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Gardener revives ancient hack for effortlessly watering plants: ‘I’ll have to try this’

“Thank you for sharing.”

"Thank you for sharing."

Photo Credit: @permacultureguy / TikTok

It’s no secret that gardening can be a commitment, but this hack makes your garden manageable during even the busiest weeks by watering your plants for you. 

How it works 

The hack comes from Alex (@permacultureguy) on TikTok, and is also approved by a number of other garden-tok creators. 

Olla watering is a technique dating back to the ancient Mayans — it’s a low-maintenance irrigation system that’s incredibly easy to set up. 

The system requires just three items — a terracotta pot, a lid, and some water. 

Terracotta pots are porous, meaning that liquid can slowly seep through the pot — which is the key. 

You’ll want to plug up any holes in the bottom of the pot, and then bury it up to the rim in your garden. 

After, you’ll fill it with water, and cover it over — that’s it! 

The water will slowly seep through the sides of the pot, keeping your plants up to two feet away on all sides hydrated for three to five days. 

“Don’t want to set up an elaborate watering system? Use pots like this,” Alex wrote in the caption. 

@permacultureguy Don’t want to set up an elaborate watering system? Use pots like this 🙂 #gardening #gardenhacks #permaculture ♬ original sound – Alex

How it’s helping 

This hack has a number of benefits — most importantly, it makes your life easier. 

If your holdback with building a garden is that you don’t have the time to maintain it, or because you go away a lot in the summer, this is the perfect solution! Even if you’re gone for a week, you’d only need someone to come over and refill the pot once, and if there’s rain in the forecast, you could just leave it uncovered to collect rainwater. 

Plus, this hack is known to help plants build stronger root structures — meaning more produce or beautiful flowers — and it saves water, too.  

Olla watering reduces evapotranspiration — when water in the soil evaporates instead of hydrating the plants. Less evapotranspiration is great news for your water bill and the environment. 

Pumping and treating water uses approximately 3% of the energy in the U.S., and this process produces planet-warming gases. That’s why it’s important to turn off the sink when you’re brushing your teeth and to not leave the water running excessively, but being efficient with your water use in the garden makes a difference, too! 

With a hack that makes your life easier, your water bill lower, and helps to save the planet all at once, what’s not to love? 

What everyone’s saying 

Other users were eager to give the hack a try: “Thank you, going to do this [with the] water restrictions here in California,” said one user, and another added, “Thank you for sharing, I’ll have to try this!” 

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