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Olla Clay Pot Irrigation

Conserve water, grow a more productive garden and take the guesswork out of watering your plants with clay pot irrigation also known as Olla irrigation.

You can purchase Olla pots like these from a variety of online sources. Or create your own from unglazed terra cotta pots. Just plug the drainage hole with a rubber cork like I’ve used here, mounting putty or other waterproof material.  Test to make sure the seal is watertight before installing. 

Bury unglazed clay pots in the garden between rows or blocks of plants. Leave just the lip of the pot exposed and fill with water. Cover the opening with a saucer to keep out dirt, bugs and mosquitoes.

Water moves through the clay pot walls into the surrounding soil as needed.  This provides water directly to the soil where plant roots grow, so less water is lost to evaporation and run off.

A bit more information: Those gardening in cold climates will need to remove the clay pots when you do your fall cleanup. Since the clay pots absorb water and water expands when it freezes the pots will crack in cold weather.

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