Soil Your Undies: How healthy is your soil?

A campaign was launched in December 2018 by Oregon farmers working with Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The Soil Your Undies Challenge was now a thing. It’s a simple way to measure the microbial activity in the soil. Julie Berbiglia visits the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville to see the results from their participation in the challenge.

Gardener Extras

  1. One teaspoon of healthy soil contains more microbes than there are people on the planet.
  2. To care for microbes: avoid soil disturbance, maximize soil cover with living plants and residue, and maximize biodiversity by growing a variety of plants.
  3. Microbial activity is important for a series of soil reactions and functions, including organic matter decomposition, humus formation, nutrient recycling, aggregate formation and stabilization.

Gardener Notes

To participate in the Vanderbilt University Soil Your Undies Challenge, go to Or for more information, contact the Oregon NRCS public affairs staff at [email protected] or 503-414-3220

Julie Berbiglia

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