Allotment Diary : How to & Why we Chit Potatoes before planting


Explaining how to, and the reason why it’s sometimes necessary to Chit, or Pre-sprout potatoes before planting them.

If your seed potatoes arrive early like mine, a good 8 weeks before they will be planted out in the soil then you need to store them in a state where they don’t produce long useless spindly white roots.

This is what would happen if you just left them in the bags in warmth in a cupboard somewhere, as they would search for the light and grow the useless long white shoots.

If however you Chit them and keep them in a cool, frost free bright place then just small dark green sprouts will emerge which will give the potato a little head start when you come to plant it.

So simply place each seed potato with the eyes upwards in an egg box or seed tray and place in cool bright, frost free conditions.

Having said all this there is no need to chit your potatoes if you are going to plant them very soon after you receive them, but if you are going to wait a few weeks then chitting is necessary to stop the spindly white shoots from growing.

A cool greenhouse or a shed with a window is ideal, but if frost is forecast bring them inside.

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