I recently purchased 4,000 square meters in Ukraine with the hope of being able to do some vegetable gardening. The soil however is very unhealthy and I\'m in need of some advice on what to do. For this year I was planning on just planting a cover crop to try and bring it back to life. I dug two shovel blades deep last fall looking for earth worms and came up empty. What kind of cover crops would you recommend? If I have to plant a few times over the growing season this won\'t be a problem. Thanks
I would first see about taking some soils samples and having them tested to see what the soils need or are lacking. The results of such a test will be a great guide to what your next steps should be. If you cannot do a soils test, then I would check the surrounding area out and see if you can get some aged manure from cattle preferably. Also see if it is possible to get some compost anywhere. Till or plow those items into the soils and water the area well and let sit for about three weeks. Till it up again lightly before planting. Adding alfalfa meal to the soils will also bring much to the table of getting the soils healthy again. For a good cover crop I recommend alfalfa. It brings a good source of natural nitrogen to the soils and when plowed under gives the same big list of nutrients into the soils for future plantings. Corn planted after having a field of alfalfa will typically do very very well and the veggies should do equally well. If there is a local dairy nearby, you could take two cuttings from the alfala field to trade to them for the manure or for money to buy the seeds or plants you wish to plant later.