Chitting Early Potatoes

We’re keeping an eye on our Maris Bard which are chitting nicely – lots of people say you don’t need to chit maincrop potatoes, but if you want the earliest earlies, like MB, chitting is essential as it means the plant starts growth with strong but quite short shoots that then become potato food – leave it too late and they waste time growing the sprouts, and leave them in the dark and/or warmth and the shoots will be long, white and weak and the food value of the tuber will have been dissipated in growing the shoots rather than going into the production of new potatoes.

Of course then there’s the question of when you can get them into the ground – we’re hoping to get ours planted by the second week of March. But then again, we were hoping to get our shallots in the ground in the third week of December and they still aren’t there …

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Saturday, January 23, 2010


OpenID said...

I have to admit that I don't know much about chitting potatoes and have never done it consciously although I have always had some good shoots on them as I've put them in the ground...just lucky I guess.

January 24, 2010 at 3:20 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

I'm still waiting for my potato and onion order. I've heard some people mention that they've had substitutes from T&M before so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they've got my choices in stock.

January 27, 2010 at 4:18 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Dear Tanya, It also depends on when you get your potatoes - quite a few will already have good shoots when you buy them, but if you get them early, like we do, chitting is your responsibility!

Jo ... I've had that happen: I think that it's a bit of a lucky dip to be honest, one year they ran out of white-skinned fluffy early potato variety and sent me a red-skinned waxy maincrop as a 'substitute'!

January 27, 2010 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger botanicman said...

It's very early to be chitting potatoes, certainly for the Highlands. I bought mine from the garden centre and they had growth on them. Stuck them in the cold drawer of the fridge to slow them down. I won't be seriously chitting until March!

February 13, 2010 at 12:32 PM  

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