clay pot irrigation


Garden Irrigation with Ollas

Ollas are an unglazed terracotta vessel that traditionally resembles a bulbous vase with a tight neck. The vessel is filled with water then buried in the soil. The water slowly and gently releases through the porous clay to hydrate the plant.

Super bummed out we couldn’t find a pottery studio to make our own, so I’m experimenting with some ~8in high terracotta pots that should serve the same purpose. Protip: reuse wine corks to plug up the drainage hole. I bought matching lids to cover the pots to prevent mosquito infestations and reduce evaporation.

So far so good. I’m only testing on the gardening box that receives the most intense amount of sunlight. The water levels were almost completely drained at 7 days with temperature ranging for 30F to 60F in the past week. I’m sure the water level will go faster in the summer, but at least this means I can take a few days of vacation and not panic. The drawback to my vessels is that it does take away a bit of surface planting space.

I’ll probably do an update this summer to see how things hold up!


Clay pot irrigated hugel spiral update.

I’ve added a few things on the spiral and around since the last post.

I was given a pluot tree that has some pest causing resiny sap to exude from various areas. I am hoping by heavy mulching and watering frequently I can strengthen the tree to repel the threat itself.

If it survives it will be the one I’d be after. Anything else is a weaker specimen and therefore has no place in a fully developed food forest. Nature culls the herd very efficiently and there is little we can do sometimes to mitigate the effects.