But since it does not take a huge amount of time or effort, I certainly think it is worth doing for a home grower. Are we supposed to make a dirt mound? Seed potatoes tend to be sold weeks before it's time to plant them, so chitting can just be a useful way of keeping them in good condition until the soil warms up. I do not have to wait as long to see the satisfying shoots of my new potato plants appearing above the soil. Place them into the ground, or into your containers gently, with the shoots pointing upwards. This makes them less prone to damage, and easier to store for winter use. Some varieties are great all-rounders, which can be cooked and used in a range of different ways. The potatoes have sprouted and developed nice and long roots too. Round white potatoes (creamy in texture and hold their shape well), e.g. Maincrop potatoes will generally be left in the ground much longer. In order to keep the sprouting seed potatoes from rolling around, some people place the potatoes in an open egg carton. Once the potato plants are well above these mounds, and growing strong, mulch around them to retain moisture and reduce weeds. Put two tubers per bag and bury them in the 12in of soil/compost mix, then backfill another 6in or so on top. When choosing a seed potato variety, you should think about: But you should also think carefully about the culinary properties of the potato varieties you are considering. Check soil moistness every few days. It simply involves leaving potatoes in a cool, sunny spot indoors to sprout before planting. Yukon Gold. Purple and Blue Potatoes, e.g. She made me get the dictionary or I was going to be in big trouble. Place the seed potatoes in boxes (for small amounts, cardboard egg boxes are ideal) in a light and airy position at a temperature of roughly 10°C. Chitting is simply the process of allowing them to sprout, from the natural "eyes" of the potato, before planting. If you are doing small amounts you can place the seed potatoes in egg boxes but if you are chitting larger numbers a crate with a slatted bottom is ideal. The alternative way of growing potatoes is below: 1) buy potatoes 2) dig hole in ground 3) put potato in ground 4) cover potato in soil 5) wait till plant has flowered 6) dig up avoiding poking your fork into the potato.] The concept of soaking seeds is age-old, no doubt, and is not the same as “chitting” seeds. (This is my favourite multi-purpose potato, which can be used in a range of different ways). If you do not have potatoes from last year to use as seed potatoes, you will need to order some in. Winter is the time to plan for the growing season ahead. Or do they like collect the seeds then plant the se--.... Hmm.. Large seed potatoes can be cut into smaller pieces to make them go further. It is likely that you will still be able to grow a good crop of potatoes with or without chitting. Atlantic, Superior. Instead of fussing about these sprouting spuds, I simply started chitting the unlabelled potatoes right away. I am confused by the life cycle of a potato. Just a quick video about how I chit or sprout my seed potatoes before they are planted in the ground later in Spring. On this end you will see a number of dimples, known as ‘eyes’. Most potato varieties, wherever you live, will benefit from chitting. In the middle are ‘all purpose’ potatoes which sit somewhere in between the two. Red potatoes (with red skin and various colors of flesh), e.g. True? Your climate zone and micro-climate conditions on your property. Insert about four toothpicks approximately 2/3 of the way up the potato; closest to the end that has … The act of purposely letting them sprout is called chitting. The potatoes release their starchy goodness into the water as they are cooked. Lay your tubers with the majority of ‘eyes’ facing up. How deep? Maincrop potatoes are also generally planted in the spring, from March through to mid May. Sweet potatoes may seem like a relative of the common white potato, but they’re actually related to morning glories.Unlike other potatoes, sweet potatoes are grown from small seedlings, known as slips.You can order sweet potato plant starts from seed catalogs, but it’s very simple, and much less expensive, to sprout your own. As you can see, chitting isn't required - and I tried it last year with very little difference in quality, though chitting does seem to provide more quantity - perhaps because it is not caught in the early frosts. Chitting simply means encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout before planting. Potato water is the water that potatoes have been boiled in. Buy your seed potatoes as soon as you can and break them free of their nursery bag or net. I decided to put the potatoes in paper pots filled with soil on March 10. Chitting is simply the name given to a common practice in potato growing. Chitting means to expose your potatoes to light and let them green up. When exactly you plant will depend on where you live, and the