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olla pots

 
Posts: 128
Location: kent, washington
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the orchard site that my permaculture club is developing is trying to figure out how to water the plants since the site is so far from any water source. as the school will not let us use the pond right next to it,( they dont want to risk heavy metal contamination). we started researching different watering methods and came across olla pots.  this seems like a perfect way to water, so we are going to make our own pots.

anyone try this method?  if so is there a specific type of clay to use to make the pots?
 
gardener
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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DIY olla can be made from old school red clay pots.
Silicone a saucer over the top,flip it over,it a full hose into what used to be the drain hole,bury the pot,fill via irrigation lines.

That is the setup I have read about.
 
pollinator
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Location: Derbyshire, UK
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If it is a school do they have an arts class? I took my family's kids to a local pottery club and had them make my ollas- terracotta (I think stoneware), and the owner fired them cool enough that they would still be porous. I'm not saying they're all a perfect shape, but the kids liked making them!
 
trinda storey
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hi charli   yes it is the college i go to, i do workshops for  my club, i am planning on making olla pots into a workshop. i just need to know more about them but i am having a hard time finding information on them.
 
Charli Wilson
pollinator
Posts: 509
Location: Derbyshire, UK
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Cool!

There's some information here: https://www.permaculture.co.uk/videos/how-guide-olla-pots-%E2%80%93-effective-traditional-irrigation-system
and here: https://www.permaculture.co.uk/readers-solutions/clay-pot-irrigation-simple-adaptation-ancient-technique

We made traditional 'vase' shapes on the wheel. Where we didn't quite manage the shape (most of them!) we built them up with coils. Some terracotta, some white. And they were fired at a low temperature (I'm afraid I can't remember what, but I could possibly find out if you needed to know) to keep them porous. They're now buried in the pots in my greenhouse- they come out in winter to be dried out and live in the shed (so the frost doesn't crack them). I've been using them for quite a few years now.
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