Chitting potatoes

As far as the eye can see, in our spare bedroom, there is a sea of potatoes being chitted. The reason for chitting is that potatoes are only half-hardy, so you can’t plant them early to get a good crop as the cold weather damages them, and you can’t leave them in the ground too late, as they will get slug damage, so getting them off to the earliest start allows the tubers to develop as much as possible before the plants have to be lifted.

Chitting potatoes means that they get to grow stronger, and without having too many sprouts developing that will therefore produce numerous but smaller potatoes. The idea is to get just two or three sprouts that give a suitable number of large sized potatoes and this is done by removing other sprouts, especially those that are too close together to produce substantial spuds, at this time, with a potato peeler. I core out the unwanted shoots to about 5 mm deep so that they don’t regrow. Then after a week I give them a little spray with rainwater to get them developing in the remaining sprouts.

If you don’t chit, some potatoes don’t produce enough sprouts so you get gaps in your potato rows which is annoying when you’ve gone to so much effort to prepare the soil and earth the planted potatoes up.

The potatoes sit in egg boxes until the time to plant arrives, usually, for first earlies, the last week in March but sometimes, given the weather, as late as mid April.


Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Anonymous Chesley said...

Great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

February 21, 2012 at 8:43 PM  

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