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helwen: (Due Consideration)
[personal profile] helwen
A method used in dry places for watering plants with minimal water loss. The most popular searches bring up the terracotta pots (olla pots), from South America I think, but the method goes back to BCE times in China. And of course there's permaculture sites that talk about it as well.

The olla pots are not cheap. Even regular terracotta pots are not inexpensive, but sometimes you can find them at transfer points/dumps. Or look at the garden center for chipped ones -- they're going to be underground so who care what they look like? I've also found sites where people used regular pots and put the pot plate on top of the pot (just make sure there's a small hole in the plate), and sites where people caulked two pots together. Your local Freecycle may be a place to look for terracotta pots as well.

Water needs to be able to pass through the sides of the pot, so no plastic or glazed pots. Although I did notice that some people paint part of the pots sometimes - to direct the water flow I'm guessing.

I'm trying out a small pot in one of my pots, just because it worked out that I had space in a pot to do that yesterday. Didn't have a clay pot plate to use as a cover, so cluged a cover with an old CD and some Gorilla tape.

Plants still have to be watered, via the pots, but the release of water is more regular and if the pots are appropriately sized one shouldn't have to water as often.

Some sites for more info:

Info and diagrams and stuff:
http://tipnut.com/garden-irrigation/

The pretty version of pots but has decent photos of the process:
http://urbanhomestead.org/using-ollas/

Picture of pot with potplate: https://myfolia.com/journals/102148-completed-clay-pot-water-jar-irrigation-system
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