About the SFMGA

Sunday, July 09, 2006

How to make a simple olla

(by Curtis W. Smith, NMSU Extension Horticulture Specialist)

Ollas, unglazed pots, provide efficient point source irrigation for plants in gardens and landscapes. These ollas may be purchased or made from terra cotta flower pots. Purchased ollas may have interesting shapes. If exposed portions are painted or glazed, they may add artistic interest to gardens. However, the basic purpose of the olla is irrigation. This requires that most of the olla be buried. Its appearance is not important if it is buried.

Two flower pots may be joined together to form an effective olla. The two pots are joined with a water-proof adhesive. Silicone or acrylic caulks work well. They are connected at their top openings to form a diamond-shaped olla. The hole in the lower pot is sealed with the adhesive or other material. The hole in the upper pot (now at the top of the olla) is left open for refilling the olla with water. A rock or cork on the top opening keeps insects and mice out of the olla.