yield Article - Increased Pepper Yields using Mulch

I would say that if you rest the styrene on top of the pot and not on top of the soil you would be just fine. The other thing is evergreen mulch would probably make the mix too acidic.

That's a great idea for the top, and will likely try it on my manzano containers this year. But the other challenge is how to use an entire styrofoam (cooler) container without it leaching chemicals into the plant. Personally i would line the inside with another material, or just go with something different altogether. Maybe some thick food grade plastic with holes cut out to match the holes in the container. I won't wrack my brain with it though.