Making Clay Pot Ollas to Irrigate My Garden

Making Clay Pot Ollas to Irrigate My Garden

IMG_4434[1]Two years after first hearing about using clay pot irrigation to conserve water in my community garden, I finally had the opportunity to learn hands on how to make them myself.   Syd Uphoff, the gardener who first introduced this concept to Rosedale Community Gardener in 2012 agreed to show me how to do it myself.   We met this morning at his home and after an hour, I am now ready to roll.

Syd had all the supplies ready:  terracotta pots (6-8 inch), sand paper, silicon caulk #1, 1.5 inch tiles, a sunny bench and non latex gloves.   The cost of making one pot is very low — approximately 3 dollars.   We completed several steps today and after drying, will complete the final steps tomorrow.

IMG_4435[1]Step One:  Sand the circular hole in the bottom and the bottom of the pot.

Step Two:  Spread silicon caulk around the hold in the inside of the pot.   Spread from the center to about 1/2 around.

Step Three:  Gently place 1.5 inch tile on top of caulk and gentle jiggle.   Don’t push down.

IMG_4436[1]Step Four:  Spread bead of caulk around top edge of the pot and make sure to catch the outer edge.

Step Five:  Invert second prepared pot (no tile covering the bottom hole!) and place on caulked rim.   Match up edges and flatten caulk around outer seam.

24 hours later:

Step Six:  Add another layer of caulk to cover seam between two poIMG_4439[1]
ts.   Spread with finger — gloves come in handy here.

Step Seven:  Fill hole above tile on the outside of the pot with caulk and spread around the entire bottom of the pot to the outer edge.

Step Seven:   Using primer or white paint, paint the top of the pot with open hole and 1-2 inches around the top edge.

Dry for 24 hours.

IMG_4440[1]Bury in ground up to painted line, fill with water every 2-3 days, cover hole with rock.   Plant 8-15 inches around the pot.   Store inside during the winter months.


About anaincolorado

Hi, I am an avid gardener both at home and at Rosedale Community Garden where I've had a plot for 19 years. I am very interested in learning more about gardening, how to preserve it, incorporating farm fresh produce into my cooking and living a healthy lifestyle. In addition, I am a Master Community Gardener through Denver Urban Gardens and am a shareholder at the Chatfield CSA. In 2015, I spearheaded an effort to start a community donation garden at St. Philip's Lutheran Church -- a project I will share on my blog. I am eager to share what I've learned and the adventures I had learning new things and interacting with the garden community.

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