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Plant expert demonstrates ancient gardening method to keep plants hydrated: 'A time-tested watering solution'

"I'm definitely doing this this year."

"I'm definitely doing this this year."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Do you ever have trouble remembering to water your garden? Well, this ancient hack is about to save your plants. The olla watering technique allows plants to receive water slowly and consistently over time.

The scoop

In an informative TikTok video from Art's Nursery (@artsnursery), viewers learn about the olla watering method and its benefits. "A time-tested watering solution that's been around for thousands of years," reads the caption. 

@artsnursery Make it yourself! A time-tested watering solution that's been around for thousands of years – the Olla watering system! Derived from ancient gardeningx practices in North Africa, China, and Latin America, this ingenious technique is sure to elevate your watering game and keep your plants thriving throughout the season. What is the Olla Watering System? The Olla watering system utilizes the simplicity of a clay pot to create a self-watering mechanism. Here's how you can set it up: * Select a clay pot that fits your gardening space. * Ensure it's watertight by sealing it with a tile and some plumber's putty or silicone. * Bury the pot into the soil with the opening exposed, acting as a lid. * Fill the pot with water and cover it with the lid. How Does it Work? The magic happens through capillary action, where water gradually seeps out from the Olla into the surrounding dry soil, providing consistent moisture to your plants. This method proves to be even more efficient than traditional drip irrigation systems, making it an excellent choice for raised garden beds, allotment gardens, or any area that's challenging to reach for daily watering. #ollawatering #wateringplants #diy ♬ original sound - Art's Nursery

The video goes through the watering system step by step. Using a clay pot, plug the hole in the bottom with putty or silicone, and then bury it in your garden's soil. 

From there, fill it with water and put a lid on. The water will slowly seep out through the clay pot's pores, providing surrounding plants with a consistent water source for a long time.

How it's helping

Ollas are a type of conservative water irrigation system that reduces the amount of water needed to sustain plants. A research paper from the University of Arizona states that using ollas can save upwards of 60-70% of water used in traditional irrigation methods.

Olla watering methods originated in Northern Africa, Latin America, and China over 4,000 years ago, according to Art's Nursery's video. Yet, perhaps the benefits of reducing water are more important today than ever before. 

An article from the Permaculture Research Institute explained, "Ollas virtually eliminate the runoff and evaporation common in modern irrigation systems, allowing the plant to absorb nearly 100 percent of the water." 

Making more use of less water is crucial in our warming future.

Another reason olla watering is so great is that it makes gardening easier and more accessible to people who may not have the time or resources to constantly tend to plants. Gardening, in return, can majorly boost people's moods and reduce stress. 

With gardening made simpler with the olla watering method, people can begin to grow their own food, which reduces pollution from food production and waste from packaging. In fact, it is estimated that you can reduce up to 540 pounds of pollution over ten years by growing your own food.

What everyone's saying

Commenters on TikTok were eager to try out the olla watering method.

"I'm definitely doing this this year," commented one user.

Another user was very grateful for Art's Nursery, saying, "Thank you for this information."

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