If you are wondering how to save water in a drought or dry season without giving up your ability to grow your own plants, Ollas might be the perfect solution. This age-old method for watering plants, is an efficient and effective way to keep your plants happy without wasting water. Bury your olla in your garden bed and fill it with water and your plants will take what they need by wicking water from the olla with their roots! Now that's one of the best garden ideas we've seen in a while!
New ollas come in 3 convenient sizes so you can choose what's best for your garden or raised bed. The small olla will water a 2-square-ft. area, the medium waters a 3-square-ft. area, and the large waters a 4-square-ft. area. These ollas do not come with lids, but you can easily use a rock as the openings are quite narrow--you can even paint a rock or use our handmade toadstool as a lid for a whimsical touch!
**PLEASE NOTE: Due to their size, weight and fragility, ollas do not qualify for free shipping.
What is an Olla and how does it work?
1.An OLLA is a terra cotta clay pot; it has been used as an irrigation system for thousands of years, from China to South America and was designed to save water.
2.The OLLA works by soil-moisture tension, which means the plants literally draw the water from the OLLA when needed.
3.Root development is enhanced by an OLLA, since the water is at root level and works around the clock.
4.Virtually no water is wasted in an OLLA, since there is no run off and no evaporation. This decreases water use by 50% to 70%, depending upon the plant.
5.An OLLA takes about 30 seconds to fill with a hose, and can go for 3 to 5 days without filling, depending on the weather.
6.When it rains, the OLLA sits idle. Plants are not flooded or over watered.
7.The clay is a specific combination of natural, organic materials, is fired, but not glazed, allowing for the best draw of water.
8.About 1/3 less liquid fertilizer is needed in an OLLA.
9.OLLAS were designed to irrigate entire gardens, which still works great! Our modern gardening of raised beds and containers match perfectly with the small GrowOya ollas.
10.Rain barrels work well with OLLAS.
11.An OLLA makes a great gift for birthdays, holidays, and for your favorite gardener. Not bad for a well formed lump of clay!
How to Use an Olla
1. Bury the Olla in soil leaving the neck exposed.
2. Plant seeds or plants within 18” from the next of the olla.
3. Fill the Olla with water and let it do the work.
The water slowly seeps through the unglazed porous clay, directly irrigating roots that will encircle the jar to absorb the moisture that's wicked out by the surrounding soil. As the soil dries out around the roots, it will pull more moisture from the olla watering your plants perfectly.
Ollas virtually eliminate the runoff and evaporation common in modern irrigation systems, allowing the plant to absorb nearly 100 percent of water. In places with water conservation ordinances, ollas can help maintain a steady flow of water to plants because they also reduce the frequency of watering.
Another great thing about ollas is that they reduce the splitting of melons, tomatoes, etc when there is too much rain. How? An empty or near empty olla will accept excess water from saturated soil if it's downhill. Put gravity to work for you.