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If it is established that compaction is an issue, then consideration needs to be given to remedial action. The most effective method is to assist natures work by subsoiling. The intention of subsoiling is to create vertical cracks and shatter the soil. This mechanically reintroduces porosity achieving better air movement, water penetration and microbial activity. It also allows a plants roots to grow and travel more freely thereby accessing moisture and nutrients.
Timing is everything – if the soil is too wet it will make it more like plasticine and won’t shatter. If there is a hard pan, then setting the machine depth is critical to get below the pan to break it up.