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The char­ac­ter­is­tics of favourable soils for truffle and mush­room cul­ti­va­tion.

Ap­ti­tude of the soil for truffle and mush­room cul­ti­va­tion (phys­ical and chem­ical prop­er­ties) is a key factor for a suc­cessful truffle or mush­room or­chard VERGER A CHAMPIGNON®

 

The char­ac­ter­is­tics of favourable soils FOR TRUFFLE CUL­TI­VA­TION : Natural  Tuber magnatum truffle orchard at  Mr Angellozzi's, in the marches (Italy).       

The favourable soils for the dif­ferent species of truf­fles  

The Tuber me­lanosporum, black truffle or Périgord truffle :

It re­quires a chalky soil, rich in cal­cium and al­ka­line. The op­timal pH ranged be­tween 7.5 and 8.5 with at least 8% total lime­stone.
Favourable soils are gen­er­ally not very deep, 15 to 40 cm, on frac­tured rock, with a crumbly or sandy struc­ture. They must be well bal­ance in min­eral ele­ments and or­ganic matter.
The Carbon/Azote ratio (C/N) must be around 10. Avoid com­pact soils with a tex­ture that is too clayey. : 40 to 45% being the su­pe­rior limit.
The soil must be draining.

 

The Tuber un­ci­natum Bur­gundy truffle and the Tuber aes­tivum the white summer truffle

They need a chalky soil :pH of 7 to 8, the amount of or­ganic matter must be bal­anced. The C/N ratio (Carbon/Azote) can reach 20. The amount of clay can be higher than for the Tuber Me­lanosporum, up to 60%.

 

The Tuber mag­natum white winter truffle :

From a chem­ical point of view, the prop­er­ties of soil for Tuber mag­natum are the same as for the soil for Tuber me­lanosporum and the Tuber uni­c­i­natum.
From the phys­ical point of view the soils for the Tuber mag­natum are very specific (which ex­plains the geo­graph­ical lo­ca­tion of this species). These soils are not su­per­fi­cial, not stony, with a more silty sandy tex­ture, well airy soil, with a good drainage, staying fresh during the driest time of year.
Note that it is dif­fi­cult a priori to judge the truffle growing ca­pacity of a soil, un­less it has al­ready been used for truffle pro­duc­tion.

The im­por­tance of soil anal­ysis.Soil analysis                       

When a parcel is se­lected for a fu­ture truffle or­chard, it is indis­pens­able to carry out a soil anal­ysis. This anal­ysis is to de­ter­mine which host species (tree) and espe­cially which as­so­ci­ated fungi are the best adapted to your soil. These are de­pen­dent on the phys­ical and chem­ical prop­er­ties of your site , and espe­cially its acidity (pH) its cal­cium and of or­ganic matter con­tents.
If your land is ho­mo­ge­neous, send a soil sample of around 500g taken at a depth of 20 cm.

Soil prepa­ra­tion.

Mechanical installation of the plastic mulch on the prepared: ploughing, rotary harrow, and rotovator before placing the film. It is best to fence the plantation with a metallic fence.

The ideal prepa­ra­tion con­sists of fully working the land, by ploughing at a min­imum depth
of 30 cm, fol­lowed by har­rowing with a ro­tary harrow for ex­ample.
For small sur­faces parcels in­fe­rior to 2000m2 a prepa­ra­tion of the soil in holes, the soil to be worked at a depth of 30 cm on ap­prox­i­mately a sur­face of a square meter and at each lo­ca­tion in­tended for planting.

If the soil is very stony, re­move stone from the planting hole, in order to create a volume of loos­ened soil of about 50 litres around the plant.

 

Pre­vious cul­tures :      

Plantation of truffle oaks

It has been ob­served that vines, lavender, al­falfa, sain­foin help to pre­pare the truffle bed. These plants do not host com­pet­i­tive ec­to­my­c­or­rhizal fungi which limit
con­sid­er­ably the truffle po­ten­tial.
How­ever it is not ad­vised to in­stall a truffle bed on re­cently cleared or de­for­ested land(in the last 5 years). The risk of con­tam­i­na­tion of the young plants by the
my­c­or­rhizal stocks nat­u­rally de­vel­oped on the trees in place is very im­por­tant, with a risk of de­crease in the chance of pro­ducing truf­fles. It is also not ad­vis­able to
plant in the middle of a wood or near to a wood for the same rea­sons.

The char­ac­ter­is­tics of soils favourable for mush­room cul­ti­va­tion :

Lactaire Delicieux (Lactarius deliciosus).

LAC­TARIUS de­li­ciosus (Saf­fron milk cap) and LAC­TARIUS san­gui­fluus (Lac­taire san­guin):

They gen­er­ally grow on acid soil but can also be found on chalky soils.








Slippery jack (Suillus Luteus)

Slip­pery jack

It is in­dif­ferent to soil pH. It can be found ei­ther on acid sandy soils or on chalky sub­stratum.








The im­por­tance of soil anal­ysis.

It is ad­vised to carry out a soil anal­ysis be­fore planting a mush­room or­chard. It helps se­lect the mush­room species which is best adapted to the planting site.

Make a soil anal­ysis

Soil prepa­ra­tion:

  • The ideal prepa­ra­tion if the re­lief al­lows it, is to fully plough the soil at a depth of 25 to 30 cm, when pos­sible. Note that in most Mediter­ranean areas, sub-soiling at a depth of 60/80 cm is nec­es­sary for preparing the soil for plan­ta­tion.
  • If the sur­face or the con­fig­u­ra­tion of the land does not allow it to be ploughed, dig holes with 1 m sides and 30 cm deep.
  • If the land is very stony, take out the largest rocks in order to create a volume of loose soil of around 50 litres.
    This method is par­tic­u­larly suited to plan­ta­tions with a small sur­face area.

Note that it is not ad­vis­able to plant PLANT CHAMPIGNON® mush­rooms if there are trees on the land be­cause even by cut­ting the trees and elim­i­nating as many roots as pos­sible
the risk of con­tam­i­nating the young my­c­or­rhizal plants by the my­c­or­rhizae nat­u­rally al­ready pre­sent on the trees is too great and the re­sulting pro­duc­tion is likely to be badly com­pro­mised.