Wicking: cloth vs. soil (in swc)
I've been reading quite a bit on this forum about swcs, soil mixtures, fertilization, etc., and it has been quite helpful, considering I knew very little about such topics about a week ago. So thanks everyone.
I am currently living in rural Japan on the second floor of an apartment with a shaded south facing balcony, and am trying to get a little something going. I am a temporary resident (though I've been here for two years) so I don't have a lot of tools. It's a little late in the season to be starting things, but I have some month old bell pepper plants and beans (and a bunch of herbs) that I'm repotting. Big buckets are fairly expensive here, but 10 L containers can be found in abundance at the 100 yen (dollar) store. Thus, I am putting a number of two 11 L (17 x 42 x 16 cm) rectangular containers together to hang from my balcony. (If I put the plants outside the railing, they get good sun.) I also want to make them into swcs by inserting a couple 2 L bottles in the bottom.
I'll be using a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite (70, 20, 10). Couple questions:
1) Would you recommend material or soil as the wicking agent? If I use material, it's easy to fit the bottles into a couple holes at the neck. If you use the soil mixture, I'll probably have to go further down the neck and use some sort of long pipe for the wicking chamber... which would make things a bit more complicated - a less easy fit and drilling holes... with a hammer and nail. :) If material will work, what would be best: an old shirt, nylon rope...?
2)Two pepper plants or one in each 5.8 gal of soil?
3) Where would you put the fertilizer strip? On the outside/s?
Thanks a bunch,