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Ollas: terracotta irrigation done cheap



I had a section of garden that I needed to irrigate but I didn't want to extend the "leaky' hose system I have installed for my vegetable growing. 

Reasons?: cost and convenience.

So I got myself some terracotta wine coolers instead.

Tip: drink the wine first. 

Unglazed Terracotta 'leaks' -- it sweats water because the clay remains porous:

Porous terracotta  pots buried under the soil slowly seep out water under the pressure of  gravity, keeping the soil moist and providing  ongoing local irrigation. These buried terracotta chambers are called Ollas or 'wetpots'.

It's an efficient and convenient method of watering. Since terracotta pots aren't so cheap nowadays I went shopping at local Op shops for unglazed wine coolers instead. I picked up 6 in a couple of hours op-shop shopping. The wine coolers don't require any adjustments before they can be put to use: no holes need filling or saucers glued into place. 

Just bury them and top with a lid (saucer, tile, rock or whatever).

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Comment by Pollyanna on March 21, 2013 at 13:49
While I knew about ollas, it didn't occur to me to use another unglazed ceramic vessel and simply cover the too wide mouth. Doh! (slaps forehead). Looks like a good way to utilise some of the terracotta pots I've given up planting in. Some of the more decorative ones are worth sealing, but it would be a great use of the uglier and/or chipped ones.
Comment by Jane on June 8, 2012 at 16:59

Great idea, will lookout for the wine coolers.

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