To grow Truffles it is essential to make right choices of Technical and Agronomic nature thus:
- Use plants that are well mycorrhized and certified by bodies such as (Universities, Accredited and Recognized Bodies);
- Do agronomic research of the chemical/physical aspects of the soil;
- Choosing the most suitable plant and truffle species with reference to the environment in which they are to be planted;
- Correct cultivation practices through which to achieve excellent productions over the years.
So the basic prerequisite for truffle cultivation turns out to be the quality of the plants, which is guaranteed by the certification, seriousness and professionalism of the nursery.
All truffles in general prefer very calcareous soils so it is very important that the type of soil where you want to make the planting has a pH between 7 and 8, a good presence of CaCO3 (Limestone), with alkaline reaction, well ventilated and free of water stagnation.
In fact we as a first investigation always advise the customer to perform Preliminary Analysis of their soil, checking the pH reaction in water, Total Limestone (CaCO3) at a cost of € 25.00 also for a more complete analysis we also recommend the texture (Franco, Silt, Clay) at a total cost of € 50.00. Based on these values you can tell if the soil is suitable and for which species of truffle it is best suited.
However, if you need an inspection or simply to carry out in the most correct way the coring of the soil, do not hesitate to contact us so, we will give you all the necessary indications. We rely on an external laboratory that in about 10 days sends us via email in pdf format. The analysis we then send free of charge to our customers when purchasing seedlings (for purchases over n. 50 plants).
There are truffles that are much more ecologically adaptable, e.g., Tuber Aestivum Vitt. (Scorzone) and Tuber Borchii Vitt. (Bianchetto or Marzuolo) than Tuber Melanosporum Vitt. (Black prized), which therefore have larger production areas. Exposure and altitude of the soil, macro-micro climatic factors, rainfall distribution over the twelve months, and finally temperatures in the different seasons should be evaluated very carefully.
The planting distances we recommend range from a minimum of 5.00 meters x 5.00 meters in all hilly and sub-mountainous environments to a maximum of 7.00 meters x 7.00 meters in particularly fertile soils and where the plants reach considerable size (Plains).
We thus want to promote ecological cultivation, for the protection and improvement of natural ecosystems and greater respect for nature and the environment in which we live. In fact, no fertilizers/fertilizers or herbicides should be used in truffle cultivation at all!
The only Organic insecticide we recommend for Lepidoptera defoliator larvae is called: BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS variety KURSTAKI to be carried out late in the evening (for cool weather) following the directions described on the package.
Preparation of the soil where seedlings are to be planted
It is always good practice wherever possible (slopes and presence of skeleton permitting) to work the soil by plowing to a depth of 20/40cm preferably in the summer.
Once the soil has been plowed, all plant and shrub residues present from roots to stumps should be removed, and larger rocks and stones should also be removed.
Then the soil will have to be broken up using a power harrow and will thus be ready for planting.
The field will then be squared by means of stakes, which will be used to mark out the rows and indicate the planting position of the plants, and will also serve as tutors.
Planting densities and planting depths
In choosing planting density and planting distances, the size that the symbiont species will reach when they are adult should be considered based on fertility, exposure and altitude where the land is located, and the chosen truffle species.
In planting density, one must also consider that fine black truffles tolerate soil shading up to 60/70%, while scorzone and bianchetto truffles have no special requirements.
Indicatively, we range from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of 400 plants per hectare.We generally adopt square,rectangle or quincunx planting patterns. Once you have established together with our technician the most suitable sixth for your soil you then go to place the stakes and finally proceed to planting the seedlings, making holes about 20 cm. deep. The planting should be done correctly taking great care, cutting with a cutter the phytocell (bag) where the plant is inserted without cutting or breaking the roots, laying it with its bread of soil in the hole, taking care to tamp the plant up to the collar and not higher, without pressing the soil.
The most suitable time for planting is from November to the end of March.
Very important before the planting of the plants it is good to make a perimeter fence of the plot, for protection from wild animals such as (wild boars,deer, etc.) In addition you can also apply to the competent bodies for the tabulation of "Closed Fund" that prohibits the entry to the truffle ground by outsiders.
Eventually not being able to fence the entire area, one will still have to preserve the integrity of the seedlings by placing around them a cylindrical net well fixed to the ground of varying height and section depending on the animals from which they are to be protected.
Maintenance of the truffle bed involves periodic mowing of the grass by means of stalk choppers along the rows and inter-rows.
While in the immediate vicinity of the seedlings, it will have to be done manually by very light hoeing, tearing up weeds close to the trunk by hand.
In very compact soils it may be useful to improve structure and have larger truffles, to do light weeding or harrowing at a depth of a few centimeters, avoiding rotary tools.
Indispensable practice given the climatic changes of recent years to be carried out immediately during the summer months for an excellent rooting of the seedlings, but just as much in subsequent years to ensure good and constant production of truffles.
Irrigation intervals and volumes should, however, be studied and scheduled according to the soil and climatic conditions of each individual plant. The best irrigation systems we have experienced so far are sprinkler or micro-aspirator irrigation.
Irrigation criteria will have to be carried out very prudently, taking into account the optimal truffle cycle and seasonal trends.
Adaquation plans can be developed based on technical solutions involving soil moisture monitoring to thus optimize both water interventions and water resource use.
In environments with little or limited possibility of irrigation, it is very important to make mulches around the plants with organic material such as (straw, rice husks, or grass clippings) in order to reduce water evaporation from the soil and thus keep the soil cooler and more moist.
Mulch should be placed around the plant in spring but should absolutely be removed in late summer.
Pruning to be done in the dormant period (December/February) starting from the second/third year limiting only to the cutting of a few basal twigs, in order to have more insolation and aeration of the soil.
The foliage should widen rather than develop in height, so that the roots have a horizontal and shallow development.
From our experience in our planted truffle farms, production starts on average after 7/8 years although in several plants, some plants started producing their first truffles at 4/5 years.
Hazel and hornbeam trees are earlier in coming into production than all oaks although the latter are longer lived.
We recommend for the respect and longevity of one's truffle bed to still follow the harvest calendars and not to collect all the truffles especially if they are flowering or small in size, to maintain a certain sporal charge in the soil and not to make during harvesting, holes that are too large and to close them immediately after with the same soil.
Productions are highly variable depending on the nature of the soil, climatic trends to the possibility of being able to carry out irrigations starting from the formation of the carpophores and during the summer months.
For design and post-planting assistance, our company employs external technicians who are highly specialized in the field in order to be able to follow the customer through the various stages until the truffle plant goes into production:
- On-site inspection and feasibility studies of the truffle farm
- Soil analysis
- Study and design of the planting layouts
- Vision and control of adult plants, indication of possible pruning
- Search in the truffle fields in production of truffles with trained dogs, performed by experts and passionate truffle hunters or truffle growers, by contacting us you will be informed according to your Region of residence the various contact details
- Always questioning us, to those who are interested, we can put you in touch with very good truffle dog trainers of various breeds, who will be able to provide you with excellent dogs for collection and according to your needs advise you for the best choice
- Also very important thing for the collection of the product, we collaborate with various dealers of truffles in various regions of Italy, they will be able to buy your Truffles tomorrow at market price and since unfortunately in nature is decreasing more and more, even in times of crisis is still very much in demand for processed and semi-processed products while for the fresh is also considerable demand from abroad. It is therefore for this reason that the need to carry out privately cultivated truffle farms is increasing more and more