Last year, I bought some fancy Rootmaker RootTrapper II bags, the ones with the white outer coating and a short band of uncovered material at the base for improved drainage and aeration. I wanted to experiment with a wicking system using nylon rope. It kind of worked, but there was a problem with inconsistency in the water uptake. This year, I will be putting in a larger feed pipe, more closely resembling a raingutter wicking system (using large diameter pvc pipe), but retaining the nylon rope, rather than using net pots. My son and I put together a potting mix using expanded shale, rather than perlite or vermiculite, because I don't like it when those float. I can source the expanded shale locally without any problem, other markets might be more difficult and expensive. I also mulched the surface of the bags with a half-inch(ish) layer of shale to keep evaporation to a minimum.
One serious glitch was that someone in the neighborhood sprayed an herbicide that almost killed all our transplants, about a month into the season. Most of the plants recovered, but they were not happy and it put them behind a few weeks. I am not a fan of suburban spraying services. They apply chemicals indiscriminately and without regard to conditions -- and they are largely unregulated, so they don't really care.
I have had flower pots near the front entry for many years and had always intended to use pebble mulch and pot trays to conserve water. Their placement puts them in the shade in the morning then the full afternoon sun. This necessitated frequent and deep watering. I had considered a wicking system, but it would have been complex. I had noticed that the few pots that had trays retained moisture much longer. Sure enough, combining the trays and decorative pebble mulch made a big difference last Summer. No more afternoon wilt and watering was down to a couple of times a week. I put pebbles in the exposed part of the trays to keep mosquitos from breeding in them, and keep the evaporation down there as well. The pebbles were for show, I used shale in the back garden.
The reason I have gone with container gardening is that my soil is terrible, a sand and silt mix that hardens like concrete when it dries, and it is expensive to fix it. It is excellent soil, if you keep it wet and soft. Water is very expensive here, so that is not a viable option. There is not enough biomass in the yard to mulch, and I don't like getting wood chips from the county because it can inoculate the yard with whatever died and found its way to the landfill (a neighbor started bringing in wood chip mulch and inoculated his pine trees with a parasite that slowly kills them. It quickly spread and I have lost four large Austrian pine so far. After informing us that our trees were infected, he graciously offered to treat them at $200 each, per year), that, and rats love wood chip and leaf mulch. Pebble mulch can get pricey when applied to large areas, and the labor of moving it around is beyond my capabilities now.
I did see someone on YouTube who sewed his own root trapping bags from floor underlayment (sealed on one side). I don't know as it would be cost effective for everyone, but if you are handy with that sort of thing, have at it.
If I were physically capable, I could have dug holes or trenches and filled them with potting mix, covered them with stone mulch and put in a drip/soaking system. Plenty of permiesish options for the physically fit.