The question of what to do with solid clay comes up so many times that I thought I would show some pictures of what I have been doing. I have just started to sort out my front garden. It was largely paved with crazy paving, and underneath the clay was absolutely solid. It had certainly not been dug for at least 30 years. First job was to clear the site - about 25 feet by 20 feet. The stumps took quite a bit of getting out. I dug a trench round them and undermined them like mediaeval castle walls. Doing it that way left no roots at all. The whole area was dug over deeply, using a post hole spade. My stainless steel spade is so pathetic that it bends like a cheap tin tray. But the post hole spade was very strong. It's several inches deeper than a normal spade and only about 4 inches wide. It's also very curved, which imparts a lot of strength, and because it only has a small base it much easier to push into the ground. The result was that digging over the site, removing stones and roots, was not so hard - but still tiring. What clay really needs is plenty of manure and organic matter. I discovered there is a local riding stables nearby that is happy to let you take manure away for nothing - except a contribution to their disabled riding fund. Many trips resulted in the best part of a ton of manure. Clay doesn't drain because the clay particle size is so small - about one ten thousanth of the size of a sand particle. The small size doesn't leave any patheways for the water. So it also needs plenty of grit to break it up. The ideal stuff is agricultural grit, which my local builder's merchant said they could specially order but it would cost Ã?Â£70 per ton. However they could supply 10 mil gravel or sharp sand for Ã?Â£36 per ton delivered in a disposable bag. Anything you add must be sharp, so it won't compact down, and not rounded. So the soft rounded builders sand is no good, but sharp sand is good. 10 mil gravel (not 20 mil, which is much larger) is also pretty sharp and almost as good as agricultural grit. So I ordered a ton of gravel and a ton of sharp sand. Two tons sounds a lot, but the site would easily have taken two or even three times as much. Organic material, like manure, is not really a fertiliser - the level of nutrient is pretty low. But it is an excellent soil conditioner. Not only does it hold moisture but when organic material breaks down it binds the clay particles together to make bigger particles - and hence better drainage. Newspapers are organic, so it was an opportunity to dig them in as well.