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Dirt Bags

Innovative Fabric Planter

Keeping It Green

Stephen Lossner left his hometown of Queens to live a greener life in Eugene, Oregon. He was thinking about how to make the process of planting and transplanting plants more environmentally friendly when he came up with the idea for Dirt Bags™. These handy fabric planters are made from recycled bottles. Each one is sewn by Stephen, who first started selling the planters with co-founder Ian McMenamin at the local farmer's market.

The process is simple. A manufacturing plant in New Hampshire takes the bottles rescued from various landfills and melts them down to spin into a sturdy fabric. Stephen then shapes and sews the fabric into pots of varying sizes. The resulting containers are perfect for planting both indoors and out – they're breathable and mold-resistant.

Not only are these Dirt Bags lighter and more versatile than traditional plastic or terra cotta pots, you can feel good about choosing recycled. The smaller pots are perfect for starting seeds or maintaining herbs; the larger sizes can be used for container gardening. Choose either a set of four (one in each size) or a set of three of the same size. We predict you'll find tons of uses for them, inside and out.

— Mir
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Dirt Bags - Innovative Fabric Garden Planters
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Stephen
    Stephen

    Hi Grommet folks, I'm Stephen the maker of Dirt Bags. I created these funky and functional planters for plant health and plant fun! The whole plant benefits from the ability to breathe through its roots. It is evident in everything I grow in them. The fabric we use is made from the highest quality recycled drinking bottles, and is making the term "GREEN" abundantly green! What I love most about these pots, are all of the fun places they can pop up! Great for gifts, the office, the yard and the greenhouse. Where else can these cute little pots go? I look forward to hearing your questions and ideas.

  • Jo Ellen
    Jo Ellen
    5/19/11 12:23 PM

    remarkable. Good job!

  • Meaghan Obrien
    Meaghan Obrien
    5/19/11 12:23 PM

    I absolutely love this idea! I just bought 2 yards of burlap yesterday and was talking about using it for planting this Spring, but this idea is waaaaay BETTER!!!

  • Kelly
    Kelly
    5/19/11 12:24 PM

    How incredibly cute! I love these! I'm wondering, how are they in the rain? Do they withstand rain or do you need to place them in a covered spot? These are just way cuter than a plastic Wal-Mart planter and I love that they're eco-friendly and reusing plastic bottles in a great way!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/19/11 12:31 PM

    @Kelly: They are no problem in the rain. They will not mold, the fabric will drain the water collected, and they will dry out quickly.

  • corpho
    corpho
    5/19/11 12:26 PM

    This is really brilliant. I was going to do some burlap sack gardening this summer, but I like that this is made from recycled plastic bottles. The set of four is the perfect option for me, so I'll be ordering ASAP!

  • js
    js
    5/19/11 12:33 PM

    How well do these drain vs. holding water? What kinds of plants seem to do best in this type of pot? I have African violets that are extremely picky, as well as various other house plants, vegetable, herbs, pansies, etc.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/19/11 12:55 PM

    @js: Great question! I will let Stephen share his experience.

  • Stephen
    Stephen – Special Guest
    5/19/11 1:47 PM

    @js: Hi Js,

    Before the pots drain, they can absorb a lot of water! When set in a dish or plate the excess water will be absorbed over the next few hours. As you know, all plants have their preferences, knowing the needs of your plants in general will make gardening a success. African violets are always picky, so I would water once at transplanting, then monitor its needs. For kitchen herbs, I have found that you can keep cutting at them for recipes, and they will continue to thrive in your Dirt Bag.

  • Stephanie
    Stephanie
    5/19/11 1:23 PM

    Hi there - Can you tell me the depth of the different sized bags? I'm not sure which would be best for growing herbs (kinda new to this). A book I have says basil should grow in a minimum soil depth of 8". Would the 1-gallon size be adequate for that? Thanks very much.

