When Mary Kathyrn Dunston with Dripping Springs Ollas reached out to me to try her Ollas in my garden, the first thing I thought was “what is an Olla” ?
Ollas are unglazed, porous, terracotta pots placed near the roots of a plant to provide irrigation as needed. They are perfect for containers, and several can be used in a raised bed. If you go away for a few days, you don’t have to worry about watering.
- It is best to first bury the Olla up to it’s neck into the ground, then place your plants around it. As the soil dries out, it will draw the water out from the olla.
- Fill it with water. The large Ollas hold about 2 gallons of water, and the smaller ones about a quart. According to the amount of rain you get, it may need to be filled 1-2 times a week.
Ollas come in many sizes and shapes, but when Mary Kathyrn offered to let me pick, I had to choose his quirky smiley face one.
I have raised bed gardens, but knew this one olla would not be enough. However, I have one raised bed with two tomato plants. One of the large ollas would work great buried in between the two plants.
My patio gets direct sun most of the day and I have several big pots that require almost daily watering unless we get a rain. He was perfect for my pot of portucula, or moss rose in a big terracotta pot.
I had just place two plants in the pot, so there was plenty of room to place it at the back since it had not grown out. Technically, you probably should bury the olla, then put your plant in around it to prevent damaging the roots. I buried it to the neck as instructed, and filled it with about a quart of water, placing the top back on. You want to keep the top on to prevent debri from falling in it, and to prevent it from being used as a mosquito breeding ground. We had a couple of good rainstorms, so when I checked it in a couple of days, it didn’t need refilling. After experiencing a week of 90+ degree, hot humid weather, I rechecked it. Normally, I would have watered daily, but I saw that the flowers were opening every day, and were not wilted. The soil on the surface was not visually wet, but when I looked inside, I could not see any water, and refilled with about 3 cups of water. So, it was working.
Now comes the honesty part. The Olla worked, and I will purchase more for a couple of my other containers. But not the quirky little smiley face one. He was too cute to be buried in the ground. No one can see him! So out he came, I cleaned him off, and he has become garden decor in my container of moss rose. If you want a great present for your gardening friend, be sure and visit Dripping Springs Ollas and order one.
These are the reasons I recommend Dripping Springs Ollas:
- They work! They are great for when you go away for a few days and can’t water your containers. Or you just don’t want to have to water every day.
- It is a local, woman owned business.
- Made in North America
- Natural material
- The company gives back part of their profit to worthy causes
You can’t buy directly from the website, but can buy from the following links. (I am not an affiliate of either of these companies, but I did receive my free Olla for trying it out and writing about it.) Just click on the link below or go directly to Dripping Springs Ollas. There is lots of information videos etc. for more info on using ollas in the garden.
*pictures sourced from Lehmans also
*pictures sourced from Territorial seeds also
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