Clay does not drain well. This can cause plants to become waterlogged, have wet feet and develop root rot or other problems. Clay soil can also cause standing water on the surface, turning any yard or garden into a boggy mess. The solution is to amend clay soil with plenty of organic fertilizer, including compost and peat moss, and to incorporate aggregates such as gypsum and sand.
Dig three to five soil samples from around your lot. Take 1 tsp. of soil from the surface of your sampling location and place it in a sandwich bag. Dig a 3-inch-deep hole in this location and take another 1-tsp. sample. Place this into the sandwich bag and seal it. Print the location of the sample on the outside of the bag with a marker.
Take this sample to your local county extension service for soil analysis. The analysis report will include suggestions for soil amendments and amounts.
Purchase soil amendments and quantities as directed by the soil analysis. Common amendments include coarse sand, gypsum, peat moss, compost, manure and well-rotted hay. These amendments should be worked into the soil in amounts ranging from 25 to 50 percent weight by volume.
Till the soil using a yard tiller with a cultivator attachment to a depth of 12 inches.
Spread soil amendments over broken ground to a depth of 2 inches.
Turn amendments into the soil using the lawn tractor. Repeat steps 5 and 6.
Water your lot with a garden hose and sprinkler so that nutrients spread more evenly through the soil.