2005 - 2010
My friend José helped me setup a 4 bucket (8 plant) hydroponic system which requires 4 individual water pumps plugged into a timer switch. With regular top-ups it was a very easy system to begin with. The problem was there wasn't enough room for the size of the plants and they suffered from bug infestation in August - the dreaded spider-mite!!! The resulting crop was very low in Tricones.
These buckets of water need a lot of maintenance and the plants are going through a lot of water. Since a lot of the water is lost through evaporation the concentration of nutrients in the bucket are quite hard to manage. There is also sun damage visible on one of the buckets so the system needs replacing every 4-5 years.
I have started to use soil now and the plants are a lot smaller. Obviously due to pot size but the resulting cropwas easier to manage and had far less problems with bug infestations. My dog JC just loves it in the garden.