Refer to your local building code to ensure you are up to date with regulations surrounding the installation of a culvert. Measure the width and length of the culvert required.
Dig the ditch using your shovel, excavating twice the width of the culvert to provide working spaces. Excavate 3 inches below the level at which you wish to place your culvert.
Lay 3 inches of 1/2-inch gravel at the bottom of your ditch to provide a firm base on which to lay your culvert pipe.
Lay the culvert pipe on your gravel base and back-fill the trench with excavated soil. Tamp the soil down regularly to ensure it is compacted, and to prevent the pipe from moving.