Welcome to the world of OLLAs! An OLLA is not your average clay pot. It’s a clay pot irrigation gem that takes watering to a whole new level!

Imagine 2.9 gallons/11 liters/46 cups of water ready and waiting to grow your plants. That’s the size of our Large OLLA!

Or, 1.5 quarts/1.6 liters/6 cups of water ready to bring to life a smaller space in a container our for shallow rooted plants. That’s our Medium Ollita Olla. Heres what you do….

Bury your OLLA neck-deep in the ground or container, fill it with water, and plant around it….let the magic happen. The roots of your plants will gravitate towards this water source, taking what they need, when they need it. This conserves up to 70% in water, compared to topical watering. For our large 2.9 gal/11 liter/ 46 cup OLLA, that’s a lot of water saved!

How does it work? It’s all about soil moisture tension! When the soil is dry, our OLLAs release water, quenching the thirst of the plants. And when the soil is moist, our OLLA knows to hold back, conserving water like a pro. We could call that NI (natural intelligence!). Not all ollas work the same. Our clay is known for its strength and porosity, due to the clay source, the Baja Peninsula. Time tested for over a decade, gardeners come back to Dripping Springs Ollas! And commercial sizes are a bit random. Our Large was the largest when we started, now, over 10 years later, it would be better labeled XXLarge.

OLLA irrigation has stood the test of time, in history too, spanning back thousands of years. It’s an ancient technique that connects us to our gardening ancestors and brings sustainable hydration to our modern gardens.

So, get ready to revolutionize your watering routine with our remarkable OLLA! Your plants will thank you, and you’ll free up watering time every week!

Let’s dive into the fascinating world of OLLA irrigation!

OLLA’s secret lies in its unglazed, porous clay material. When you fill our OLLA with water, something magical happens. The water seeps through the very small pores of the walls of the pot, driven by the phenomenon known as Soil Moisture Tension (SMT). It’s like a dance between the soil and our OLLA! And since not all clay is created equal, feel comforted that our OLLAS have over 11 years of experience.

Here’s how SMT works: When the soil gets dry, and our OLLA is wet, there is tension between the wet OLLA and the dry soil, so our OLLA releases water to even out the tension, thus quench the plants’ thirst. But when the soil is already moist, our OLLA knows to hold back (no tension there) and conserves that precious H2O. It’s a supply and demand system at its finest! The porosity of the clay makes a difference. Some terra-cotta pots are meant to hold water in (think big box store) where as our OLLA is meant to let water out.

As your plants grow, their roots will naturally gravitate towards our OLLA, creating a cozy embrace. It’s like a plant-hug party down there! This close proximity allows for even and consistent watering, ensuring your plants are never over or under watered. It’s a win-win for both you and your leafy pals!

And here’s a bonus perk: If our OLLA is only partially filled and there’s a heavy rainfall, gravity comes to the rescue. The excess water will flow back into the OLLA. This drops the water table around our OLLA, which in turn reduces the risk of the splitting of fruits/veggies, like juicy tomatoes and melons. Talk about smart irrigation!

With our OLLA, you can bid farewell to the woes of overwatering and under watering. Say hello to a harmonious hydration dance between your plants and their trusty OLLA companion

Let me count the ways! Here are some stellar reasons to embrace the magic of OLLA irrigation:

  1. If your water use is restricted, our OLLA comes to the rescue! It’s a water-saving superhero, saving up to 70% in use, compared to watering above ground.
  2. Say goodbye to daily watering routines! With our OLLA, you can water less often and save valuable time. How often? Fill every 3-10 days, depending on rainfall, soil, number of plants, and mulch.
  3. Calling all container gardeners! Our OLLA is your secret weapon for thriving plants in limited spaces.
  4. Got a tricky spot with scorching sun all day? Our OLLA can handle it like a champ. It’s perfect for hard-to-reach or challenging-to-irrigate areas.
  5. Life gets busy, and watering can slip our minds. Fear not! Our OLLA has your back, even when you’re away. No more plant-parent guilt during travels or busy schedules. During those long trips, watering is so easy, you could hire a child to fill an OLLA!
  6. Weeding is a hassle, but our OLLA makes it a breeze. By watering directly at the root level, it keeps those topside weed seeds dry and barren.
  7. Say hello to healthier plants and bountiful harvests! Our OLLAS deliver water precisely where plants need it most—at the root level—for optimal growth and abundant veggies.
  8. Schools and community gardens with limited water access, rejoice! Our OLLA is your ally in nurturing green spaces with efficiency and care.
  9. Join the eco-conscious gang! Our OLLA helps reduce your carbon footprint, making your gardening journey kinder to the planet we call home.

So, whether you’re a water-saving warrior, a time-strapped gardener, or an eco-champion, our OLLA is here to transform your gardening experience. It’s time to tap into the power of OLLA irrigation and witness the wonders it brings to your green sanctuary.

