Ollas: Throwback to Old Gardening Ways

with 2 comments

in.gredients' Shayla Sander helping Allison Elementary plant an olla in their school garden.

The ancient practice of olla irrigation is one of the best water-conscious methods to water your garden – and perfect for gardeners who can’t water frequently.

First introduced in North America by Spanish colonists and later adopted by Native Americans, an olla‘s a large, unglazed terra cotta pot. When buried underground and filled with water, the olla slowly releases water into the soil, feeding plant roots within a 2-3′ radius of the pot.

If used correctly, 100 percent of olla irrigation water’s absorbed by your plants, and your plants’ roots will proliferate around the moist clay jar – making hand-watering a thing of the past.

Austinites, if you’re interested in ollas – check out Dripping Springs Ollas. We have ’em here at the store and in the school garden’s we’re sponsoring. They’re fantastic!

The olla, planted! A ceramic lid sits on top to keep bugs out.

Written by Brian Nunnery

May 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Community

Tagged with , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Love this! We’ve had a few Olla Clay pot irrigation classes on our site in Ann Arbor, MI ( and I’d love to see more of this here in Austin! Great stuff!


    May 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm

  2. It is great seeing our youth learning sound gardening skills such as water conservation and using a green product. Learning to grow the food they eat will be a life long skill!

    Mary Kathryn

    November 28, 2012 at 4:23 am

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