Compost is a nutrient rich soil conditioner consisting of broken down organic material. Incorporate up to 2” of compost into beds or pre-sodded turfgrass areas to improve drainage and increase your soil’s nutrient availability. Consider topdressing (and rake) in 1/4” to ½” of finely screed compost in poor draining areas of your lawn. This technique also works well after aeration in high traffic situations to reduce compaction. You might also consider spreading compost around newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials before you apply mulch.
If you have a more sandy soil, compost can also serve to improve your soil’s ability to hold water and prevent excess nutrient leaching.
Expanded Shale is a porous, lightweight aggregate with the ability to improve drainage in clay soils and hold moisture at the same time. Expanded shale is most effective as incorporated into soil when establishing a new planting bed. Add up to 3” then till or mix in thoroughly to a depth of 6” with a shovel or spade.