So one does what ancient civilizations do.
No. Not human sacrifice.
Now. Before you start Googling ollas, let me give you a little info on these clay miracle workers.
Ollas, pronounced “oh-YAHS” not “oh-LAHS” are unglazed clay pots with a long neck. The premise is simple: Bury the olla near your plants and fill with water. The unglazed clay seeps water into your soil, sending the perfect amount of moisture to your plants.
At $18-$25 a pop, they’re just a bit out of my price range. So… I decided to make my own.
How to Make a Homemade Olla
- Unglazed clay pots
- Unglazed clay saucers
- Glass beads
- Gorilla Glue
- Silicone Caulk
1. I went for the 4″ x 6″ clay pots. For the double pot olla, buy two clay saucers that are just big enough to cover the bottom. For the single pot olla, buy a clay pot big enough to cover the top of the pot.
2. Wipe your clay pots clean with a damp sponge and let dry.
3. Very carefully–because this stuff is dangerous–put glue on the top lip of the clay pot.
For the single pot, place the pot on the saucer on the glue and let dry.
For the double pot, balance another clay pot on the first as shown in the picture and let dry.
Glue a small saucer to the bottom of the double olla. This will keep water the water in.
4. Decorate your olla tops. The top will help prevent water from evaporating on those hot days.
5. Time to caulk, baby.
A damp sponge will go a long ways towards smoothing out any mistakes.
Let the caulk harden.
(Get your minds out of the gutter.)
When it’s hard (stop), fill with water and check for leaks. If you find any seepage, fill with caulk. (Seriously. Stop giggling.)
6. Sink your olla in your garden between plants. Fill with water and top with your decorative topper. Keep checking your olla to be sure that it has water in it. The roots of your plants will eventually go towards the olla, seeking moisture.
Now if this all works the way it should, your watering costs will go down, you can actually put fertilizer directly into the pots and on days when the temps reach 115, there a smaller chance that your plants will die a dry and dusty death. And by making my own, it only cost me around $3 each.
Win. Win. Win. Big win.