If you feel like the quality of your soil needs improvement, then consider leaving enough space for the addition of soil amendments.
The next step would be to ensure that you have quality topsoil. Topsoil that has up to 75% sand content by volume and also has a compacted depth of 4” is the best. And we recommend using that. If the existing soil does not flow well, then you might want to amend it with the help of sand and roto-till in it.
The layer of soil below the topsoil can create drainage issues if it’s excessively compact. You may need to install a draining tie in the case of limited surface drainage and compacted subsoil.
Since the water helps by filling in the open pore space and settling the soil, that’s why you can use water in compact soil.
To compact the new topsoil, you have to rake the soil smooth and flat by using a broom rake or bow rake. Use the backside of the rake as well. Any rocks and garden debris should be removed from the soil as you work.
And then, spray the ground with the help of a gentle mist or slow trickle of water. Continue this way just until the water begins to pool on the surface. A garden hose with a low-pressure spray nozzle can be used.
The low pressure and drip systems work the best because the soil moves on the surface and usually runs off the surface before it has time to drain into the ground when high-pressure water is used. Allow about for some time as one hour for the water to drain deep into the surface.
Water for a second time into the soil, just until the water begins to pool up on the surface. It would be best if you waited for the water to drain in the soil. Repeat this process until the soil is well compacted, and the water no longer flows into the soil quickly.
Clay soil drains more slowly than sandy soil and has lower low soil porosity. So you should repeat the process more times with sandy soil; this way, you can achieve more excellent compaction with clay soil, as a result of the low soil porosity.
It would help if you graded the topsoil after you brought the necessary amendments. You may want to level the soil by dragging a wooden ladder or similar object after spreading the ground, to achieve a smooth surface.