Or what is your tried and true set up? New mix or refreshing, which fertilizer, and do you use the snack???
How is it all working? What are you gonna plant in them? Do tell!
Tomatoes I use the homemade ones, with larger reservoirs. The SIPs with a bucket inside another I'll use for determinates, since they are smaller.
Okra does better in EBs than I have had it do in the ground. Only 6 per box, not the 8 suggested.
I also had some odd things in SIPs - bitter melons and bottle gourds. In that same family as cucumbers, which also do great in them, getting that non-stop supply of water.
The eggplants also create huge numbers in SIPs. I used to grow 15-16 EPs in the ground, but 6 in 3 SIPs produce so many that I have to dehydrate them - something I never did before. Last season I only grew 5, and didn't even get my most productive one out there (the seeds didn't sprout), and actually bought 2 "Indian eggplants" (I never do this, as a rule). Those did ok, until heat came, and they stopped, like tomatoes, but recovered, and eventually, I was dehydrating them again! This is in addition to eating them about every other meal.
Here's a trick I have to do for some of the peppers, mostly milder ones - I totally enclose the EB in the light Agribon, to keep pepper maggot flies off. I used to have to put up a hoophouse, with the fabric over it, but this is easier, and I don't have to grow so many of the varieties. I took some pvc pipe to build a rack, to put the fabric over, but the larger plants grow to the top. I can take it off around 8-1, fortunately.
DSCF0734 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Here it is uncovered, showing the pvc, and how tall those plants got!
DSCF0810 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
This could probably be used to isolate from other bugs, though I tried it with squash, for the SVB, and the plants just didn't produce well, with a parthenocarpic variety, or with hand pollination.
I don't have a problem with thrips here, KOW, but I got a 250x4' roll of that stuff really cheap, years ago, before the EBs. It is very thin, but much more durable than the usual, stretchy type plastic, and I get 2 years out of them almost every time. I just cut it about 34" x 24", for the EB, enough to tuck it into the sides, next to the soil; then I secure it with one of those landscape staples on each side. I have tried red, black, and silver; red didn't seem to have any advantage, and weeds would get under them, even if newly set up! Silver seemed to do a little better than black, maybe it reflects light to the plants? By the second year, however, much of the silver is worn off.
I did an experiment years ago before mites appeared here, where I grew cukes in both an EB & in a raised bed. The results were surprising--the ones in the EB were less green in color, sort of a watered down hue from the ground ones. The flavor from the ground was clearly superior.
That said, the yield from the EB was far better. I now plant peppers & eggplant in them now & need to only use 1 EB each to get more veggies than we can use. I plant at least 4 sometimes 6 to a box. I've also planted 1 eggplant & tomato together but the eggplants seem happier planted with their own kind. That's ok as I now plant 2 tomatoes in a box now.
I'd say the even watering & fertilizer for sure. EBs are hands down the best for peppers & eggplants in my garden, they love to grow in them.
I still grow tomatoes 3 ways--in ground, pots & EBs & will continue to do so as long as I can. But looking into the far (I hope) future, it'll be just EBs at the end, purely for the ease of them. When I can no longer haul heavy bags of soil amendments, manure, or make compost, or bend down, I'll have my EBs elevated so I'll always have tomatoes