  • Stephen
    Stephen – Special Guest
    5/19/11 1:55 PM

    @Stephanie: Hi, Yes the 1 gal. would be fine, the plants can get much larger in these pots than traditional ones. I would say the large size/5 gal. would bring you a bigger yield. Have fun with these bags and remember you can really fill these with a lot of soil!

  • Gail
    Gail
    5/19/11 2:39 PM

    How long will they last??

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/19/11 2:44 PM

    @Gail: I will let Stephen expand, but we know that the recycled materials the fabric is made from will last a long, long time and so the fabric has that same lifespan.

  • Stephen
    Stephen – Special Guest
    5/19/11 3:30 PM

    @Gail: I have been reusing and washing these for over a year now. That is intensive greenhouse, outdoor and indoor conditions. They can stretch out slightly as the season goes and will shrink back after washing. To keep the nice plump look, make sure to use plenty of soil, water well, and push down and out around the perimeter of the pot, to keep its round shape nice.

  • coleen
    coleen
    5/19/11 2:55 PM

    I understand these are made from recycled plastic, have you determined the chemical make-up of this plastic? For example, I would be surprised to hear that it does not contain BPA. I am big on recycling, but I am not sure how healthy or what progress we make in recycling products which are toxic to the environment, including for example our children and animals and our yards and groundwater.

  • Stephen
    Stephen – Special Guest
    5/19/11 3:23 PM

    @coleen: After researching to find the best material and consulting with Master Recyclers and the manufacturer, this P.E.T material contains no BPAs. It is safe for kids, pets and our yards. Plastic can only be downgraded when recycled and this is first use of the highest quality P.E.T available. Best to place these in a dish, on your porch, or on the ground. If your soil conditions are not the best, you can dig these into the ground a little bit, however you will need to dig it up at the end of the season. They can be then be shaken out and cleaned! This material can be machine washed and dried, though I rarely dry them in the dryer as they feel.. ready to go!

  • AR Grover
    AR Grover
    5/19/11 4:30 PM

    Wonderful idea! GOOD JOB! So like where do we send our bottles :) And does this mean perhaps we can stop sending them to the landfills? And while the dirt bags sound wonderful I was wondering if you could use the fabric for other things? Sounds like a wonderful product with limitless possibilities. :)

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/19/11 4:44 PM

    @AR Grover: Oh yes, the manufacturer of the fabric is selling it to many companies who are using it for a variety of purposes. I am sure you will be seeing it turn up in more and more applications.

  • Stephen
    Stephen – Special Guest
    5/19/11 5:59 PM

    @AR Grover: This fabric and others similar to it are now being used in everything from clothing apparel (like fleece!) to blankets, gloves and more.

  • Carol Schiffman
    Carol Schiffman
    5/19/11 10:57 PM

    These sound often. Are the largest sizes deep enough for growing tomatoes or strawberries without having to replant them into the ground? Are they good for apartment dwellers who want to grow tom./straw. but don't have a yard to transplant them into? Thanks.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/20/11 10:29 AM

    @Carol Schiffman: I have talked to Stephen and he says both plants love the Dirt Bags. The strawberries will thrive even in the smaller ones while you will want to use the bigger one for the tomato plant to support the root structure.

  • Ann Curby
    Ann Curby
    5/20/11 4:47 PM

    Another question about size: what is the approximate diameter and depth of each size pot when filled with soil? Thsnkd.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/20/11 6:00 PM

    @Ann Curby: They are approximately:

    small: diameter: 6.5; depth 4.5

    medium: diameter: 8; depth 5

    large: diameter 12; depth 10

    xlarge: diameter 13; depth 11

  • Erin
    Erin
    5/26/11 10:09 PM

    Great product! :D Do you guys have a website for more information?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/26/11 11:46 PM

    @Erin: Just let us know what questions you have and we will get them answered for you!

  • Jody
    Jody
    7/24/11 8:08 PM

    I'm just placing my second order and have to comment on how wonderful these are! My first order was the variety option and have now used all four sizes. I planted 3 varieties of lettuce seeds in the largest size and can't believe how beautiful they've grown compared to the lettuce i'm growing in traditional plastic row boxes. The plants are healthier and growing faster. I'm using the smaller bags to transplant some annual flower seedlings I brought up from seeds (my first attempt) and they're handling the transplant with little to no trauma. These bags are good looking, taking on an almost free-form terra cotta look. Being able to fold over and cuff the tops allows for total depth flexibility, saving on potting mix as I customize according to a plant's root needs. Thank you so much for bringing these wonderful planters to my attention!

  • Stephen
    Stephen
    12/24/11 12:43 AM

    @Jody Kim-Eng: Thank you Jody! Hearing about your success and your inquisitiveness makes me proud! As gardeners, we are fascinated with creation of new plant life, the nurturing of that life, and for the bountiful harvests they can bring to us. The flowers, the lettuce, potatoes- how strange in a way, are these shapes and textures of plant life that sustain us! Yet somehow, I feel we have achieved a piece of the puzzle by learning how to grow things and sustain ourselves with them. I encourage you to keep trying new plants and new ways to use these special dirt bags. Next year, I will bring in some classy colors and a new design! So keep an eye out for those! All the best, Stephen

  • Meredith Benzion
    Meredith Benzion
    8/24/11 2:44 PM

    Hi Stephen!

    Great idea! May you and your planters be blessed with a long life cycle! Want to ship some to Israel? I'll bet the spectrum of what is possible is majestic! Ya know?

  • Stephen
    Stephen
    12/24/11 12:04 AM

    @Meredith Benzion: Yes we ship Worldwide! Will be glad to send even more to Israel. Next year we will bring out the colors, would you like to test a few? Let me know. All the best, Stephen

  • eugene
    eugene
    2/9/12 5:30 PM

    This post was taken down because it didn't follow our community posting guidelines.

  • eugene
    eugene
    2/16/12 7:33 PM

    @eugene: it is unfortunate that our opinions only matter if they are good huh

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    2/17/12 3:54 PM

    @eugene: Not at all. We would lose credibility really fast if we only let positive comments stand. Browse our boards, there are plenty of examples where our community has left negative feedback. However, we do make a distinction between negative versus inflammatory and reserve the right to moderate as we see appropriate.

  • Caroline
    Caroline
    2/18/12 2:26 AM

    Hi,

    Do you have any plans to make larger planters? I love the look of these, but was looking for something a bit larger. Ideally an 18" diameter and a 24" diameter size, around 18"+ tall....

    Thanks.

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    2/20/12 12:02 AM

    @Caroline: Great question. Steve will let us know when he has the larger bags that you are interested in.

  • Stephen
    Stephen
    3/14/12 4:01 AM

    @Caroline: Yes we do, please look out for our new line of bags the TRICERAPOTS! These are designed with dimensions like you described. I would say the 16 gallon or the 24 would fit your needs. We also do custom orders for home and business depending on quantity and application.

  • Jolaine & Shane Maui Hawaii
    Jolaine & Shane Maui Hawaii
    2/20/12 11:33 PM

    Stephen,

    This has to be one of the best ideas of the century!! We bought a few "Dirt Bags" and loved how easily they fit any where and blend with our landscaping. Are you comming out with any to put around railings of porches or under outdoor windows? Also, can they be used inside of the house? We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, your product! Makes a great gift for that "Has everything" person. They are reasonably priced, and there GREEN!! Win, Win, Win!! What more can we ask for. We can't wait to see what's next! I highly recomend this product to everyone!!! Thanks for making gardening fun and good for our planet.

    Aloha,

    Shane & Jolaine

    Maui, Hawaii

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    2/22/12 2:47 PM

    @Jolaine : We're so happy the bags are showcasing your garden beautifully. When using the dirt bag in the house, set the bag in a shallow dish to catch any water that escapes from the bag. Steve is very appreciative of your rave review & endorsement. He will let us know when he has bags for porches & under windows. Thank you for the great suggestions!

  • Terry
    Terry
    3/6/12 12:55 PM

    Happy 2012! Is it still possible to order these bags . . .and if so, what is the web site? Thanks!

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    3/7/12 12:17 AM

    @Terry: Hope the New Year is going well with you too. Great news, you can order the bags through us, at this webpage. On far right, next to the video clip, under the Price Range, click the down-arrow next to OPTIONS. Select the dirt bag you want and click "Buy Now" button. Thank you for your interest.

  • Gordon Freeman
    Gordon Freeman
    3/10/12 8:41 PM

    Is it possible to obtain these bags in larger sizes? 8 20 gallon pots would be great.

  • Gordon freeman
    Gordon freeman
    3/10/12 8:44 PM

    make that 9

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    3/12/12 5:22 PM

    @Gordon freeman: Thank you for your interest. I am looking into your request for 20 gallon bags.

  • stephen
    stephen
    3/14/12 3:47 AM

    Yes we do make big 16, 24 and 32 Gallon pots. The 16 gallon can hold up to 18+ gallon and the 24 can hold up to 25+ gallon. You can now order them here at Daily Grommet. Get ready for a great garden year!

  •  Karen
    Karen
    9/8/12 10:16 AM

    @stephen Hi! Could you please provide the diameter and height of the 16, 24 and 32 gallon bags when filled? Thanks!

  • Paula
    Paula
    5/21/12 6:41 PM

    I just saw some of the little planters on each table planted with sedums at Todd's Place (on Franklin in Eugene). Very cute! I LOVE the fact that these fabulous planters are made with recycled material (made in New Hampshire where I'm from, no less) and that they are another innovative product from someone living in earth-friendly, forward-thinking Eugene, OR. GREAT!!! : )

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    5/22/12 12:26 PM

    @Paula: Thank you very much for your feedback. We love having enthusiastic folks like you in our Daily Grommet community. "cute" + "earth-friendly" certainly makes for an irresistible planter ;0)

  • Martha Lueg
    Martha Lueg
    7/14/12 8:59 PM

    when will you have more in stock???

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    7/17/12 9:02 AM

    @Martha Lueg: We don't have a committed date. Will be sure to let you know directly once back. Thanks for your interest.

  •  alena zavodny
    alena zavodny
    9/3/12 10:21 PM

    Hey Stephen! It's Alena, Brooks's daughter. Remember us?! A couple nights ago we were looking through old photo albums and decided to look you up and see what you were doing. Anyways, these dirt bags are awesome! We'd love to order some once they come in stock again. Hope you're doing well. You guys should get in touch sometime soon! :)

  • Anna
    Anna
    9/22/12 1:20 PM

    I think these would be fantastic holiday presents, and would love to give some to fellow gardeners! Any word on if they'll be available this season?

  •  Patsy
    Patsy
    10/3/12 12:59 PM

    please please let me know when the dirt bags are back in stock; it looks like a neat way to plant.

  • anita
    anita
    10/20/12 2:55 PM

    please let me know when the dirt bags are back in stock, thanks~

  •  ruth
    ruth
    10/22/12 4:01 AM

    I'm intrested in dirt bags that are about 36" long by 10" high and 10" wide, approximatly. They would be open all along the top. I have been buying some kind of hemp or grass or brown very loosley matted stuff that I put in my 5 metal flower. boxes that will hold the dirt and then I put my summer flowers in them.

    It is my intention to use them over again and again, for several years, but they are so poorly made that they barely last one summer. I would much prefer ones made with recycled pop (never drink the stuff) bottles. You might see the bad ones in the garden centers of Lowes or Home Depot just to see your competition. There is a market there for you!!

    They are made in several different sizes, by the way.

    Many thankd from MN

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