Healthy soil and healthy vines go hand in hand so keeping the soil aerated and decompacted is a good thing to do as it allows the vine roots to access more nutrients and the valuable soil organisms to flourish. 

The heavy pressure on the soil from many tractor passes with sprayers, mowers etc through the season compacts the ground and subsoiling becomes necessary. Compaction is particularly marked where the tractor tyres pass, but it’s underground that most harm is done. The ideal tool to break up the compaction without causing damage to the surface is a tool with a disc at the front to cut a neat slot in the grass so the main leg can pass without bringing up lumps of soil, then the legs which do the lifting (and preferably legs with the paraplow slant which lifts a wider band of soil) and then a rear cage roller which controls the depth of the legs but also flattens down the soil surface. The legs can be shifted sideways so as to position them over the tyre tracks according to their width and also inverted left to right according to whether the soil near the vines is to be lifted or the soil in the middle of the row. 

The tool is available for hire as part of Vitifruit Equipment’s hire fleet where training and set up in the field is part of the service.