Clay pot irrigation (or "claypot irrigation") is a simple and efficient approach to irrigation, especially appropriate to less developed communities.

A clay pots, or olla (from Spanish, pronounced oi-ya), provides constant drip irrigation by allowing water to seep through unglazed terracotta. Ollas come in varying sizes. Each has a larger body with a long, narrow neck. The olla is buried up to the neck in the garden and filled with water, and then plants are planted around it. The water seeps slowly out through the clay, and the plants develop roots close to the pot to take advantage of the water supply. The olla is refilled as needed.

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Most suitable for:

  • high value crops (to offset the labor and capital cost)
  • crops that benefit from constant moisture
  • dry areas (where water is expensive enough to justify the labor and capital used to install and use the clay pots)
  • small gardens/areas, especially close to the home

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Published 2010
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