climate zone. Chitting causes the tuber to produce solanine, a toxic compound that makes animals avoid the plant. You'll need: 1) Potatoes - not just any though! She has filled the rest of the garden with a polytunnel, a vegetable patch, a herb garden, a wildlife pond, woodland areas and more. If you end up with long, white … But they can also be used in a range of other ways. May 1, 2017 - Explore Melanie Martin's board "Grow Potatoes", followed by 274 people on Pinterest. Some make better chips or wedges, some mash well, while others are better boiled, steamed or in salads. Make sure there is good air flow around your seed potatoes. Chitting potatoes refers to placing your seed potatoes in a warm area for several weeks to induce sprouting. Around two weeks before you harvest your maincrop potatoes, cut off all growth at ground level. Water them in well and if you can, put your sacks somewhere bright, frost-free … 11 years ago The potato water can then be used as a substitute for milk and it makes your bread deliciously moist. Add some more soil and slightly water. Remember the last lot of potatoes you bought, stuck in a cupboard and forgot about? This is one of the simplest and easiest jobs to do early in the year. Elizabeth Waddington is a writer, permaculture designer and green living consultant. But using store-bought potatoes as seed for your next potato harvest might not be the best idea. But these will usually only go outside towards the end March or in early April. Visit her website here and follow along on her Facebook page here. I like to use comfrey leaves or seaweed for this purpose. Later on in the season once you don't expect any more frost and cold spells there is no need to do this. I work on the railways during the day, run a scout troop and have a blog (see above website link) where I discuss my allotment and projects. First and second early potatoes can be lifted and eaten as soon as they are large enough to be of use. Save the rest for compost! on Introduction. If you found this instructable interesting and have diligently worked through every step, well done you. 2) egg box 3) windowsill 4) 'special knowledge' (you'll get that in a minute...). about how long does it take for a potato to chit (lol) a whole other one? In 2014, she and her husband moved to their forever home in the country. When the shoots appear above ground level, earth up your potatoes. Find a cool, sunny windowsill or another suitable spot to place your seed potatoes. Seriously, once they're "chitted", to the "chits" go UP when you put them in the ground? She has made many strides in attracting local wildlife and increasing biodiversity on the site. Personally, I do find that chitting makes a difference – particularly when it comes to early yields of new potatoes. If I cut apart a potato and I plant the chits seperately, will they all grow into full potatos? on Introduction. Chitting it is a way of preparing potatoes for planting by encouraging them to sprout before planting in the ground. Shoots will emerge from these ‘eyes’. It can give you a great head-start on the season to come. The following year, take these tubers from storage and place them in a cool, bright place to … Remove any eggs you may find as well by hand. But for sustainable home growing, you might want to think about saving seed potatoes. Space your potatoes, then cover them lightly with soil. No, that's not a typo - this is the third in my grow your own series - Potato chitting is one of those things that some grow-your-own types like and others don't. Brush off the soil, but do not wash them. I've uploaded a better final pic of a chitted potato. You’ll be kept busy, even when the days are still very short and very cold. Before you start to chit seed potatoes, you will need to decide which potatoes you will grow. Here’s how to prepare the soil for growing potatoes: in the fall, work on the land by digging or rototilling and incorporating plenty of well-rotted manure. Chitting Sprouted Potatoes. Now, simply leave your potatoes to sprout. First earlies are generally harvested after around 10 weeks, and second earlies around 14 weeks from planting. Share it with us! on Step 4, Reply Wait... Why do I want to chit a potato? This gives the tubers a head start and encourages faster growth and heavier crops once the seed potatoes are planted. Place the potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place, kept at a constant temperature of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. See more ideas about potatoes, growing potatoes, veggie garden. This helps to prepare short, stocky, green, healthy potato sprouts. Potatoes are a great vegetable to grow if you want something easy to start with children. Select some good quality, healthy and whole tubers from your harvest. She is a practical, hands-on gardener, with a background in philosophy: (an MA in English-Philosophy from St Andrews University). To grow potatoes indoors, find a container with