Happier Plants. Bigger Harvests. 61% Less Water.

Thirsty Earth: CottaCup Automatic Olla Watering System For Your Garden

Happier Plants. Bigger Harvests. 61% Less Water.

Grow a lush garden with minimal effort. Vacation-friendly. This is your solution to the daily hassles of growing your own food.

  • Share your harvests & impress your friends! Thirsty Earth makes growing a bountiful garden fun & easy (and gives you BIGGER harvests).
  • Easy to install. Works with any garden – raised beds, rows and containers. Install before or after planting your garden.
  • No more water waste. Save up to 46,322 gallons of water* a year!

Your kit includes EVERYTHING you'll need to set up your watering system.

GET 10% OFF + FREE SHIPPING (save over $60) | CHECKOUT CODE: SAVE10% | EXPIRES TUES 6/18 | SHIPS IN 72 HOURS

$109.95

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"I love my Thirsty Earth watering system!"

I’ve had a raised bed garden for a bit now and always felt like my plants were struggling with too much or too little water. Once I installed my cotta cups (ollas) it became super easy to have a glorious garden and lots of yummy salads!

–Alex Hammer, Utah, USA


HOW IT WORKS:

The Thirsty Earth watering system works by using ancient terracotta olla technology and combining it with modern watering systems.

The porous terracotta lets water seep through it, slowly watering your plant’s roots. Your plants get water when it needs, where it needs – at the roots.

Which means plants get 100% of the water they need, with more than 61% less water lost to evaporation, that traditional drip lines waste.


YOU'LL BE SHOCKED HOW MUCH WATER YOU'LL SAVE!

Whether you're currently using a drip system, hand watering or sprinkler watering, you’ll save thousands of gallons of water by switching to Thirsty Earth.

The Thirsty Earth Garden Watering System is far superior to other watering systems, giving you extremely low water usage and ultra healthy plants, at the same time.

Real World Example: A 12'x15' row garden in Umdoni, Eswatini, Africa uses a total of 5 gallons of water every two weeks. 

REVIEWS

"Less hectic, time saving and it is easy to use."

We did carrots and the yield was good. Less water used. The system is good because it's less hectic, time saving and it is easy to use.

–James Chauluka, Malawi, Africa

 

"The vegetables are growing very healthy."

We’ve done companion planting with the Thirsty Earth ollas. We refill the 5 gallon bucket that waters the 20'x30' garden about every 2 weeks.

William Mtsetfwa, Umdoni, Eswatini Africa

 

GET 10% OFF + FREE SHIPPING ON EVERY OLLA KIT (save over $60)

CHECKOUT CODE: SAVE10 %| EXPIRES TUES 6/18 | SHIPS IN 72 HOURS

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SAVE WATER. SAVE LIVES.

Your Thirsty Earth watering system will save you up to $787.47 & 46,322 gallons of water* a year AND you'll also be helping feed the world.

For every Thirsty Earth system sold we’ll add 10 vegetable plants to a homestead olla garden in Africa.

Help us help Africa grow their own food. With your support, we're actively helping educate, experiment, and energize existing programs for water-wise growing programs in Africa.

 

30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE

Your Thirsty Earth Watering System comes with a 100% Money-Back Guarantee. Our intention is you're blown away at how easy it is to grow healthy plants while using a fraction of the water.

But if you don't feel we've delivered on our promise to help you grow a healthy garden, using 61% less water, submit your refund request within 30 days of purchase, mail back your kit, and we'll promptly refund your fees (minus your shipping costs).



QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

 

Question: Does this olla garden watering system work for row gardening?

Answer: Yes it does. To capitalize on the water plume the olla creates, you'll want to base your row spacing around our ollas 18" diameter water plume.

 

Question: How do I install my Thirsty Earth Olla Garden Watering System?

Answer: Installation is easy. We've included everything you'll need in your kit to install your watering system.

To install your Thirsty Earth Olla System:

      1. Bury your olla cotta cups in the soil (raised garden beds or in the ground).
      2. Set up your hosing system.
      3. Your bucket/reservoir that's included in your kit will fill your cotta cups (terracotta ollas). Your bucket will fill your cotta cups (ollas). You can handfill your 2.5 or 5 gallon bucket weekly. Or set up your kit to auto-fill your ollas by a hose hook up, single drip line, sprinkler head or rain barrel.
      4. Place your bucket/reservoir in your garden bed/row garden or anywhere around it. Your bucket needs to be 0"-6" above your soil for optimal water pressure and water savings.
      5. Your plant’s roots will call for the water it needs. The porous terracotta olla let water seep through the cotta cups, slowly watering your plant’s roots.
      6. Watch your plants grow!

