From the dirt to our plate; the trials and realities of first-time farm ownership

God made dirt…Hydroponics Update


imageI’ve come to the conclusion that God made dirt for a reason.  He put seaweed in the sea and peppers in the ground.  Who am I to argue with that?!  I’m now entering my 3rd go at the hydroponics system and this time, there’s no water pump and plenty of added dirt.  In all actuality, it is no  longer a system growing with water but rather a really big planter with great drainage.


Much of the hydroponics grown plants died off while ones started in dirt at the same time flourished.  My ground cherries were sorely in need of some space…so space I gave them.  These beautiful plants were started at the time I started my chili peppers.  A bit too soon for the ground cherries but the peppers are right on track for early hoop house planting.


As I water my newly appointed non-hydroponics planter I have the added bonus of collecting drainage water .  The bottom tier  stores any water that may drain off the soil and pebble planter.  When I need to, I can simply use the drain hose already installed on the system.

Overall, the Mega Garden was a fun experiment but not one that exercised my green thumb.  From here on out, I’ll stick with getting dirt under my fingernails resulting in food on my plate.

2 Responses to “God made dirt…Hydroponics Update”

  1. Jungle Machines

    This is quite an informative post. Over at, we are trying to figure out ways to make hydroponics easier, and this caught my attention. What do you think would have changed your mind about growing without dirt?


    • Krislee Johnson

      I think the ease of dirt, for me, was much more reliable than the use of water and nutrients. In the MegaGarden system you were to replace the entire system’s water every so often which in my area is very inconvenient – we must use bottled water. Also, I felt the directions were not up to snuff…very poorly written. This fact alone does not help a novice such as myself to succeed. The only plants to thrive were green beans – everything else failed. In the end, a hydroponics system is not a set-up-and-forget-it system, it really does require time and knowledge. Perhaps with better understanding, things might have turned out better. For now, at least until I learn more or find the time to try the system again, I’m sticking with dirt. In the end, I simply craved a more productive outcome without as much monitoring. Even with stepping into the greenhouse and having to water my dirt-rooted plants, the final outcome felt more secure.



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