I live in the beautiful state of Maryland. My home is built on clay soils. And when it rains you can bet that not all of that water quickly percolates through and into the earth.
The purpose of this "how to" is to serve as a visual reference for constructing a hidden drainage ditch in your yard if you have limited standing water issues on your property.
A common term for this kind of approach is a "French Drain"
Oh disclaimer time: Before you dig ANYWHERE, make sure you contact your local utilities people. It can't be stressed enough that the danger of damaging a line in your yard is a real possibility whenever you dig (It also becomes your responsibility if you knock out your neighborhoods power, so call first then dig.) Also, do not do this procedure very close to your foundation. Check with a landscaping company if you don't want to get your hands dirty. A little bit of research and you can feel pretty confident to do this one on your own.
Alright? Let's go!
Step 1: Materials and Methods
A muddy poorly drained yard.
A cast iron constitution if you're digging this by hand.
A long length of string/rope
A line level
A couple of round point shovels
Iron tooth rake
Stones of various sizes, depending on your project you will need quite a lot of pea gravel, stones, rocks, etc. Usually come in 0.5 cu/ft bags. You can acquire a lot of stone from your local garden center. Just do your math. Length x width x Depth of your trench will be your total volume. Buy more rock than that and you'll be good to go.