25 gal SWC What soil mix?
I've just read tons of stuff on Al's Gritty mix and it sounds wonderful. The bb's in the pudding thing makes PERFECT sense. And I've been netsearching for about a month and am in total overwhelm.
I plan to veggie garden in 20 cut in 1/2 barrel self watering containers in the earth box style that I'm making myself. How can I possibly make enough of Al's mix to fill them and would it even work to wick the water up? My funds are "not unlimited" (lol) and my physical ability to care for the plants can be somewhat intermittent (getting old and creaky) is why I need self watering. I am open to suggestions and will list some of my "wonderings" for comments/input/groans/laughter below...
If the soil in the container is really porous do you need that air gap between the soil and the water reservoir?
With a mix like Al's could you put "soil" all the way to the bottom of the barrel, then add a certain amount of water to the bottom of the pot and use vertical shafts of coir to wick the water up to the roots? Or would you need a wick?
I could control the max amount of water in bottom of the pot by drain holes on the side... wouldn't need all the shelf and support structures...?
Should you put just a little coir all through, like strings of spaghetti through the bb's?
Would the roots of big stuff like "'maters" and squash do ok but radishes and lettuce never go deep enough?
Well - so much for my first plan of just throwing in dirt from the back yard 'til the tub was full and turning a hose on it once in a while...
And I want to say I REALLY REALLY appreciate all the posts I've read on here already.