Thursday, May 29, 2008

irrigation, pre-columbian style

Last November I attended a workshop on soil health organized by the Chicago Park District.  I learned so many things I haven't tried yet let alone write about them, a sure way to forget them.  
The presenter, Mike the worm guy, gave lots of composting tips I'll go into when I try them. (Hopefully soon) 

He also mentioned clay pot irrigation.  
This is an irrigation method that's been around for millenia that involves burying clay pots filled with water next to your plants/crops and letting the porous nature of unglazed ceramics do the rest. 
It seeps.  You refill.

He suggested using terra cotta pots and plugging the hole with a wine cork or some other plug that won't leak. You bury them up to the rim and place them near your plants.  They should be filled to the top with water and have a lid of sorts, maybe a tile or even the pots' dish to keep out mosquitoes and slow down evaporation.

This sounded genius to me, especially for containers and new plantings when we're out of town, which will be soon.
This will be be a bit of an experiment but better than nothing.


Brenda Jean Hyde said...

I'm going on a week's vacation and I could try this! I wonder how long it takes the pot to dry out?
Great idea...thanks!

KK said...

I didn't have time to try this out, and due to all the rain we had everything was fine.
I don't know how long they take, but I'd think longer than a week.
Good luck!

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