Plastic ollas?

Asked June 30, 2017, 1:59 PM EDT

What is the science on using plastic 2 liter bottles or milk jugs as ollas in the garden? Does this really work. How many holes and how big? Thanks,Carole

Clark County Washington irrigation

2 Responses

Dear Client,

Well, in theory it would work, but we would be hard pressed to find guidelines on how big and how many holes to place in the plastic jugs. I would be afraid that you may sacrifice many a plant or crop to come up with the proper calibration of how much water is released by the plastic jugs. Of course, soil type and how deep you plant the jug would another factor in trying to create the right balance of water release. Strictly speaking, this would be considered a means of drip irrigation. It may be far easier to adopt a pressurized system with emitters that are designed to release a known quantity of water over a given period of time. So many factors could make calibrating the release of water from the jugs rather frustrating including how hot it gets, whether the holes in the bottle get plugged or not and how dry the soil gets. I think the simplest response I can provide it to direct you to a drip irrigation description and let you make your own decision. I like the one below as it is relatively simple and will give you an idea on what factors may make this approach frustrating.

Good luck in your gardening endeavors!