Saturday, 9 February 2013

Chitting potatoes

When do you set your potatoes out for chitting? You would think with a pile of magazines, books & internet access I would know.

Anyway this morning, 9th Feb 2013 I set my early, 2nd early & salad potatoes out to chit. In fact when I opened the bags they had already started to sprout.
Ta da - First Early - Rocket & Vales Emerald. Second Early - Bonnie & Charlotte. Salad - Anya.

All to be grown in tubs in the garden. I have three maincrop varieties also but I'm not going to chit them. I've read there is no need as maincrop potatoes stay in the ground longer they don't need the early start. I have also read there is no need to chit any potato but it is a process I like doing. It makes me feel like a proper gardener & it is a nice job to do.

My potatoes are now living on my bedroom windowsill next to my propagator, set up nicely in some egg boxes. They shall stay there for approx 6 weeks & then I shall plant them.

Traditionally Good Friday is the day to plant your potatoes. This year it falls on the 29th March. So this falls in nicely with my planting plan but that also depends on the weather.

This year I will be growing my potatoes with the following method -

A good layer of compost in the bottom of each container.
Three seed potatoes placed equally on top of the compost & covered with more.
Two more seed potatoes placed on top & covered with more compost.

The only potatoes I will be earthing up are my maincrops. These will also be grown in tubs, though the tubs are large plastic dustbins.

I shall be growing some of the early potatoes in the greenhouse. I shall be planting one potato in some smaller tubs. I'm hoping to get a slightly earlier harvest this way.

Anyway that is my potato plan for this year & it is another job off my list. Enjoy your day all!

16 comments:

  1. I put all mine out for chitting during the week, including the main crop ones They'll be chitted for about six weeks by which time they should have several sturdy shots no longer than an inch.
    Have a good weekend, Flighty xx

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  2. I'm on the right track then, thanks Flighty.x

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  3. What you have described is almost exactly what I do - although I never grow Maincrops, simply because of lack of space. Actually, Maincrops are the most vulnerable to blight too, so I would probably not grow them even if I did have space.

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    1. I have had great success in the past with maincrops in dustbins. I will be keeping a close eye on the blight situation later on this year.

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  4. I set my potatoes out to chit as soon as I get them as I don't really have anywhere to store them anyway. The Anyas have been chitting for a couple of weeks now, and I haven't yet got the other potatoes, but they're on order.

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    1. I only buy the small packets with 10 in them from the garden centres. I admit to getting carried away & I know I would end up with sacks of them if I ordered.

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  5. I have to admit that I don't bother chitting any of my potatoes. I plant mine in the ground though...dig a trench, fill it with manure...chuck them in and cover them up. Hill them up once they start to show through to protect from frosts....added advantage of this is also being able to find them when the tops die off!!

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    1. I grew them in the ground once in a similar method to what you described. The slugs had a good feast.

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  6. I haven't got any seed potatoes yet, but I place mine in egg boxes too :o) I have to admit though I'm always disappointed with the crop as I'm certain there SHOULD be more despite following all the advice. Hope yours do well and you get much better yeilds than I manage :o)
    Rose H
    x

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    1. Thank you. We didn't bother last year & I missed harvesting potatoes. Mine are chitting in egg boxes now.

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  7. Mine haven't arrived yet, so I feel a little left out that I haven't been able to put mine out yet! What maincrop potatoes are you growing this year?

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    1. Pink Fir Apple, King Edward & Rooster. I really wanted to try Golden Wonder but I couldn't find any small packs.

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  8. We'll chit ours soon. There are two opposed views on chitting. My supplier advocates it and as we have done this for years wire good results we'll carry one. Why change what works.

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    1. I agree & I like setting them out for chitting.

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  9. I don't put alot of effort into chitting. I usually buy potatoes in early March, set them out in trays, and put them in the ground (chitted or not) on St Paddy's day.

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    1. I like setting them out. I'm not chitting the maincrops this year so I will see how they do.

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