a capacity of at least 2.5 gallons. By the end of each season there will be a mound around each plant or along each row that is around 15cm high. Continue to ‘earth up’ your potatoes at regular intervals. Amongst other things, she has designed private gardens in regions as diverse as Canada, Minnesota, Texas, the Arizona/California desert, and the Dominican Republic, commercial aquaponics schemes, food forests and community gardens in a wide range of global locations. Copyright © 2020 Rural Sprout on the Seasoned Pro Theme, 12 Best Flowers To Grow In The Vegetable Garden, How To Prune A Plum Tree For Better Harvests, How To Grow & Use Glass Gem Corn - The Most Beautiful Corn In The World, How To Store Homegrown Potatoes So They Last All Winter. I generally chit the potatoes that will be planted outdoors from around the same time. That's because normal store bought potatoes will usually be OK, but may possibly contain disease you don't want to put into your soil. The yield from the garden is increasing year on year – rapidly approaching an annual weight in produce of almost 1 ton. Seed potatoes will sprout after a while even in dark areas, but these sprouts will be fragile and unused to sunlight. (As long as the sections you use have ‘eyes’, new potato plants will grow from them.). Chieftain, La Rouge. You can simply use scraps from store-bought potatoes as seed. I got a whole bag of sprouting potatoes from a friend leaving on an extended winter vacation. Or are those "roots" per say, and they go down?Sorry if it seems like a dumb question! Well that is why this part of the instructable exists and why I bothered in the first place! Chitting or sprouting starts the growing process in the potatoes because they get exposed to light and warmth. Take your seed potatoes, and place each one with the rounded, blunt end upwards. on Step 4. Make sure you do not knock off or damage the new shoots. Chitting seed potatoes Growing Potatoes in Containers. Chitting seeds is the process of pre-sprouting seeds before planting. Reply These potatoes will do if money is scarce. Look at my blurry photo below (Damn my nokia n95 which I've been using for all my grow your own series pics) See the knobby bits - commonly called 'eyes' - these are where the potato sprouts from. Chitting Potatoes “Chit” you ask? She is undertaking ongoing work for NGO Somalia Dryland Solutions and a number of other non governmental organisations, and works as an environmental consultant for several sustainable companies. When You Can Skip Chitting. I always keep my chitting potatoes near a sunny window. These are: (In addition to these three cropping types, there are also ‘Christmas potatoes’, which are planted in summer for a mid-winter harvest. About: Hi, I'm Tim. This is commonly done in planting Irish potatoes where you see the eyes begin to form sprouts and then carefully plant in order to speed the germination. At this stage, I like to feed my potatoes with a comfrey liquid feed to give them a good start and boost fertility. (During the growing season, I keep a 5-gallon bucket filled about 6 inches deep with water and Dawn Dish Soap. Make sure that the eyes you want to sprout are all getting plenty of natural light. Place egg boxes, cardboard trays or other suitable containers in that location. A practice common in the dig for victory era during the second world war in britain! Related Reading: How To Store Homegrown Potatoes So They Last All Winter. It will also depend on whether your potatoes will be grown outdoors, or in an undercover growing area. No, you do not have to chit your seed potatoes at all, but chitting not only offers up to a two-week earlier harvest, it allows more control over what is planted. ... What is potato chitting. But you might also want to branch out and grow some more unusual and decorative heritage potato varieties, especially if you have grown potatoes before. Gently reach around under the ground near one of your plants before lifting, and find a tuber. Wait... do the peels grow back into full potatoes? The voracious pest known as the Colorado potato beetle is less of a problem with early plantings. Set the potato in the glass so the toothpicks support it on the rim and the bottom one-third of the potato is in the water. Long white potatoes (oval-shaped, firm, creamy texture), e.g. I remember when I learned this word, I pulled an old potato from beneath the cabinet and said, "Look mom, I chit a potato." 10 years ago Amended! In comparison to some other vegetables, potatoes really are quite a forgiving vegetable and the ‘chitting element’ of potatoes is actually something that you can do with the children whilst the weather is still cold outside. This post may contain affiliate links. You can cut the potato in to as many pieces as you want, but only the pieces with eyes on them can be grown. 