Just for Fun, The Great Outdoors

What’s an Olla? Part 2

Since the Backyard of Awesomeness is still in the design stage, our family’s gardening attempts this year involve helping my wife’s family with their garden, and pots.

Oh, and a Home Depot bucket filled with potatoes. (Search for “potato bucket” on Pinterest and you’ll see what I mean.)

As an experiment, I’m also trying my own twist on self-watering plant containers.


The glass container and plastic insert are from Costco (they sell them in the spring with tulips). A piece of cardboard sits on top of the insert, dividing the bottom 2 inches from the dirt. I threaded a piece of cotton rag up through the cardboard. The pipe on the side allows me to fill the water reservoir at the bottom, and the rag piece draws the water up to the plant roots. That’s a pair of pepper plants in there, by-the-way.

So is it working? Yes, surprisingly well actually! I’ve refilled it two or three times in three months, and the soil has always been moist. The top 1/2 inch will dry out, however, so this method wouldn’t work for seedlings: they’d need daily watering until their roots were formed.

It also shouldn’t sit in a really heavy rain, since there isn’t a way to drain excess water. (Don’t ask how I know that.) Overall, I’m enjoying my self-watering experiment.

Note: Soon after writing this post, my offspring managed to pull one of the plants out…and pour bubble mixture all over the soil. Apparently I should have kept my self-watering experiment off the ground.