Walk your yard and plant wood stake where puddles remain for more than an hour after a rainfall. Mark soft, waterlogged spots and areas with exposed, eroded dirt. Lay a rope between the wood stakes to create a direct path for drain pipes.
Remove a channel 6 inches wide and about 18 inches deep from the path with a shovel. Dig the bottom walls on a curve in a U shape. Dig down 1 inch deeper at every 8 feet of length to slope the bottom of the canal so water runs toward the outlet.
Dump 6 inches of crushed rock into the canal. Spread the rock level with the back of the shovel.
Place perforated drain pipes over the gravel base with the holes facing up. Use elbow connectors to join lengths of pipe at curves. Cover the pipe with a sock to protect the pipe from debris. The sock is made of mesh fabric that allows water to pass through and blocks dirt particles from entering and clogging the pipe.
Add another 6 inches of crushed rock over the pipes.
Pour dirt into the remaining canal. Add sand to the dirt if it has a dense, clay consistency. Cover the dirt with grass seed and lay 1/2 inch of straw over the seed.