Al's Mix, Watering, in containers, SWC, in a veggie garden
Ok I have read a lot about the 5-1-1 and the Gritty Mix. No I have not read all the way thru any of the 12 threads started about them. I have read a lot though. I have been using raised beds but still can not keep the bermuda grass from taking over. I have tried cardboard, plastic, and landscape fabric and about 1/2 way thru the season I seem to be spending most of my time trying to get the grass (weeds) out of my beds.
I will be growing tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, cantalopes, cucumbers, squash, zuchinni in containers this year. Peppers in 5 gal (1 each), tomatoes in 18 gal (1 each), cucumbers in 10 gal (I am thinking 2 plants each), squash, zuchinni in 10 gal (1 each), watermelon and cantalope in 18 gal (1 to 2 plants each), have read to hill 2 to 3 melon plants in a hill, not sure if this is applicalbe to containers.
I understand Al says you really don't need SWC's, which would be a lot cheaper not to have to buy enough to make the SWC's. The ideas behind using such a system to me is virtually no water waste and the plant only gets what it needs. Is both of Al's mixes good for SWC's?
My garden has full sun from sun up to sun down. 2 or 3 years ago I received a water bill that was over $400 dollars. I am trying to watch this as well. With self watering containers using a simple float system I know when to water and I know when each is full. With a regular container using either of Al's mixes how do you know when to water, and how do I know when I have given it enough water?
I am planning on 12 tomato plants, 10 pepper, 10 watermelon, 4 cantalope, 4 cucumber, 4 zuchinni, and 4 squash plants.
I am also planning on building strawberry towers out of 6" PVC pipe, I can't find any 8" anywhere around me. I was gonna have 20 plants in each tower. Which would be the best mix to use, 5-1-1 or Gritty?
If you think the regualr containers would be best, would using a drip irrigation system be wise?
With a regular container does the container need to be setting on supports of some kind so the water can drain?
I read somewhere Al stated that one drain hole is sufficient. Would a 10 and 18 gallon tote still just need the one drain hole, or should there be a more? What size should the drain hole/holes be?
Also should a screen of any kind be placed over the hold to keep the mix in the container?
I have spent all almost all of Saturday reading, and doing searches in the container forum. Some on different topics though.
By the way if anyone would have any recommendations on what size container to use for any of the plants listed above instead of what I have mentioned that would be apreciated as well.
I hope these questions are ok. I have a confidence issue sometimes and need some reassurance.