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Ancient Irrigation-Clay Pots

Updated on September 18, 2014

There is many ways that a person can irrigate their garden to keep it watered and healthy. Many thousands of years ago, clay pots were used as a water saving irrigation system and can still be used today. This method of irrigation works well in micro farms and gardens, as well as containers gardens. This type of irrigation is very low up-front cost, as well as being environmentally friendly. It would be great for those that make there own clay pottery, or for anyone who wants to cut down their water bill and usage. This type of irrigation is cheaper and easier to use then even than drip houses or more conventional methods. SInce introducing this type of irrigation into my garden, I have halved my water usage for my garden.

The basic concept is quite easy, bury the clay pots in beds and containers up to the neck of the pot and fill the pottery with water. Most small pots will water your plants for up to a week, depending on the weather and the plants roots will pull the water through as needed. In this style of irrigation, hundreds of gallons of water can be saved, even if you are already using a drip system. The plants will squelch the water as needed directly from the sides of the pot, so not one drop of water will be wasted. Not to mention, hours spent watering every day in the heat of the summer.

This irrigation method can work for all plants, however true water lovers may not be able to pull enough water and a topical mist may be needed from time to time. Just look at your plants, when they get droopy that is your queue. This irrigation has worked well for me for everything I have planted, included raised beds of vegetables and many fruits.

To make this work, make sure you use unglazed pottery so the water can leach out. Try to make sure to leave a couple of inches protruding from the dirt so you don't accidentaly fill the pot with dirt. Each 6 inch pot will provided water for about a 5' by 5' area, once again, take your queues from your plants. Then from there, pick a day each week and fill the pots full of water through the unburied tops.

Great How To Video


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    • Willow81 profile image

      Willow81 5 years ago from United States

      This hub is very informational. I have never tried this but I will be in the future.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      Yes, working with clay is very healing, so is working in a garden. There are always a few clay pots that I am not happy with that would work great in a garden.

    • kaiyan717 profile image

      kaiyan717 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Moonlake-I use these in my gardens and they work wonders on saving time and water.

      Mecheshier-you are already a step ahead making your own pots! One day I hope to learn pottery as well, seems very relaxing. Gl and I hope it works well for you

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      Beautiful! What a great Hub. I am a gardener and potter and have never heard of this technique. Thank you! Voted up for awesome.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      This is a very good old idea I think I might try it. Enjoyed your hub and voted up.