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Assuming your a bit fimilair with the five gallon e-bucket. Changing your 5-1-1 mix to a 3-1-1 mix. At first glance what problems should I be looking for. Reason for the proposed change is to increase the wicking action for the moisture to reach higher in the bucket. After inspection of failed tomatoes have noticed very very dry conditions higher then the root ball which very low in the due to being leggy.I also noticed the same condition in tomato being planted at the optium depth.
I'm assuming increasing the % of the peat and the perlite would increase the wicking action up the bucket of moisture. What you say ,sir.
You've been studying. ;o) Something like you're suggesting will increase the soil's wicking ability quite a bit. Sometimes people go with something like 5:3:1-2, which is essentially the same thing you're proposing, to give a little wick-kick. When you water from the top, water tends to occupy larger pores at container capacity than when you wick. 'Container capacity' is a description of the soil's water content and is a useful measure of the degree of saturation when the soil has been fully saturated and has just stopped draining. It is the measure of the soils maximum water-holding capacity. At any rate, the effects of the addition of fine particulates to increase wicking ability, as they relate to water retention, are partially nullified because similar soils hold less water when wicked than when watered from the top.
First off thanks for your fast come back.
If I understand "Container capacity" in relationship to the fertilizer ring at the top of the 5 gallon bucket.It most likely will remain bone dry hence useless with the 5-1-1 mix..It may even be less effective with a 3-1-1 mix. If that's correct then would it be more effective to use a controlled release fertilizer ,or even without even using a fertilizer ring then top water and use a water soluble fertilizer.I'm sure the inventors of the earthbox using a heavy peat based soil mix using the fertilizer ring worked well for that application.Now with e-bucket and 5-1-1 or a 3-1-1 mix I'm not sure a fertilizer ring is any longer a benefit to this application. "Oh Boy" I'd better do some comparative experiments. Al have you done any planting in either the earthbox or the e-buckets?
Happy Holidays to you and yours