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ollas vs wicking beds

 
Joseph Johnson
Posts: 108
Location: Sierra Blanca, TX
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Which would you recommend for zone 7b and why?
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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There you go again talking like the zone is a determining factor Joseph [I'm also zone 7b after all, but the difference is massive.]

The biggest thing is your soil. Ollas work great in clay soil, not so great in sandy soil.

Bear in mind you do have to protect the mouth/neck of the ollas, from evaporation in summer and freezing in winter.
 
Joseph Johnson
Posts: 108
Location: Sierra Blanca, TX
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:There you go again talking like the zone is a determining factor Joseph


How should I express this? When I look at seeds they all refer to zones. Arid doesn't really do it. desert? not the Sahara lol. There just doesn't seem to be a universal method. Texas is varied. I don't think I am considered SW Texas.
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Best way to do it is probably your temperature extremes and rainfall.

But there's no standardized method.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9435
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I would try both and see what works best, but I'm guessing the wicking bed will work better. Purchased ollas are expensive, but you can make your own from clay pots glued together.

http://suburbanfarmonline.com/2010/08/09/make-your-own-ollas/

Abe Connally, who lives in the Chihuahuan desert, uses wicking beds: http://velacreations.com/howto/wicking-bed/
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1213
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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forest garden trees urban
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I think making an olla to be pretty fussy and time consuming compared to building a wicking bed,and buying them is cost prohibitive.
I build all of my beds anyway, but mostly use wicking in my 5 to 55 gallon sub irrigated planters. The beds are lasagna hugel mashups that hold lots of water.
They might work in Texas , only below ground.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9435
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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And if you're going to irrigate, I advise cultivating the smallest amount of space, so look into small-space/high-yield techniques such as Squarefoot or Biointensive. I sort of refer to Biointensive techniques except I don't make compost heaps and I don't double-dig. I dug out all my beds once and put in buried wood, but now I don't dig them - a couple seemed a little compacted so I loosened them with a broadfork (the wood is far enough down it didn't seem to interfere).

http://www.growbiointensive.org/
 
2017 Appropriate Technology Course at Wheaton Labs http://richsoil.com/pdc
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