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Ollas and tomaotes

Posted by esteban_2009 NW AR (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 6, 13 at 13:45

Hi folks,
I have been reading very interesting information about Ollas (porous clay pots).
Have any of you used them with tomatoes? If so, how big was the olla and how far from the plant did you put it.
Once again, thanks for all the great information.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ollas and tomaotes

I love clay pots, but too cost prohibitive for me. They have a short life too. You can't leave them out in the winter. I would need very large ones for tomatoes. I use them for cacti, another passion of mine. I don't see many advantages as tomatoes are water hogs. The plants use a lot of water. But if you have wet springs, and plants are out the quick drying clay would be a major advantage. I lost one plant indirectly because of this year's wet spring. Another had BER on the first few tomatoes. Both probably would have been OK, if in clay pots.

The ollas system looks interesting and is a different way to use clay. But I myself would not use it. Tomatoes can have roots as long as 4 feet or longer. Restricting root size would be a major problem for me. The pots would have to be dug up each year for me, as the freezes would more than likely damage the pots.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Mon, Oct 7, 13 at 8:52

RE: Ollas and tomaotes

Hi Drew51,
Thanks for the response.

RE: Ollas and tomaotes

I did something similar with plastic bottles one year. It wokred fine, but ultimately saved no work. It was nice knowing I'd watered enough at the roots, but nothing amazing.

With much slower draining ollas, I'm pretty sure it'd be a mosquito breeding ground. And it takes up space, which is at a premium for me. I think I'd want to be very sure what the benefits are to me, in my climate, before I went to the trouble!

RE: Ollas and tomaotes

This picture shows my ollas with a tomato plant, garlic and lettuce. I have four 1 gallon ollas. This picture was in Feb 2012, the tomato plant was a volunteer which was an experiment to let it grow in winter. I usually put 3 tomato plants in the area in spring. The ollas are about a foot from the plants (not perfectly evenly spaced) with each plant next to 2 ollas. It doesn't freeze here and we don't have a mosquito problem. I haven't broken any of them yet. We even had raccoons dig one out of the ground and it still was not broken.

I still deep water the ground with a hose periodically in addition to filling the ollas.

RE: Ollas and tomaotes

This is an age old concept for desert areas to conserve water, where there is very little water and rain,
We are faced with opposite problem, a lot of time, a lot of places :: TOO MUCH WATER

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