For more detailed install instructions for your exact water source and bed size, click HERE.

 

Question: Can I install this olla watering system if I've already planted my garden?

Answer: Yes. You might need to adjust our recommended placement of your ollas to give your established plants a little more room. Shoot for burying the olla cup 3"-6” or so from the plant. Where you place your olla is a judgement call based on the size of your plant and roots. Also, our auger is helpful when installing in an existing garden. Use the auger slowly and be gentle on any roots you encounter.

 

Question: Where do I bury my olla cotta cups in my garden?

Answer: Cotta Cups emit approximately 1.5' - 2' water plumes in ideal loamy soils. Utilizing a grid layout like the one below will give you excellent coverage. While your bed size may vary, this is the general way to go about it. Adjust as needed.

Question: What's included in my kit?

Answer: Everything you'll need to set up your watering system.

  1. Choose your garden bed/row size (3x4, 3x6, 3x8, 4x4, 4x6, 4x8).
  2. And quantity of beds/rows you need to water.
  3. Then click "add to cart", checkout, and you're all set.

We'll make sure you have all the ollas and parts to install your watering system.

Here's a list of all the parts included in each kit:

3 Cup Kit

 

This 3 Cup Olla Garden Watering Kit includes everything needed to hand-fill your bucket/reservoir (weekly) or to connect to a hose, single drip line, sprinkler head, or rain barrel to auto-fill cotta cups.
 
Kit Includes:
3 - Thirsty Earth Cotta Cups
2 - 1/4 push-to-connect tee
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect elbow
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect shut-off
1 - 1/2 NPT female to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - 3/4 female spigot adapter to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - Dig 1/4 inch poly tubing 25 feet
1- 2.5 gallon food grade auto-fill reservoir

 

4 Cup Kit

 

This 4 Cup Olla Garden Watering Kit includes everything needed to hand-fill your bucket/reservoir (weekly) or to connect to a hose, single drip line, sprinkler head, or rain barrel to auto-fill cotta cups.
 
Kit Includes:
4 - Thirsty Earth Cotta Cups
3 - 1/4 push-to-connect tee
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect elbow
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect shut-off
1 - 1/2 NPT female to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - 3/4 female spigot adapter to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - Dig 1/4 inch poly tubing 25 feet
1- 2.5 gallon food grade auto-fill reservoir

 

5 Cup Kit

 
This 5 Cup Olla Garden Watering Kit includes everything needed to hand-fill your bucket/reservoir (weekly) or to connect to a hose, single drip line, sprinkler head, or rain barrel to auto-fill cotta cups.
 
Kit Includes:
5 - Thirsty Earth Cotta Cups
4 - 1/4 push-to-connect tee
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect elbow
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect shut-off
1 - 1/2 NPT female to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - 3/4 female spigot adapter to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - Dig 1/4 inch poly tubing 25 feet
1- 2.5 gallon food grade auto-fill reservoir
 

6 Cup Kit

 
This 6 Cup Olla Garden Watering Kit includes everything needed to hand-fill your bucket/reservoir (weekly) or to connect to a hose, single drip line, sprinkler head, or rain barrel to auto-fill cotta cups.
 
Kit Includes:
6 - Thirsty Earth Cotta Cups
5 - 1/4 push-to-connect tee
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect elbow
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect shut-off
1 - 1/2 NPT female to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - 3/4 female spigot adapter to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - Dig 1/4 inch poly tubing 25 feet
1- 2.5 gallon food grade auto-fill reservoir
 

8 Cup Kit

 

This 8 Cup Olla Garden Watering Kit includes everything needed to hand-fill your bucket/reservoir (weekly) or to connect to a hose, single drip line, sprinkler head, or rain barrel to auto-fill cotta cups.

