongation.Much has been written about DIF, which is defined as the difference between day and night temperatures or day temperature minus night temperature. A negative DIF, the result of a night temperature that is warmer than the day temperature, prevents stem elongation in many crops. Considering today’s increasing fuel prices, efforts to use negative DIF to keep greenhouse temperatures warmer at night isn’t necessarily a good business practice. Many growers have decided it’s not worth the extra cost.

Eclectic Companies

You use Skype or FaceTime to have a face-to-screen chat with faraway relatives and friends, and the Cloud to store your iTunes library on your phone and iPad. So why couldn’t you use similar technology in your greenhouse?
Well, you can.
Companies like AgriNomix, Wadsworth Control Systems, Harvest Automation and McConkey are leading the pack in creating innovative methods of making automation and technology work better for growers.

STEP 50a and STEP 500 No Longer Supported

In the Wadsworth tradition, these hard-working and long lasting controllers have served the industry well.  Introduced in 1975 as state-of-the-art innovation, the STEP 500 gave growers a reliable way to manage their ranges.

Today, Wadsworth remains a leader as we launch Seed, the first touch screen control in the horticultural industry.

Many growers have upgraded to the EnviroSTEP and Seed 16 controls.

Parts are no longer available and Wadsworth no longer offers technical support for STEP 50a, STEP 500.

Wadsworth introduced the STEP 50A in 1974. After 38-years, Wadsworth discontinued the product in 2013. In 1975 the STEP 500 was released and in 2011, after 36 years on the market, it was retired.