Make an olla

Posted in: Gardening by Janet Manning Published: 1 June 2023

Here’s a simple and ingenious way to save on watering, which has stood the test of time and enables plants to take the water they need.

A terracotta olla (spanish for pot) is an ancient way of storing water in the soil for plants to absorb. The plants only take what they need, and there is no water or nutrients lost.

Here’s how it’s done. Block the drainage hole in a terracotta pot, bury the pot up to its rim in the soil next to plants you want to keep watered and fill it with water.

Place a saucer over the top like a lid to stop evaporation or wildlife falling in.

As the surrounding soil dries, water is slowly drawn through the terracotta. Just keep an eye on when the pot needs topping up.