Unlock the magic of OLLA irrigation and take your gardening to new heights! Here’s how to make the most of your OLLA:

Choose plant: OLLAs are versatile and can be used for vegetable gardens, flower gardens, tree saplings, berry bushes, and more. If it needs water to grow, our OLLA has got your back. Check out our Gallery to see how fellow gardeners are using their OLLAs.

Space between OLLAs: it’s all about finding the sweet spot. The distance between your OLLAs will depend on factors like plant selection (for example, tomatoes need more room at harvest than peppers), soil type (denser soil, like clay, water out less distance) and temperature (which influences evaporation). As a general rule, aim for 18-24 inches from the center of the Large (2.9 gallons/11 liters/46 cups) OLLA and 10-12 inches from the center of the Medium (1.5 quarts/1.6 liters/6 cups) Ollita.

This creates a watering zone with a diameter of 36″-48″ for the Largest OLLA and 20″-24″ for the Medium Ollita.

Remember, every plant has its preferences. Larger plants, like tomatoes, thrive when placed near the edge of the wetting area. Smaller plants with a shallower root system, on the other hand, can cozy up right next to the OLLA’s neck. Feel free to experiment and let your intuition guide you.

We’ve got your back every step of the way. If you have questions or need guidance, our team is here to help. So don’t hesitate to reach out and share your OLLA journey with us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Together, let’s make your garden flourish with the power of OLLA irrigation!

Nope, no plant parties inside the OLLA! It’s strictly a water-filled VIP zone underground. Your plants prefer to show off their moves above ground, so let’s keep them out of the pot and let our OLLA do its watery magic from below. It’s like having a secret hydration superhero working its wonders while your plants rock the garden catwalk. So, remember: plants outside, OLLA water inside. It’s a match made in gardening heaven!

We have OLLAS in 2 sizes, to meet your watering needs!

Our Large OLLA really should be called XXLarge!

It is a mighty 13″ tall with a 11″ diameter, holding an impressive
2.9 gallons/11 liters/ 46 cups of water.

It’s the big KaPOW of hydration!

And introducing our newest addition.

Our Medium “Ollita” is 9 1/2 inches tall and 5 1/2 inches wide.

This little gem holds 1.5 quarts/6 cups/1.6 liters of water, making it 50% bigger than our previous medium Happy Face Olla (now retired). Thanks to its wider neck, it’s got more room to quench your plants’ thirst and is easy to check.

Large or medium, we’ve got the perfect OLLA for your garden!

Let’s unravel the watering mysteries and find the perfect balance!

We’ve got a few factors to consider, my gardening friend:

  • First, allow for the individual watering needs of your plants. They each have their own hydration preferences, just like our taste buds crave different flavors!
  • Second, the type of soil also plays a role. Is it sandy and thirsty, or clayey and moisture-retaining? Let’s understand its personality to meet its water desires!
  • Third, Ah, temperature, the weather wizard! Hot days might make our plants gulp water like marathon runners, while cooler days might slow them down to mere sips.
  • And Finally, Rainfall, the whimsical performer in this hydration dance. It can shower abundantly or tease us with a drizzle, affecting our watering routine.

And don’t forget, our OLLAS are unique handmade wonders, each with its own subtle variations. Just like people, they have their special traits that make them even more charming! After all, each of our OLLAS are hand crafted by 5th generation potters!

Now, here’s a watering guide for your OLLAS: Play it safe and fill them up twice a week. However, if your area receives around 30 inches of rain annually, you can take a break for 5-7 days before refilling, sometimes up to 10 days, if you get rain.

A suggestion: If you use mulch (which is strongly advised), AND your area receives some rainfall each month, try stretching out the time between filling the olla, letting it be empty for 24 hours or so. Why? Plant roots are very adaptable and will become more efficient (grow more roots) if they need to. So let the olla dry a little, and then fill it. Don’t let the plants droop, that too stressful, but do try this and help those roots do their thing!

Remember, my green-thumb comrade, observe, learn, and trust your instincts. Your OLLA watering routine will find its rhythm, perfectly syncing with your garden’s needs. Let’s quench those plant thirsts while enjoying the rhythmic harmony of hydration!

Let’s dig into the details!

Aim for 2 inches of the OLLA’s neck above ground. It’s like a fashionable collar to keep the soil and mulch at bay! Watch the Intro Video on the Home Page for a show and tell.

By leaving a little neck exposed, your OLLA can work its magic while flaunting its unique design. It’s like giving your plants a fashionable accessory!

So grab your shovel and get ready to create a buried treasure in your garden. Just remember, 2 inches is the magic number for OLLA perfection! Happy planting!

Let’s explore the possibilities!

The OLLA is a versatile companion for all your green dreams. From vibrant vegetables to beautiful flowers, the OLLA has got you covered. (Check out our Gallery Tab on the Home page to see what other gardeners are doing.) But wait, there’s more! If you have a new tree or shrub, placing an OLLA by its side will provide the extra hydration it needs during that crucial first year. It’s like giving your plant a helping hand as it makes roots and thrives.