 
Kit Includes:
8 - Thirsty Earth Cotta Cups
7 - 1/4 push-to-connect tee
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect elbow
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect shut-off
1 - 1/2 NPT female to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - 3/4 female spigot adapter to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - Dig 1/4 inch poly tubing 50 feet
1- 5 gallon food grade auto-fill reservoir

 

12 Cup Kit

 

This 12 Cup Olla Garden Watering Kit includes everything needed to hand-fill your bucket/reservoir (weekly) or to connect to a hose, single drip line, sprinkler head, or rain barrel to auto-fill cotta cups.


Kit Includes:
12 - Thirsty Earth Cotta Cups
11 - 1/4 push-to-connect tee

1 - 1/4 push-to-connect elbow
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect shut-off
1 - 1/2 NPT female to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - 3/4 female spigot adapter to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - Dig 1/4 inch poly tubing 50 feet
1- 5 gallon food grade auto-fill reservoir

 

20 Cup Kit

 

This 20 Cup Olla Garden Watering Kit includes everything needed to hand-fill your bucket/reservoir (weekly) or to connect to a hose, single drip line, sprinkler head, or rain barrel to auto-fill cotta cups.

Bucket/Reservoir not included.

 
Kit Includes:
20 - Thirsty Earth Cotta Cups
19 - 1/4 push-to-connect tee
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect elbow
1 - 1/4 push-to-connect shut-off
1 - 1/2 NPT female to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - 3/4 female spigot adapter to 1/4 push-to-connect
1 - Dig 1/4 inch poly tubing 25 feet

1 - Dig 1/4 inch poly tubing 50 feet

1 - 1/2 NPS float valve

1 - 21 millimeter hole saw (for float valve)

1 -16 millimeter hole saw (for 1/4 Bulkhead)

 

 

Question: What's the best way to fill my olla cotta cups with water?

Answer: This totally depends on your preferences. There are 5 different water sources you can choose to have fill your olla cotta cups. You can fill a 2.5 or 5 gallon bucket about weekly by hand, or have your olla cotta cups be automatically filled by a hose, drip line, sprinkler head or water barrel. We recommend choosing what's most convenient for you. Here's the video that'll explain more.

 

 

Question: What if I plant seeds? Will I need to overhead water?

Answer: To directly sow seeds make sure they are planted within a 6" radius (12" diameter) of your Cotta Cup in order to ensure they receive enough moisture for germination. They need to be sown to their appropriate depth as the top 1/4" of soil will be too dry unless it's underneath a mulch layer.

 

Question: How do you know your system uses 61% less water over drip lines?

Answer: Through extensive testing we have measured how much water our cups emit at 0.5 psi. We've compared this with drip emitters laid out identically and measured the water usage.

 

Question: What is the buckets for in the kits?

Answer: Your bucket/reservoir that's included in your kit will fill your Cotta Cups (terracotta ollas). To handfill your bucket: Fill your 2.5 or 5 gallon bucket weekly. Your bucket will fill your cotta cups (ollas). To auto-fill your bucket, hook up your reservoir/bucket to a hose hook up, single drip line, sprinkler head or rain barrel. All fittings and supplies needed to handfill or auto-fill your bucket are included with your kit.

 

Question: Where do I put my bucket/reservoir?

Answer: Place your bucket/reservoir in your garden bed or anywhere around it. Your bucket needs to be 6"-to-level with your soil for optimal water flow to your cotta cups.

 

Question: What size are the olla cotta cups?

Answer: The cups are just under 3" in diameter and 7" in height. The internal capacity is 14.4 oz fluid volume, but that capacity is supplemented by the much larger reservoir the cup system is fed from. They emit roughly 250ml / day and so a dozen cups will last a week from a 5 gallon hand fill reservoir. 250ml / day at the 0.5 psi we recommend they run on.

 

Question: What if something breaks in my watering system? Are the parts under warranty?

Answer: Your Thirsty Earth Watering System comes with a 100% Money-Back Guarantee. Our intention is you're blown away at how easy it is to grow healthy plants while using a fraction of the water. But if you don't feel we've delivered on our promise to help you grow a healthy garden, using 61% less water, submit your refund request within 30 days of purchase, mail back your kit, and we'll promptly refund your fees (minus your shipping costs).

 

Question: Will this work for my nonstandard bed layout such as a keyhole bed or similar?
 
Answer: Yes, absolutely. We're working on guides for a variety of different bed types now. Contact Eric for a custom layout: (707) 536-3391 or eric.jordan@thethirstyearth.com
 

 

Question: Do the pots need to be removed at the end of the growing season?
 
