Gritty mixes, 511 and SWCs oh my! Newbie confusion
This is my first attempt gardening since my mom gave me pansies and a watering can twenty years ago. Between hunting down seeds, pots and "soil," I am thoroughly confused already.
After reading this forum I know not to use dirt or most commercial potting mixes. I'm planning on growing a few annual herbs and flowers, a couple of vegetables, tomatoes and maybe strawberries on the roof of my building. There is no access to water so I will be lugging buckets up a flight of stairs.
Should I keep it simple the first time out and stick with a commercial mix in standard pots while I learn about my growing space? Should I get fancy and build some SWC? Preliminary local sourcing of either mixes' components hasn't gone well--I can find peat and perlite but there isn't a big supply of gravel or bark in urban garden centers.
Thanks in advance,