Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Tech In This New Olla Garden Watering System

olla watering system

Ollas are hands-down the most effective watering system for a lush garden

To save water while growing healthy crops, farmers throughout the millennia have used terra cotta pots (known as ‘ollas’) for gardening. Ollas are unglazed pots that slowly seep water through the terra cotta. Ollas were used 4000 years ago in China and 2000 years ago in Rome.

Olla watering systems have since been found in every drylands region across the globe. Amongst ancient watering techniques, none have been more efficient than ollas. Tried and true, ollas have been around nearly as long as civilization. 

Ollas appeared in the world’s first agricultural science textbook, the Fan Sheng-Chih Shu, over 2000 years ago. In ancient roman culture, the olla was referred to as the aula or aulla (archaic Latin) or χύτρα, chytra (Greek). 

To water their gardens, ancient people would pour water directly into their buried terracotta pots.

Fortunately, this ancient olla watering system FINALLY evolved! We at Thirsty Earth pioneered an olla watering system that combines ancient olla watering systems with modern drip irrigation for gardens. Now you can get all the conveniences of an automatic watering system with all the benefits of using ollas in your garden beds. 

It gets even better! Through strict testing we've discovered the Thirsty Earth olla watering system uses 61% less water than typically drip lines and 80% less water if you're hand watering.

ollas for gardening watering system

How Using An Olla Watering System Increases Your Garden Yields

Sprinkling and hand watering your garden can cause over and under-watering. Plus, it's just a hassle to water your garden daily. Leaf rot can happen if you over-water your plants. And under-watering increases plant stress and can eventually kill them. 

Using ollas to water your garden eliminates plant stress from over and under-watering. The Thirsty Earth Olla watering system gives your plants the perfect amount of water they need to grow bigger and produce more fruit.

Ollas also help to direct water to your plants, helping reduce weeds that steal nutrients from your plants. 

Missing garden waterings can stunt your plants growth. If you go on vacation or have a hectic week, your plants don't know the difference. They're just thirsty. The Thirsty Earth's self-watering kit harnesses olla technology into an automatic garden watering system. So you can set-and-forget your garden's daily waterings. And you'll know your plants are getting exactly the water they need. 

The Thirsty Earth olla system connects your existing watering hardware – a hose, drip line, sprinkler head, or rain barrel – to multiple olla Cotta Cups around your garden. 

Olla cotta cups automatically fill from a water reservoir (2.5 gallon bucket). Your ollas then seep water through microscopic pores in the clay. As a result, your plants decide how much water they need instead of you having to guess. 

Plant roots surround the olla and draw the water they need. The combination of your plants calling for the water they need and you being able to automatically water your garden resolves all common watering woes. Which means you spend less effort and harvest bigger crops.

ollas for gardening watering system for higher yeilds

How we are augmenting the old ways with new technology

Until now, drip irrigation was widely known for being the most efficient irrigation system. Thirsty Earth olla watering systems have now surpassed drip irrigation in water savings. And you don't have to handfill your ollas. It's a set-and-forget olla drip system! Thirsty Earth's self-watering kit harnesses olla technology with automatic garden watering systems.

Drip lines and sprinklers can be highly wasteful ways to water your garden. For example, in a 600-square-foot garden, an average sprinkler system uses up to 47,000 gallons per long season, while the Thirsty Earth olla watering system uses 800 gallons on average. On the other hand, drip emitters, much more efficient than sprinklers, still use up to 4,300 gallons per long season. 

Combining the tried and true technique of watering plants through ollas with modern technology has proven to be the most effective way to water your garden

Ollas waste so little water because almost no moisture is evaporated. Ollas also don't face the problem of losing water to gravity.

Sprinklers lose, on average, 30-50 percent of all water to evaporation before it even touches the soil. In addition, drip emitters waste significantly more water than ollas because of frequent daily waterings via drip timers. This causes most of the water from drip emitters to sink below your plant's roots and be lost to gravity.

Our olla watering system, on the other hand, seep water through the terra cotta to the plant's roots when the soil gets dry and when the plant calls for it 24-7. It's the same issue with hand watering because most people only water their plants once a day. So the majority of that water is wasted to evaporation or gravity. These weaknesses are solved with The Thirsty Earth's automatic olla drip line systemWith our modernized olla system, you no longer need to hand-fill ollas. Or hand water your garden.

The Thirsty Earth Olla Watering System isn't reliant on modern utilities

ollas for gardening watering system

 Most watering systems rely on electronics, but the Thirsty Earth system is gravity-fed, not requiring drip timers or a complex setup. 

The Thirsty Earth Automatic Olla Watering System is disaster-resistant and doesn't rely on water pressure or the outside world in order to water your garden. If you want to be self-sufficient and not rely on modern utilities, this is the irrigation method for you. A 5-gallon bucket full of water is enough to last most gardens a week. Water efficient, the Thirsty Earth olla watering system is the best watering option for bad situations or living off-grid. 

With a rain barrel catchment system, the water that lands on your roof is filtered into barrels on the side of your house. Our automated olla watering system allows you to connect to these barrels and water your plants with rainwater exclusively.

Olla Cotta Cups water your plants in 1.5- to 2-foot areas in ideally loamy soils (slightly less in clay or sandy soils). All you need to do is appropriately space your cups, plant them just below the ground's surface, so the lid still shows, and connect them to the tubing provided in your olla watering kit. This tubing hooks up to your chosen water source: hose, rain barrel, drip line, or sprinkler head.

The Thirsty Earth olla watering system will fill your olla Cotta Cups as needed, ensuring a consistently well-watered garden with healthy, happy plants.

You can find out more about the Thirsty Earth olla self-watering system here, or call us with any questions about our olla cotta cups. (707) 536-3391