After a year of growth, you can dig up the OLLA and relocate it to another plant. (Watch our YouTube video on digging up an olla.) This flexibility allows you to adapt and nurture different plants over time. Remember, your local nursery can provide expert advice on root growth and help you make the most of your OLLA journey.

So, whether it’s leafy greens, blooming flowers, or majestic trees, our OLLA is your trusty partner in plant happiness. Embrace the magic of OLLA irrigation and watch your garden flourish!

Let’s uncover the truth!

The answer is a mostly “No!” with a few simple preparations. Our OLLAS are built to withstand the frosty seasons, thanks to their sturdy walls, but they are terra-cotta, and like all of nature, they have some limitations.

Just picture it: our Large OLLA, in the Canadian winter, Maryland chill, Virginia frost, Utah snow, and beyond. It’s a testament to their durability! However, every region has its own unique climate, so it’s always wise to rely on personal experience and common sense.

To keep your OLLA winter-ready, follow these 3 easy steps:

FIRST, 14 days before your first frost, ensure that the OLLAS are completely empty. No water should be lingering inside. If Mother Nature provides the water (rain), let it be.

SECOND, give your OLLA a cozy lid. A sprinkle of straw and an inverted bucket will do the trick, shielding it from the elements, if your winters are harsh.

THIRD, pay attention to your specific location. If your area is prone to rapid freezing temperatures after heavy rains, we recommend digging up your OLLAS for winter and storing them in a dry spot. It’s like giving them a well-deserved winter retreat. (Watch our YouTube video on digging up an olla.)

Remember, OLLAS are resilient, but it’s always good to adapt to your surroundings. With a little preparation and thoughtfulness, your OLLAS will be ready to conquer another winter and emerge victorious in spring!

The lid of our OLLA is like a shield of protection, for the olla!

Frog stuck in olla with water

First off, it’s an evaporation blocker. No more losing water to the scorching sun, ensuring that your plants get a steady and consistent supply of hydration.

Second, the lid also acts as a bouncer, keeping out unwanted guests. Say goodbye to buzzing mosquitoes, slimy slugs, and pesky dirt and debris. Your OLLA becomes an exclusive club for your plants to enjoy, free from unwanted intruders.

So, when you see that lid on your OLLA, give it a nod of appreciation. It’s the guardian of hydration and the defender against garden troublemakers.

Keep your OLLA’s lid securely in place, and watch your plants flourish with gratitude. It’s a simple yet powerful!

Once you’ve planted seeds in the ground, it’s important to provide some topical water to help them get started. Think of it as a warm welcome to their new home.

Once those roots are firmly established, it’s time to give your OLLA the reins. Sit back, relax, and let the magic happen. Your OLLA will work its wonders, delivering the perfect amount of water directly to the roots.

So, while your new plants find their footing, give them a little sprinkle of love. And soon enough, they’ll be flourishing with the help of your trusty OLLA.

With a little tender love and care, your OLLA will withstand the test of time! The majority of breakage is from shovels and dropping the olla. Remember, if you accidentally drop it, move your feet!

Occasionally, things like leaves or light debris may find their way into your OLLA. No worries! Simply fill it with water, and as the items float up, give it a gentle swish to clear them out. It’s like a little dance party for your OLLA!

Cleaning an olla on its side

If by chance, a bit more dirt has accidentally made its way inside (it happens to the best of us), don’t fret. Just dig up your OLLA, (See our YouTube video on digging up an olla), then tilt it on its side, and give it a good spray with the hose. If necessary, use a new toilet brush to really give it a swish inside. Then hose that dirt right out.

And for those whose water is rich in minerals, a little vinegar bath does the trick. Dig up the OLLA. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, and pour it into your OLLA. Let it sit for a few hours to a day. Low humidity needs less time to pull the mixture through the olla wall. High humidity takes longer.

Then, give it a scrub Inside and out to remove any debris.

Fill it again with plain water, and let it sit equally as long as with the vinegar mixture.

With these simple steps, your OLLA will continue to serve you and your plants for many years to come. It’s a long-lasting partnership that’s built to thrive!

So, give your OLLA a little TLC and watch it work its wonders in your garden. Here’s to many fruitful seasons ahead!

Where can I Buy An OLLA?

You can buy our OLLAs online and at retailers that carry Dripping Springs Ollas.

Click our FIND A RETAILER tab to get started.

Put your city name in the search box and hit return. The retailers near you will populate. You may have to hit the negative key “-“, to broaden the search.

Online dealers are listed next to the search map.

Click on the online dealer to link to their website.

Thank you for trusting your garden to Dripping Springs Ollas!

Happy Gardening!

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What is an OLLA?

An OLLA is a clay pot used for irrigation. It is buried in the ground or container neck deep and filled with water to supply water to surrounding plants. The roots will grow towards and around the pot. The process works by soil moisture tension: when the soil is dry, the water is pulled out, when the soil is moist, water stays in the OLLA. OLLA irrigation has been used for thousands of years.

Find a Retailer Near You!

Are you the first in your area to learn about OLLAS? Speak to your favorite retailer about us, let us know. If they order, you'll get a free OLLA on their pallet.