Where do Ollitas come from?
In Prehispanic times was known as “Olladines irrigation”, but more recent references of their use during the colonial period, referring to the “Maíz de jarrito” sold in the markets, which was the result of irrigation with this technique. Besides saving water, farmers could get two crops a year instead of one. But the whole world, cultures of the desert regions have used this technique of irrigation for millennia. Researchers have also found pots used in China from over 2000 years ago.
How do they work?
The pot wets the earth around it, but since the water is taken up by the plant, the hydrostatic pressure in the soil decreases and the water continues seeping. When the soil around the pot becomes saturated, the flow of water out of the pot slows. This natural self-regulation mechanism is what makes Ollitas an extremely efficient watering system.
How do you use them?
1. Choose the right size depending on the diameter you want to water
Small: 17.5” - 19.5”
Medium: 19.5” - 21.5”
Large: 23.5” - 27.5”.2. Bury the Ollita leaving its neck out and fill it.
3. Water the soil surface only once and put the seeds or plants around.
4. Keep a lid to prevent mosquitos
5. Refill each 2 or 3 days.
Plants should be planted so as to form a living mulch that protects the topsoil from the sun, helping to save even more water.
Productivity in kg per 1000 liters of water
(Most popular watering/irrigation methods in Mexico)
Olla...............2.5 to 6 Kg
* Upper 75 % water savings
* Easy to implement
* Reduces the number of waterings
* No evaporation
* No runoff
* Supplies water directly to roots
* For herbs, vegetables and flowers
What is an Ollita Sol?
It's a terracotta pot, handmade with a special clay that allows water cep through, letting plant roots capture the water before it disappears into the earth through capillary action, translating into almost 100% of water absorbed by plant roots.
It's a tool for the slow release of water underground, minimizing loss from evaporation and spillage.
Very simple irrigation system