Make Your Own Olla

I’ve talked about irrigating your garden with clay pots before. You can use an unglazed terracotta pot called an olla, which you bury in the ground and fill with water. The water slowly seeps out the pore in the terracotta and is picked up by the roots of the plant.

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But ollas can cost $30 each, which adds up quickly when you are talking about watering an entire garden. However, you can make you own by gluing two terracotta pots together.

It looks like the project is fairly easy–seal the hole in one of the pots, glue them together with Gorilla Glue, then bury like you would a regular olla.

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Best of all, if you get your pots cheap enough, you save some money. In this case, the pots cost $1 each.

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2 thoughts on “Make Your Own Olla”

  1. This is a fantasic idea. I too was shocked at the price of ollas. Please allow me to expand on your idea. It looks like you used liquid nails or some other type of construction adhesive. I’m concerned about chemicals leaching into the soil from these products. I would be less concerned in my flower beds but in the veggie garden I want to be especially careful. I contacted a company called DAP who makes lots of different types of silicone adhesives. They said none of their products are recommended for “potable water systems” like ollas. DAP recommended DOW Corning 781 silicone which is safe for drinking water applications (no chemical leaching). Unfortunately it’s only sold in the UK not the US where I live. Another solution is to use plumbers epoxy which is made specifically for potable water applications. Anyway, thanks for the idea. Happy harvesting!

  2. If you want to go the silicone route, check your local aquarium store for silicone which is safe for aquarium sealant. If it won’t harm the fish, it won’t harm people.


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