Clay Pot Olla (oy yah) Irrigation
Conserve water and take the guesswork out of watering your plants with clay pot irrigation.
Unglazed clay pots are buried in the garden with just the neck of the pot exposed, filled with water and the opening covered. Water moves through the clay pot into the surrounding soil as needed. This method, also called olla irrigation, provides water directly to the soil where plant roots grow. Plus, less water is lost to evaporation and run off.
You can purchase Olla pots or create your own from unglazed terra cotta pots. Just plug the drainage hole with a cork, mounting putty or other waterproof material. Test to make sure the seal is watertight before installing. Sink the pot into the ground leaving about an inch above the soil surface. Fill with water and cover the opening to prevent water from evaporating and to keep out dirt, bugs and mosquitoes.
A bit more information: This watering method has been used for over 4,000 years and thought to have originated in northern Africa. It has made a big comeback with home gardeners and small-scale farmers.
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Wisconsin State Fair
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Mequon Nature Preserve