Win a copy of A Food Forest in Your Garden this week in the Forest Garden forum!

Eric Hanson

+ Follow
since May 03, 2017
Eric likes ...
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
Forum Moderator
Eric Hanson currently moderates these forums:
Southern Illinois
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand Pollinator Scavenger Hunt
expand Pioneer Scavenger Hunt Green check
expand First Scavenger Hunt Green check

Recent posts by Eric Hanson

Does this confirm the problem is the string and not the panel?
8 hours ago
Can you wire up an incandescent light bulb?  You could check it on the good panels and then see if the bad panel fails to produce and light at all.
10 hours ago
I also found the terms “warren hoe”, “bon hoe” and triangular hoe.  

But this assumes this is some type of pointed hoe.

Again, just a thought
10 hours ago
Is it some type of hoe?  Maybe a grub hoe?  It certainly looks bigger than a big box hoe but a grub hoe, though similarly sized, is usually forged, not stamped, and has a flat blade.

Just a thought
11 hours ago
Also, I like S Bengi’s idea.
11 hours ago
Is there a way to unplug the panel and test for overall wattage?  Maybe run some lights directly from the panel to get an idea if it is producing full amperage?  My thinking is that it could be producing adequate voltage but tiny amperage and thus low wattage.  Maybe this would work?
11 hours ago
Do you have an electrical multimeter?  As in voltmeter and especially amp meter?  In this case a clamp on meter would be ideal.  

What I am hypothesizing is that one panel is producing sufficient voltage but for some reason insufficient amps.  A clamp on amp meter could answer this hypothesis quickly.

Just a thought,

11 hours ago

The chips get broken down to something like coffee grounds with some pieces being a bit larger but still breaking down over time.  As for wood species, Wine Caps will break down almost any non-conifer wood.  I have a lot of Autumn Olive that grows by a fence line and I cut and chip it every few years.  In addition I throw in a fair amount of oak and some hickory as my woods by my house is dominated by those two trees.  Further, if you wanted to speed up decomposition (but be prepared for some serious volume reduction—just keep adding in more material) you could add in some whole square straw bales.  The straw will colonize faster and break down more quickly than wood chips.

For the first round, I filled my bed with chips, dug fertile holes and backfilled with bagged topsoil (you could use miracle grow mix if you wanted).  I grew tomatoes in the fertile holes but feel free to experiment.  I have also tried fertile trenches for beans and gotten good results.  Wine Caps like to have some soil contact so the fertile holes/trenches help.  After the first season, you likely won’t need any more soil as the chips should be broken down.

This is just a starter and if you are still interested I can give more information and point you to some threads that can help.

Like you, I also grow—almost exclusively—in raised beds.  In my case my bedding is composed of wood chips that are broken down by Wine Cap mushrooms.  The resulting compost is amazing.  You can grow both the Wine Caps and veggies at the same time.  If you are interested, I can give you more details.  I found this option to be both more fertile and much cheaper than miracle grow mix.  If you are interested I can give you details.


I think your bed design is fine and propping it up seems necessary in this case.  What interests me is what you plan to put in the bed for bedding.  Since this is your prime bed it makes sense to use the best soil and/or bedding you can.