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by Claudia Ringler

Subsoiling, also known as deep tillage, is a soil cultivation method that involves the use of specialized tools to break up compacted soil layers at a deeper level than traditional plowing or tilling. This technique has been used for centuries to improve soil structure and fertility, increase water infiltration, and promote root growth.

The history of subsoiling can be traced back to ancient civilizations that used primitive tools to break up soil. Over time, the method has been refined and improved, and it is now widely used in many countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

One of the key benefits of subsoiling is that it can improve soil structure and fertility. By breaking up compacted layers, it allows for better water infiltration and root growth. This can lead to increased crop yields, improved soil health, and reduced water usage. In addition, it can be used to address specific issues such as soil erosion, waterlogging, and nutrient deficiencies.

Despite its many benefits, subsoiling is not without its challenges. One of the main concerns is that it can be costly and labor-intensive. Additionally, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the long-term effectiveness of subsoiling in certain situations. This has led to some debate about the true value of subsoiling as a soil cultivation method.

Despite these concerns, subsoiling remains an important tool for farmers and land managers. To get the most out of it, it is important to consider factors such as soil type, climate, and crop type. Additionally, effective management techniques, such as timing and frequency of subsoiling, are crucial for achieving optimal results.


There are different types of subsoiling equipment available, including moldboard plows, chisels, and rippers. Each type of equipment has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it is important to choose the right tool for the job. For example, chisels are best suited for breaking up compacted soil layers, while rippers are more effective at addressing drainage issues.

When it comes to timing, subsoiling is typically done in the fall or spring, when the soil is moist and pliable. This allows the subsoiling equipment to work more effectively and minimize damage to the soil structure. Additionally, it is important to consider crop rotation and other management techniques to ensure optimal results.

In conclusion, subsoiling is a powerful soil cultivation method that can improve soil structure, fertility, and crop yields. However, it is important to consider the specific needs of each situation and to use proper management techniques in order to achieve the best results. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that subsoiling should be used in conjunction with other soil management practices such as crop rotation, fertilization, and irrigation.

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