December 12, 2013

How to Grow Truffles in a Greenhouse: Greenhouses 201

Truffles are a culinary delicacy that can be grown in a greenhouse.

They are a mushroom-like type of fungus that grow to be bumpy, white and small in size. Truffles grow on the roots of certain types of trees – oak trees are the easiest of these to cultivate, though hazelnut trees are also sometimes used.

Growing truffles in a greenhouse can be useful because the greenhouse environment allows you more control over growing conditions and truffles do not grow well in temperature or humidity extremes, nor do they tolerate sharp changes in these conditions.

Close up Photograph of Large Summer Truffle Tuber Aestivum Duo Tone

Greenhouse Growing

  1. Position your greenhouse to get as much sunlight as possible.
  2. You may need to use lamps for supplemental light in dark wintry conditions, but this can be expensive, so generally you want to minimize use of lamps as much as you can.
  3. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, erect a greenhouse near the south side of a building if you do not have the money or space to build one in a standalone fashion.
  4. Greenhouses should also be on ground that is either level or only slightly sloped.
  5. Click the following link to learn more about greenhouse positioning.

Photograph of Garden Truffle Plant Life Varieties with Botanical Designations3

Truffles on Oak Roots in Your Greenhouse

  1. Since growing truffles must go along with growing trees, be prepared to create enough space in your greenhouse for oak trees and to be patient enough to give the oaks time to grow.
  2. Mature oak roots can grow many crops of truffles over the years and even over decades.
  3. Oaks require full sun conditions and quality potting soil with lime and compost mixed into at least the top 1'.
  4. This soil should also be free of obstructions like rocks or thick clods of dirt. The ideal soil pH for an oak growing truffles is 7.5-7.9.
  5. Buy oaks to transplant to your greenhouse from an approved, reputable truffle grower that have been injected with truffle fungus.
Learn More About Greenhouse Locations & Positioning

Planting Oak Trees for Truffle Growing

  1. A good heuristic for how deep the holes should be for the transplants is twice as wide as the roots of the oaks and at least 2', with the total soil depth being about 5'.
  2. Tree roots tend to grow horizontally instead of vertically.
  3. Each hole should be around 6' from each other hole to give the roots space for growing horizontally.
  4. Also, be sure that there are no trees within 30' of your greenhouse site, since otherwise water could be directed away from your oaks.
  5. There should be no plants of any kind within 3' of your greenhouse for the same reason.
Greenhouse Truffle Guide How to Tips on Growing to Perfection

Watering and Maintaining Your Oaks

  • Spread the roots carefully apart by hand when planting, and set each sapling into each hole lightly.
  • Fill in the holes with soil and firmly pack the soil down to avoid air pockets.
  • Water right after planting and keep soil consistently moist but not soaked.
  • The area you plant in should be well-drained as well.
  • Temperatures should also be warm but not too hot. Plant in winter or early spring.
  • Irrigation is probably a good idea for a larger crop of oaks, and thus of truffles.
  • Mulch is useful to aiding you in keeping the soil moist and also to keep out weeds and even grass, which can be a problem even in a greenhouse setting, and which can be especially damaging to a truffle harvest.
Planting Oak Trees for Greenhouse Garden Truffle Growing


Harvesting Truffles

You probably will not get any truffles until about a year has passed, at which point you will want to regularly and carefully search the soil around the roots for small, firm lumps that you can then pull upward to harvest. It is important to do this regularly because truffles that are not harvested will go bad. Add more compost to the soil after harvesting to lay the groundwork for the next batch of truffles. If you have a lot of oak trees with truffles, consider using a pig or a trained dog to help sniff them out for you.

About this Posts Author:

About Guest Author: Whtiney Michael Segura
Whitney Segura Official LogoThis post was published and written by Mr. Whitney Michael Segura, the founder and chief of operations of Mini Greenhouse Kits store and online network of information based websites.

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