Bury Underwear In Your Garden To Test How Healthy The Soil Is

Bury Underwear In Your Garden To Test How Healthy The Soil Is

There’s an easy way to test whether your garden soil has a healthy population of bacteria and worms: Bury a pair of 100 per cent cotton underwear, and wait two months.

Photo by Antonio Foncubierta

The Soil Conservation Council of Canada rolled out the idea recently, for National Soil Conservation Week. To join in, dig an underwear-sized hole about 15cm deep, lay the undies flat, and cover them over with dirt. If you leave the waistband sticking out of the ground, that makes it easier to find at the end of the experiment. You can also mark your experiment with a flag.

The soil council wants you to post the results on social media and with the tag #SoilYourUndies. Silliness aside, this is a pretty good project to see what your dirt is like and to talk to kids (or just geek out yourself) about the cycle of nutrients in your garden. If the undies don’t disintegrate in two months, add some compost, manure or fertiliser to improve your soil.


  • A couple of questions 1. Does it have to be a pair of 100 per cent cotton underwear? Or will any 100 percent cotton do. 2. Can we have a before photo of the underwear in the 2nd picture from the top? as I do not know Jocelyn Michon personal hygiene. Thanks

    • It has to be underwear. But make sure you’ve worn them for at least 24 hours before burying it.

      Good soil is quite kinky.

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