I still can’t get over the simple beauty of these clay pots, they just look so lovely all together with the shadows playing off their curvaceous sides.
We’ve been using this simple, yet effective clay pot irrigation system throughout the garden and even making “self watering pots” for the last three or so years. I have written many a blog post and shared many photos of how we go about using ollas in the garden. In our observation we have found that the plants are healthier, less stressed which means less disease and extended growing season.
With the looming water crisis here in So Cal we feel that a little investment now will pay off in the future. Now if only we had room for a load of clay and a kiln and we’d be in business!
Care to share your ollas “growing” observations, blog posts etc?
The buried clay pot or pitcher method of irrigation is one of the most efficient systems known and is ideal for gardeners and small farmers. Buried clay pot irrigation uses a buried, unglazed clay pot filled with water to provide controlled irrigation to plants as the water seeps out through the clay wall at a rate that is influenced by the plant’s water use.
This leads to very high efficiency–considerably better than drip irrigation and many times better than conventional surface irrigation.
When should you use clay pots?
Buried clay pot irrigation should be considered wherever water conservation is important. It will probably continue to prove most valuable for producing high value crops in dry lands. Buried clay pot irrigation is also valuable for food production and revegetation of areas affected by salinity or where only saline water is available for irrigation.
Buried clay pot irrigation is also valuable for gardening, landscaping, and growing plants in containers. It can be very effective for plants that are prone to diseases from over watering or wetting leaves by sprinkling. It could also be of commercial value for many situations encountered in landscaping, gardening, and plant propagation.
The Fan Sheng-chih Shu (the first agricultural science text book) describes the use of buried clay pot irrigation in China more than 2,000 years ago. It is likely buried clay pot irrigation had been used for many decades or centuries before this description was published. Current practices remain much the same.
—-writings courtesy of David A. Bainbridge
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