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in Fruit & veg
My first attempt at growing potatoes this year! Got myself some seed potatoes from my local garden center just over a week ago (Duke of York and Golden Wonder), and they're currently chitting in my kitchen and have some several 1cm long shoots on each already.
I've read contrasting opinions on chitting, with some saying that it's unnecessary and they have more luck just planting them straight in the ground.
What are your views? Do you find that some varieties need chitting whilst others don't?
I always chit my potatoes as that is the advice most experts give You could always do your own trials, chitting some and not others. Good luck with yours Alan.
It will never hurt and may be of benefit. It is also a good way to ensure your tubers stay healthy until planting time. Leaving them in the bag anywhere warm is a recipe for disaster, so if you have a unheated but frost-free area with plenty of light there is no real reason not to chit them.
Chitting also sorts out the men from the boys, so that you don't waste valuable planting space on any seed potatoes which aren't viable - they become obvious when they don't send out any shoots.
Well mine are sitting on my kitchen windowsill, they're getting some light, but not enough to raise the temperature too much. There's a couple that aren't showing any shoots yet but it's early days.
Yes, early days. If you get to planting time and still have some with no shoots, you could always go ahead with the defos and leave the late developers on the windowsill for a couple more weeks to be absolutely sure before planting them out or chucking them out.
Only people who grow small amounts of potatoes bother to chit them. The larger commercial growers don't do it at all. Sometimes we gardeners get hung up on "The Right Thing To Do". If they are sound and the earth is right and warm enough they will grow perfectly well without chitting. Seed potatoes in the ground will take several weeks to show above ground. Chitting is a way we use to steal back some of this lost time. I have 8 tubers chitting at the moment and they will be sown under a cloch in early March weather permitting. I will chit a further 8 or 10 to follow them without a cloch. The other 40 or so first earlies will get no special treatment and go straight into the ground around Patricks day, March 17. End of June is the expected harvesting date for these. The chitted ones should be ready 2 weeks or so earlier. It is way too early to chit maincrop potatoes unless you think they are suitable as seond earlies. Don't panic, it's only february yet and a miserable one at that?