Soil Testing

Truffle soil agronomy advice from legendary 'Country Dirtdoctor' Peter Brown, including a comprehensive soil report is available to new customers. On-going, extensive support is available for existing customers.
A soil test is essential to determine how to improve any soil, but many soil testing services available do not focus on aspects known to be critical for truffle culture.

We recommend the Agri-Link "Truffle-Ready Soil Test", which incorporates the results of the latest research related to growing truffles.
Not only does this provide an accurate measure of things like available nutrients, pH, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), and organic matter levels, but it includes detailed recommendations for improving the soil and managing the truffle/tree partnership. The developer of the Truffle-Ready soil test (Peter Brown) has many years of experience as a soil biologist and agronomist. His expertise on the soil requirements for the symbiosis between tree and truffle is widely recognised.

NB. Agri-Link is an independent soil analysis and advisory service not owned nor operated by Trufficulture Pty Ltd.

Arranging a Soil Test
Trufficulture assists the soil testing process by receiving the collected samples and arranging the lab testing. The raw data from the lab is sent to Peter Brown (Country Dirt-doctor). His recommendations are then tabled in the Soil Test Report. The soil test usually takes about five weeks to be completed.

The cost of the soil test is $435.00 (incl GST) per sample. Peter has developed an enhanced soil test based on the latest science and research. Please ensure that a minimum of 550gms of soil is collected and sent. This is required to complete all the lab tests.

Soil Test Order Form
This must accompany the sample for the testing to be undertaken. For a copy of the form please email to: trufflesoiltest@live.com.au . For more information contact either Colin or Nathan at Trufficulture.

Detailed information on Testing and Soil Amelioration
The online seminars feature a detailed presentation from Peter Brown covering the testing procedure and explanation of the recommendations and final soil report. He also discusses the different types of lime and their role in truffle soils.


Soil Sampling Procedure
Using the proper method for sampling soil is crucial in order to get the best results from a soil test, so it is important for you to follow the method for collecting samples described here.
Above all else, the most important thing is consistency! The aim is to get a "Representative Average" for the whole area by sampling soil from several places and mixing it together.

To begin with, consider the area you want to test and make sure it is one that has had a consistent history and soil 'type'. For instance, a truffière may be mostly on the slope of a hill, but also include a bit of river-flat at the bottom. The soil may be quite different in these two areas and so may need to be sampled separately.
It is best to collect soil from random spots across the whole area, while following a zig-zag path.

Collecting the Sample
When collecting the soil it is important to use the right implement and sample to the right depth.
For a truffière, the proper depth to sample is from the surface down to 20cm.
The best tool to use for sampling soil is a stainless steel core sampler. If you do not have a suitable implement, try contacting your local Dept. of Agriculture or fertiliser supplier as they may have ones you can borrow. Do not use tools made from other metals as they can produce distorted results for Trace Elements like Iron, Copper or Zinc, etc. If a core sampler is not available use a stainless steel spade.
The soil needs to be collected from 20 to 30 spots selected randomly from the area of the proposed truffière. Mix the collected soil very thoroughly in a clean plastic bucket and take the sample out of this. The sample is best packed in a zip-lock plastic bag, labelled with a descriptive name for the area it represents (eg. Hillside Truffière, Home Paddock, Block 5). Care and consistency in this labelling will be especially important when repeating tests at a later date.

Important: To complete all the required tests, the laboratory needs at least 550g of soil - please make sure you send enough soil and avoid delays caused by needing to repeat this process.
Once you have collected the sample, it is important to send it off as quickly as possible since some important nutrient levels can change when soil is kept in a sealed container.
Wet Samples: It is no good collecting a sample if the soil is saturated (that is, if water is dripping out when you squeeze it in your hand).

Sending Samples
Please express post samples, along with completed order form, and payment to:
Trufficulture
PO Box 364
Gembrook Vic 3783

Soil will be sent to an external laboratory for analysis. Raw data from the lab is sent to Peter Brown (Country Dirtdoctor) for preparation of the report and recommendations.

If you have any technical questions about truffle soil testing Peter Brown can be contacted on 0435 710 238

International Growers
Please note, Australian quarantine restricts the import of soil so unfortunately, we are not able to receive soil samples external to Australia. However please ask us for a quote if you would like professional advice on an existing (local) soil test.