Buried Clay Pot Plantation Technique to Save Water

Buried Clay Pot Plantation Technique

Recently, there was news that, the forest department of Rajasthan has adopted an ancient, clay pot plantation technique to increase the survival rate of plants in the desert state. The move was initiated after receiving desirable results last year at the Jhalana forest Reserve. This technique is used by the forest department mainly to grow fruit trees. 

What is Buried Clay Pot Plantation Technique

Buried clay pot irrigation traditionalEarthen or clay plot plantation technique is an adaptation of an ancient method of irrigation that is thought to have originated in Africa 4,000 years ago. Terracotta Earthen Jar, also known as Olla, has been used to create self-watering irrigation system in agriculture. It uses the porous nature of clay pots to allow osmotic pressure to deliver the water into the soil where it is needed. 

In this technique, an earthen or clay plot is buried along with the plants. These unglazed, porous clay pots are filled with water to provide controlled moisture and water to plants. The water seeps out through the pot wall at a rate that is influenced by the plant’s water use. The buried pot has a capacity of 15 litres of water. Generally, the water given to the plant is evaporated or dries within a few hours. The pot buried near the roots provide moisture and water to the plant for at least five days.

Benefits of this technique

The success rate of this method is 90% and it has very high efficiency, even better than drip irrigation. As plantation in Rajasthan is difficult and survival remains a challenge, this method is very effective in saline soil and desert conditions. It has proved useful for land restoration in very arid environments.


  • It is the most suitable method for vegetable and orchard crops where plants are widely spaced.
  • High water use efficiency. It can save 50-70 % of water without depriving the tree.
  • It can be easily used in sandy and undulating lands.
  • Saline water can be used because salts are deposited at the bottom of the pot.
  • Simple and comparatively cheap method.
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