The use of ollas (pronounced oh-yahs) can save the gardener time, energy, and water. Olla users report that their vegetable gardens produce more lush plants with higher productivity. Plants watered in this way do not undergo stress cycles due to water and can live and produce longer.
The principle of ollas is based on the microporosity of the clay. These clay pots serve as effective water storage containers. You only need to fill them up with water as necessary once you’ve buried them at the base of the plants. The liquid then takes several days to slowly diffuse into the soil all around through the microporous walls of the olla.
The soil is irrigated by capillary action. All around the olla, a more or less extensive wetland is formed, depending on the capacity of the buried olla.
For greater efficiency, the olla must be closed with a lid. This prevents water loss through evaporation, and also prevents many insects or small animals from falling into the olla and drowning. Finally, it avoids the proliferation of mosquitoes.