I am trying to set up a small truffle farm in the Puget Sound area. The soil PH there is between 4.5 to 7 depending on the area so I wanted to make huglekulture on contour and have the soil ph increased to 7.5 to 8. I should be able to do that with aglime but if you have other suggestions I would love to hear them. I also have to be concerned with competing mycorrhizas so I wanted to use the raised hugelkulture beds and set some type of barrier between them and the ground. I don’t have to worry about trees already having arbuscular mycorrhizas because they will not interfere with truffle production. I do have to worry about trees and plants that form ectomycorrhizas because they will compete with truffle production. Any advice you have on this would be greatly appreciated. The soil I would like to produce in the hugelkulture beds are ph 7.3-8.1, bulk density (g/ml) 1.06 +/- 0.12, total calcium % 2.3 – 13.9, extractable calcium (ug/ml) 2000-5000, extractable phosphorus 4-4.2, extractable potassium 80-620, extractable magnesium 135-625, extractable sodium 2-26, extractable sulphur 2-25, extractable iron 40-117, organic carbon % .8-8.8, carbon to nitrogen ratio 10-23.3, and cation exchange capacity (mmol/kg) 1.72 +/- 0.47. This type of soil would be the closest to the Italian white truffle soils I am trying to emulate. I am looking to obtain holly oaks inoculated with Tuber aestivum/uncinatum and maybe some hazelnuts too. Thanks for any help you can give.
Greetings Brad ... I just attended the North American Truffle Growers association summer meeting as a guest.
One of the comments I picked up on was that there were 2 types of lime, one was "good" for truffles, the other was "not so much".
Other concerns were the ills of the various host trees. Hopefully Eastern Filbert blight will not be a problem in your area. Good Luck! CE
Brad, I have been studying truffle cultivation for several years now and have some Oregon White Truffles on my property. I recently attended classes by Charles Lefevre, who is the leading expert on truffle cultivation in the Northwest.
Cultivation of European truffles in the Pacific Northwest is not easy, and only a handful of people have succeeded. Cultivation and semi-cultivation of native Oregon White Truffles on Douglas-fir is much easier. Many people are now planting a combination of native and European species on their farms. Be sure to check out Dr. Lefevre's website (truffletree.com) which has lots of info about cultivation of truffles. "Taming the Truffle", by Ian Hill, Gordon Brown and Alessandra Zambonelli, is an excellent book for truffle cultivators. Classes by Dr. Lefevre and friends are held at community colleges (cheap) and at the Oregon Truffle Festival (expensive).
Lefevre and Hall both mention the importance of starting a new European truffle orchard in an open field that is located far, far away from any trees. (That's why my place wouldn't work for European ones.) Also, a LOT of lime is needed for the European truffles- 25-30 tons of lime per acre- that's an entire semi-truck full. Hope this info helps...
"In a fruit forest everyone is happy"- Sepp Holzer
Companion Planting Guide by World Permaculture Association