Gardening Soil

Soil Your Underwear to Test Your Soil

Did you know that you can check the biological activity in your garden soil by burying cotton underwear in it? If the soil is rich in microbes and therefore healthy, after 2 months there will be almost nothing left. If your tighty-whities are still almost intact, though … well, you’ve got some work to do!

For more information, read this announcement from the Soil Conservation Council of Canada.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

10 comments on “Soil Your Underwear to Test Your Soil

  1. Love the title and the post. It keeps soil testing simple in a very complex year. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Now I know what to do with the tighty-whities that my husband ordered (in the wrong size).

  3. Heather Carr

    Can this be done now (November) or is it more of a spring-summer thing?

  4. The info doesn’t include what time of year to do this. How warm (or cold) does it have to be??

  5. Oh, very interesting tip. Thank you!

  6. What if they look like that before they get buried?

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