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Chimney Sheep have added traditional olla irrigation pots to its sustainable gardening range. Made from beautiful, naturally porous terracotta, the ollas are designed to be planted into the ground and filled with water. They provide the surrounding soil with the optimum moisture making them perfect to use in drier months. With origins in China and North Africa over 4000 years ago, the ancient pitcher irrigation method is still an effective, efficient, low-maintenance way for modern-day gardeners to irrigate their garden beds. Irrigation with an olla reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation and can save up to 70% of water when compared to top-watering methods.  


Ollas are simple to install into home gardens. They need to be buried in the ground, with the neck of the olla extending above the soil. This can be done before planting or after planting (ensuring established root systems aren’t disturbed). The olla then needs to be filled with water. The lid can be left off to allow it to fill with rainwater or it can be filled manually.


The traditional terracotta irrigation pots rely on the simplicity of natural forces to function. The principal of soil-moisture tension means that when the soil is dry, water will be pulled through the walls of the unglazed olla. When the soil is wet from rain or has not dried out yet, there is no tension and the water is not pulled through the wall of the olla. Not only does this reduce the risk of over-watering or under-watering, but also reduces the need for hand-watering.

This watering strategy is beneficial for most garden plants and works particularly well in vegetable gardens and allotments. They are also commonly used for saplings during their first year of growth or to aid in the irrigation of perennial gardens over multiple years.  

The Ollas are available in 1l, 2l, 3l and 4l sizes with prices starting from £12.00.


They are available to buy from  

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