Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Olla Production Line

After buying a dozen terracotta pots recently to make some more Ollas, I put off  the project until we had some continuous sunny days which would help the glue to dry properly. So finally when the sun was shining brightly and there were no clouds in the sky, I set up a line of pots and grabbed the caulking gun. As the CEO had put the glue on the trial Olla as I had never used a caulking gun before, this time I was determined to have a go myself and to do a more 'tidy' job. Little did I know!!!

I had read on a blog that some gardeners had painted the top of their Ollas to prevent evaporation during the hot summers as that part of the pot sits above the soil, so I thought I would experiment and painted a couple to test them out.

Then I put a small rock in the bottom hole of six of the pots and glued it in so that it would be sealed. 

However, I don't know whether there was a problem with the caulking gun or whether I just wasn't strong enough but I had so much trouble getting that glue out that I was getting it everywhere so the idea of doing a neat job and not using too much glue just went out the window!

The CEO was busy so couldn't come to my aid and I had glue on my hands, glue on the outdoor furniture and everything I touched got glue on it. What a mess I made!!! So much for trying not to use so much glue this time.

Anyway, they are all glued together now and when they are dry I will fill them with water and check for any leaks before burying them. These pots are 15cm so are a little smaller than the 17cm I used for my trial Olla but the holes are larger in these so it will make it easier to fill them with water and I think they should be large enough to be effective.

If anyone finds a non-toxic glue in a tube that is suitable to use for making Ollas do please pass on the information as I found the caulking gun was just too awkward to use for some reason. I don't know how Tara Dennis always makes it looks so easy to use one on Better Homes and Gardens! I know that some gardeners in the US use Gorilla Glue but am not sure if it is available here in Australia.

If you have made any Ollas let me know how they are working for you and what kind of glue you used. I would love to know.


  1. I had a giggle when I read the heading "olla production line". Someone's got an addiction now! Great job, Chel, those caulking guns are never easy ... don't believe everything you see on TV

    1. Alison, I am glad I am not the only one who has a problem using the jolly caulking guns. Talk about making a mess!

  2. Too awesome Chel but ummm........ i don't think the worms are going to care about what the glue looks like underground. So long as it works. I will investigate the glue situation only so that you dont end up covered in it (and everything else). I like the painted tops. Im looking at a more cylindrical shape but haven't even begun looking.

  3. Let me know what you eventually buy, Lynda. It is all a bit of an experiment at the moment. Plus we have been having light rain on and off so there isn't an urgent need for the Ollas at present but that will change in summer I am sure.

  4. I made a trial one last summer, works fine, just found filling the thing a tad tedious, a bigger hole or a funnel would help. Like the painted tops.

    1. Deb, the holes on these ones are a good size so I think they will be easier to fill than the larger pot.

  5. Comment from Maddie:

    Hi Chel,

    The following link might help with Gorilla glue in Oz:

    Had to laugh at your 'fun' with the glue gun - been there, done that myself. Have come to the conclusion the gun is too strong for our girlie hands - same as the big-boy staple guns. I can't work them either.

    Take care,


  6. Thanks Maddie. I will check out the Gorilla Glue as, according to the website, Mitre10 in a country town not far from here stocks it so I would think it would be available here as well. It would be easier to use than the caulking gun which is a pain to use.


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