Hard clay soil - does not drain
I bought a dwarf Holiday avocado tree last week-end to plant in a certain part of my back yard, but when I read up about how to plant it, I got the message to fill a one foot deep hole with water and time how long it takes to drain and that it should not take more than 20 minutes. Well, I could easily see that it would take hours, and so I decided to plant the avocado tree in a wine barrel planter and put the planter over the filled hole. The part of my yard that I'm talking about is the back and side edges, which would be the SE and SW parts of the yard. Along the SE edge near the wall, I have a white sapote, heliconia, ginger, and banana that I planted that are doing fine, as well as a sago palm that was already established. I took out an ornamental peach tree to put in the heliconia, ginger, and banana. On the SW part of the yard, I removed a couple of plum trees that never made more than a dozen plums a year, along with some brush, and then planted ginger that is doing okay. I tried planting papaya, but it didn't make it and was in the area where I was planning to put the avocado.
What can I do with an area that stays saturated with water and is hard clay? Perhaps it is being overwatered, but I was told that my back yard needs to be kept watered to prevent cracking of the soil, thus making the ground unstable. I used to water on MTh, but then we were told to water MWF, and after that the soild has become too saturated. I still have not yet figured out how my sprinkling system works, but I was finally able to download a manual for it.
What should I do with the avocado tree? Should I pave the SW part of the yard near the back wall and just put potted plants there? Ideally, I would have papayas there and possibly the avocado. I'll try to post photos this week-end, if that would help. The avocado is still in the pot from the nursery, but I did already get a wine barrel planter for it, although I think that clashes somewhat with the fountain.
Here is a link that might be useful: