Went to a lesson in Ellenton yesterday. After several failed attempts, this is what I brought out of it.
The potting soil they use is very light: peat moss ,sphagnum moss and a lot of vermiculite and perlite. The medium also has a wetting agent. The fertilizer they use is 6-8-10 with minor elements as well The dolomite they use (for every plant type) also has minor elements.
Fill reservoir up with water. Potting soil is poured in to three quarters full, the corners packed and rest patted very lightly and watered. The box is then filled. Dolomite (2 cups) is sprinkled;ed on top and blended in to top inch or so with fingers. Put a slight mound in the center. This is where the salts go to . Salts rise in the medium. A furrow is dug by scraping four fingers in a line across medium. Fertilizer (2 cups) is placed in furrow and then covered over with medium. For 2 tomatoes, furrow is dug opposite wicking pints, where reservoir inlet is. For mixed plantings i.e. one tomato and several peppers, furrow is dug in middle, but when approaching tomatoes make 45 degree turn towards corner, away from tomato, so tomatoes large root bass doesn't get burned. The medium is wetted again and then cover put on and box is ready for planting. Water plants initially using water and soluble fertilizer.
For future plantings: remove root ball; scrape fert out of box with trowel (or initially lay fert in using a panty hose); cut remainder roots with pruning saw and mix up soil. Use only one cup of dolomite for each subsequent sampling.
The same method is used on farms with plastic etc, but on flat ground i.e. in the fields. One reason for lots of flowers, but lack of fruit on tomatoes is not enough sun. All their boxes were hooked up a drip irrigation system for filling reservoir. Don't let box go dry. Conserve Naturalyte is good for leaf miner.
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