It goes without saying that Tomatoes love Ollas! They will thank you for the on-demand water source, and I think you will like the ease of filling them and water savings.
People often ask how to plant with Ollas . . . and especially how far apart to space them. The answer is, 'it depends on what you are planting' . . . but a good rule of thumb is to draw a circle about 36" in diameter and plant your Olla in the center. Then plant your plants and seedlings within the circle.
We planted our tomatoes yesterday, and I took some photos to show you what we do.
This year, we are planting tomatoes in rows, with 2 Tomatoes sharing one Olla. Last year we planted wider rows with 3 or 4 Tomatoes sharing one Olla. This worked well, but our Tomatoes got so thick that it became hard to find the Ollas to add water. So this year, we went back to planting single file rows.
We started by laying out the Ollas and Tomatoes . . . .
We planted our Tomatoes within the 36" circle, but really that is because our space is limited. Tomatoes can actually be planted a bit beyond the circle if you would like. Their roots will seek out the Ollas, even from a distance, and sort of create suction, pulling water through the walls of the Ollas as needed. (Once established, Ollas become almost 100% efficient . . . . this ancient technology is brilliant!)
Our Ollas are 12" tall . . . to bury them up to their necks takes a deeper hole than you might expect. You don't have to bury them this deep . . . but they will be more efficient this way.
Last, we add water and Tomato cages. We'll try to remember to post some photos later in the season . . . . as I said, last year we had trouble finding the Ollas as our Tomatoes grew in!
We'll overhead water until our little tomato plants establish their roots ( a few weeks). After that, we just fill the Ollas.
Happy Gardening Everybody!