While it's still too early to plant, I snuck in a little more prep work this weekend. In a very short period of time and with very little money invested, I made 4 ollas.
Why ollas? They are reputed to be simple, efficient, and effective for watering plants with minimal water waste and consumption. And they are super cheap to build! (And I am super cheap! And I love to conserve water!) So I decided to build a few to try them out. I hear that tomato plants really like ollas.
Because water seeps through the walls of an unglazed olla, these vessels can be used to irrigate plants. The olla is buried in the ground next to the roots of the plant to be irrigated, with the neck of the olla extending above the soil. The olla is filled with water, which gradually seeps into the soil to water the roots of the plant. It is an efficient method, since little water is lost to evaporation or run-off.
I need to go back and do a little sealing with some silicone - the one I tested leaks a bit. In the bottom photo you see $11 worth of pots.
Two four-inch pots, glue, and a plastic sour cream lid.
I used a cordless drill with a stone to quickly remove casting lips on the drain.
Be sure to cut your lid in a perfect circle like I did! I tried to cover the entire bottom surface so that water would only seep out the sides of the olla. Glue the plastic over the hole in the bottom.
Glue the pots together. I used duct tape to hold the glue in place while it dried.
What will I do different next time? I will skip the glue and go straight to a silicon product. I will probably purchase a bigger stone bit to open the hole on top of the olla a bit more so that it will be easier to pour water into the olla. I will keep you posted!
May we find simple ways to eat better, healthier, and cheaper.
Click this line to see last Mesquite Hugger post about ollas and a group in Albuquerque that makes some grogeous ollas to sell.