Want to Try the Soil Your Undies Challenge - Here's How

Even if you aren't a farmer or rancher within the state of Montana, soil health is important to all of us, regardless.


Think about your flower garden or vegetable garden.  If the soil isn't up to snuff, things won't grow well, end up stunted, or won't even crack the surface of the soil.  Healthy soil gives us clean air and water, bountiful crops and forests, productive grazing lands, diverse wildlife, and beautiful landscapes.

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Having Fun While Promoting a Healthy Soil Agenda in Montana

In early 2020, a Soil Health Strategy Action Team was convened and tasked with coming up with a plan for the soil of Montana.  The result of that action team can be found in the Montana Soil Health Strategic Plan 2024.

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As part of the plan, engaging the public in finding out about soil health awareness but making it fun was approached.  The result is a clever name and a unique way to find out about the microbes and health of your own soil.

Find Yourself Some Cotton Underwear and Start Digging

The Soil Your Underwear Challenge is an easy way to find out just how healthy your soil in your yard or field is.

To try it, follow these simple steps:

1. Plant a pair of new, cotton underwear.

2. Wait at least 60 days. This gives your soil microbes time to do their magic!

3. Share your results by sending a “planting” (before) photo and a “harvest” (after) photo along with your location and a little info about your operation (e.g., farm, ranch, garden, high tunnel) to: MT-nrcs-publicinfo@nrcs.usda.gov.

In those 60 days, your results may look something like this:


To find out more about soil health and the Soil Your Underwear Challenge, check the Natural Resources Conservation Service website here.

Don't buy second hand underwear. But really, did you want to?

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