Answer: The pots need to be removed at the end of the growing season if you live in a climate with hard winter freezes (USDA grow zones 8 and below). We've tested them down to 16* for a week without failure but recommend removal for maximum longevity. If you opt to leave them in, make sure to turn the water off 2-3 weeks before things freeze to allow the cups time to drain themselves empty.
 
 
 
 
Question: How many cups can be daisy chained together?
 
Answer: 100 cups on 100' on 1/4 line before you'll want to step up to 1/2" tubing or use another reservoir. It also depends on the size of your reservoir and how often you want to fill it. In an auto-fill reservoir with constant water feed, it would never be the bottleneck. An auto-fill reservoir on a timer filling once per day can handle up to 30 cups at the 0.5 psi recommended pressures. The 5 gallon hand fill reservoir can handle up to 11 cups for 1 weeks time or 75 cups for a 24 hour period.
 
 
 
 
Question: What if I have a bump in the lines such as bridging two beds fed from one reservoir?
 
Answer: That's totally doable but your reservoir will need to be higher than the highest point or else water won't flow past the bump.
 
 
 
 
Question: What if I have terraces?
 
Answer: You'll want to run an auto-fill reservoir at each terrace level and chain the reservoirs together for consistent pressure. Or have a hand-filled bucket for each terrace level.
 
 
 
 
Question: I live in a very hot environment that regularly gets over 100* in the summer. What should I do to ensure my plants have enough water?
 
Answer: First, mulch 2" - 4" of straw, grass clippings, or wood chips and improving soil health with compost. Then, you've got two Thirsty Earth specific options here - higher pressure or higher cup density. Higher pressure can be achieved by elevating the reservoir to be 1-2 feet above the soil level, raising your pressure from 0.5 psi to 1 psi or even a little above. Higher cup density looks like spacing based on a 12" plume diameter rather than the 18" that is normal in milder climates. Either, or both, will ensure your plants get that extra little bit of water to help them beat the heat. For super thirsty plants like squash, zucchini, melons, tomatoes you could even consider giving them 2 cups per plant in more extreme desert environments.
 
 
 
Question: What are some possible problems you've seen with the cups?
 
Answer: If a person tries to run them off of straight hose pressure instead of using a reservoir, they're not designed for that and it creates a gushing leak. Other common issues might be the push-to-connect fitting isn't pushed on to where it's fully seated, or the screw cap sin't tightened enough, or the cups haven't been air purged yet and need to be. They're all pretty easy fixes.

 
 
Question: Is there anything special I need to do filling the cups up for the first time?
 
Answer: Yes, you'll need to air purge the lines. Remove the drainage screw from each cup and turn your water on at the reservoir. Water flowing from the drainage hole indicates the cup is full. When all the cups are full, turn off your shut off & screw the drainage screws back in.
 
 
 
Question: What if I just want to run them off a hose directly without a reservoir?
 
Answer: You will be feeding the cups between 40 - 80 psi when they are designed to work from 0 - 3 psi. Direct hose pressure will create gushing leaks and all sorts of problems. Use a reservoir as intended.

 
 
 
Question: Approximately how many growing seasons will they last?
 
Answer: As far as growing seasons, we haven't worn any to the point of failure yet in the couple of years we've been using them. The longevity is basically how long plastic and terra cotta take to break down. With a little bit of care that should be many, many years.
 
 
 
Question: Will hard water affect the pots over time?

Answer: We haven't had that experience yet, but if you have hard water and are worried about it you might consider using a filter or applying the maintenance techniques used for drip systems when dealing with hard water.
 
 
 
Question: What is the approximate radius of moisture around each pot?

Answer: The approximate radius of moisture is 9". That radius will not all be equal, however. The closer to the pot the higher the concentration of water. So for thirsty plants like squash, zucchini, melons, tomatoes, etc. you would want to plant within 3" of the cup, preferably right up against it.

 
 
 
Question: I have a 2'x4' planter, what should I do?
 
Answer: Go with our 3'x4' kit and place the 3 included cups in an evenly spaced row.
 

 

Have more questions? Give Eric a call, Monday through Friday 9am - 5pm MST: (707) 536-3391

GET 10% OFF + FREE SHIPPING ON EVERY OLLA KIT (save over $60)

CHECKOUT CODE: SAVE10 %| EXPIRES TUES 6/18 | SHIPS IN 72 HOURS

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