Friday, February 26, 2016

Ollas Part 2: Best place to buy ollas on the cheap is GrowOya

2019 UPDATE: How Did My Garden Grow? for the Ollas Part 3 post

2019 UPDATED Buying Guide:
If you read Ollas Part 3 then you'll figure out that my olla gardening experience did not go well in my dry Salt Lake City desert climate.  But if you really want to try it, here are a couple of places you can buy them (it seems the only available size is small which really limits your watering radius):

If you read Ollas Part 1, then you already know about ollas and that I made my own.  While it was definitely a cheap option (about $5 per olla), I didn't enjoy the process and wasn't getting fabulous results in my garden with my homemade ollas.  For the last year, I have been keeping up with the olla online market.  I somehow stumbled upon the company GrowOya and ending up finding a good deal on Jet and bought two to try out in my garden this year.  I am beyond excited!
Here is a snippet from GrowOya's website.
So this review is not complete in that I haven't tested these ollas for a whole garden season and cannot make any statement as to how well they will do in the garden.  However, I really feel like I need to get this review public now because:

  1. I do not know how long these ollas will be on sale and wanted to give my readers a chance to buy a somewhat affordable olla if they do not want take the DIY gamble.
  2. I have high hopes that they will perform well in my garden this year based on the reasons below.
I will definitely come back to this post at the end of the growing season to give you all the details on this particular olla.

Okay, now here is the story of how I got the large GrowOya ollas for $23 each shipped.

Ollas Part 1: Gardening with Ollas and Where to Buy Ollas

I love experimental gardening!  One of my latest obsessions is gardening with ollas.  If you haven't heard of ollas, then just do a basic "olla irrigation" search and you will be promptly educated.

"What is an olla?"  Here is a link to my favorite article on ollas.
An olla is basically a porous earthen pot that is mostly buried under ground and then water is poured into the olla and it slowly seeps out water to the roots of nearby plants, according to their needs.  It is supposed to cut down gardening water up to 70%.  How cool is that!?!

Last summer I conducted my very own Homemade Olla Experiment and am here to post the results.
Testing my homemade ollas, my tomato plants surrounding olla, olla with roots, and olla root hole.
Last summer I made my own ollas by caulking together two unglazed terra-cotta pots (after sanding the top edges and plugging up the bottom hole of one of the pots).  It was a 2-3 day project to make 6 ollas that would hold 2.5 liters each and cost about $5 per olla.  Then I buried them and put about three tomato plants around each of them and almost exclusively watered with just ollas, which I filled up two times a week.