Truffles are popping up on gourmet dinner tables around the globe. These mushrooms are a delicacy, and chefs can't get enough of them. Truffles grow underground on the surface of certain tree roots and have unpredictable growing habits. Because of this, some types of truffles can cost more than several thousand dollars per pound. Learning how to cultivate truffles in your own backyard could help you bring in extra cash each month and enjoy a gourmet meal.
Identify if your climate is too extreme. Truffles do not grow well in very cold climates below 10 degrees Celsius or very hot climates above 29.4 degrees C. They thrive in a variety of wet climates that experience between 1 to 16 inches of rain per season.
Purchase hazelnut and oak tree saplings already sprayed with inoculated truffle spores from a reputable truffle sapling dealer. Visit the Truffletrees website and similar online references that offer a variety of saplings. Hazelnut trees are known for producing truffles early, and oak trees produce truffles for an extended time.
Select a spot that is sunny and on a slight incline that helps the soil drain.
Test the soil's acid levels (pH rating) using your soil pH tester. Stick it in the ground and view the numeric reading in the readout display.
Treat the soil with lime until the soil reaches a pH balance between 7.8 to 8.1.
Plant the trees at a rate of no more than 100 trees per acre. Space the trees so they are not threatened by overcrowding, which will lead to fewer nutrients left over for the truffles.
Keep the area around the trees weeded and closely mowed.
Watch the lower section of the tree trunk for brown areas and ridges called "brules." Brules indicate truffle growth below ground, and it could take several years for them to appear.
Irrigate the area regularly. Continue to check pH levels in the soil, and harvest before the first hard freeze.
Things you need
- Inoculated spores
- 5-pound bag of lime