Scientists Are Encouraging Home Gardeners to Bury Their Underwear

First, it was burning bras, now it’s burying underwear. Ok, these two initiatives are unrelated, but it is interesting that somehow our undergarments seem to be constantly being used for other tasks than wearing. The latest undergarment trend involves curious gardeners burying a pair of 100 percent cotton undies under the soil. That’s right, scientists have discovered a new and incredibly easy way to test the health of your soil.

By burying your underwear underground for two months you can see if your garden dirt contains enough nutrients to keep your plants healthy. If after two months you dig up your underwear and find that they have decomposed, then you know that you have relatively balanced soil health.

If, however, you find nothing more than a dirty pair of panties, you’re going to need to take a deeper look at your soil situation and add some compost, manure, or fertilizer to improve your soil.

A Social Movement

I buried these on May 6 #soilyourundies I think my soil needs compost

A post shared by Mita Williams (@copy5tar) on

In particular, the Canadians took to this idea so well that the Soil Conservation Council of Canada formally rolled out the idea, for National Soil Conservation Week.

To join the movement (even if you’re south of the border) all you need to do is dig a small hole in your garden, stick in your underwear, and cover them with dirt. Make sure to leave the waistband sticking out though so that you can find them again in two months! 

At the end of the two months, the Soil Council is encouraging you to post the results on social media and with the tag #SoilYourUndies. And why not try it? Leave it to the Canadians to make soil health fun. 

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