Thanks for all your help!
Finally have it done for the most part. Still need another dozen paper clips and to build the racks for them, but the plants are in. Was a lot more learning, work, time and money than I was expecting when I first came up with the idea.
After 4 days of sitting mostly full of mix and full of water, the mix was damp but not up to wet or moist. I did end up pulling the mix I put in dry at first and hydrated it in a wheel barrow with a shovel. Was kind of counter intuitive to put in the fertilizer strip.... just seemed like tooooooo much. After a lot of reading I went with 2 cups of really low NPK rose fertilizer mixed with a loose 1.5 quarts of vermicast.
Would post a pic, but there isn't much to look at.... some black plastic mulch stretched over some totes. Half of them are bare root Albions so next to nothing is really showing and the other half are plants out of last years window box failure. Picked the plants which had the best single crowns. Those were fun to get through the little "X"s in the black plastic!
Will post a pic or two when the start showing some decent signs of life, assuming I didn't botch the whole project too badly.
One thing that amazed me about the last years window boxes (3 1/2' long, I think) was how very root bound the 6 plants were.... literally one massive, tangled up root structure the size and shape of the box with a little soil mixed in. No wonder the things stalled out half way through the season.
Again, thanks for all your help!