The Learning Garden is teaming up with El Traspatio, a manufacturer in Mexico, to offer ollas for sale in Los Angeles!
|Large on the left, small in the center and medium on the right.|
Ollas were used in several cultures in prehistoric times and make tremendous sense in Southern California.
Ollas are better water delivery systems than drip irrigation in many ways. Most folks who have used drip find out that critters find a way to damage the plastic, getting drinks on the house, and the plastic drip parts have a magnetic attraction to sharp hoes and shovels. In fact, drip systems have to be constantly checked to ensure they are functioning within acceptable parameters and not wasting precious water.
Ollas dispense water under the soil, in the root zone. Water is cohesive. It sticks together. Plants absorb water one molecule at a time. When the molecule of water is absorbed by the root, the next molecule behind the first molecule is pulled into place to be taken up by the plant. As long as the soil is moist, water will be drawn towards to the plant roots by this cohesion. Ollas waste less water than drip systems because the water is dispensed under the soil where the sun is unable to cause water loss by evaporation. There is no plastic to be chewed up and no moving parts.
You cannot use ollas with plants that have woody roots. Woody roots will seek out the olla and break it by growing toward the water. Woody roots are found on larger shrubs and trees which makes them less desirable candidates for olla watering, but annuals and tender perennials are well served by ollas.
The Learning Garden will offer three sizes: Small which holds approximately one quart, Medium, about 1/2 gallon and Large, holding about a full gallon. The small size is really useful in containers - giving your plants even, consistent watering over a long period of time (keep an eye on them until you have an idea how frequently you need to refill the olla to keep the container sufficiently hydrated) while the two larger ones are more useful in really large containers or in the soil.
Prices for ollas are $15.00 for the small, $20.00 for the mediums and $25.00 for the large. We are accepting pre-orders now via PayPal.