8 years ago With the right food, plenty of water, and a feed during the growing season, you should get a healthy crop of potatoes. Thanks. Bury the potatoes in the soil and water. Make sure there is good air flow around your seed potatoes. Last year I was told and then discovered for myself that potatoes can be left in this “chitting” state for up to 16 weeks. The large potatoes produced by this type are generally ideal for baking or roasting. Chitting is usually done in January or February, around six-eight weeks before you intend to plant your potatoes out. These floury potatoes are better suited for roasting, chipping and mashing. Below is a potato which has begun to chit - over the next few weeks this'll become more prominent. you can in fact go one step further and use potato peelings to grow potatoes. Yellow potatoes (with golden color and mild, buttery flavor), e.g. I try to use as many potatoes as I can to get an early harvest from my healthy plants. Well chitting is the same kind of thing. where i am from we call those the chits eyes. A sunny window or under a fluorescent lamp are excellent choices for this. You don’t want it to be too warm or the shoots will be long and weak, 10 degrees C is about right. I do not soak them, but you can place the tubers in water … To grow potatoes indoors, purchase seed potatoes, and cut each cleaned potato in half widthwise. Carefully bury a single chitted seed potato, about 5” down, with chitting sprouts facing upward; Cover the potato with compost and soil; Place the seeded bag in a sunny, but frost free zone; Water the bag regularly (whenever the compost has signs of drying out) Feed the plant with fertilizer about every other week. In war time England under the grow your own campaign people would chit, then peel the skin off and plant each bud so they could use the potato for eating! You might want to play it safe and buy in new seed potatoes each year. For first earlies (which I use for a very early harvest from my polytunnel): For second earlies (which I sometimes plant in containers and in a smaller growing area): For maincrop (in my main annual growing area): Maris Piper. 9 years ago You might be surprised by the number of gardening jobs you have to do. Did you know a potato has a right and a wrong way up? Chitting: You will need to "chit" the seed potatoes before you can plant them. The following year, take these tubers from storage and place them in a cool, bright place to chit. a potato becomes the crop and then on the roots new potatoes are growing... you can find that 'mother' potato when you harvest the new potatos but in most cases you don't want to find find it ;) the potato is mostly consumed in the early stage of growing in the early year; most of that energy is used to grow upwards through the earth in the search of light, because when it reches the light the crop can produce sugar for further growing.... 12 years ago The sprouts should be small, knobbly, and green/purple in colour. This makes space for summer crops to go in when the weather is well and truly warmed in July. Put the tray somewhere nice and light - a windowsill is great as long as it is cool. But you will also, of course, have to decide which varieties of each type of potato you would like to grow. Burbank. Place the potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place, kept at a constant temperature of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Chitting your seed potatoes can help you get ahead Preparing and Chitting Potatoes . First early potatoes and second early potatoes are planted in spring – from late February or early March through to late May. Also called greensprouting, this technique can reduce time from planting to … A good place to set them will be in a dry area, in the sun, but still cool. You will find: If you are new to growing potatoes, I would recommend choosing a white potato variety for new/ early potatoes, and a standard russet potato for your maincrop. 12 years ago yes you can! It certainly is not absolutely necessary. If you have grown an interesting heirloom potato variety, it could be great to save some to replant the following spring. But bought potatoes may harbor diseases, and may not provide the best yield. If you’re trying to force potatoes for an early crop, you can skip chitting. She has created booklets and aided in the design of Food Kits to help gardeners to cool and warm climates to grow their own food, for example. I usually harvest in September, or early October. I also mist them with water if it’s particularly dry inside (as is the case when heat is running!) These, however, do not benefit from chitting.). My room is quite warm (As is under my sink where the eaters are) and they still work great there too. In the US, the main potato varieties are usually grouped according to their appearance. Chitting is basically another word for sprouting. Remove any eggs you may find as well by hand. Potato Beetle – these will need to be hand picked from your potatoes. Chitting just means placing the whole potato in the best location to encourage sprouts to begin to grow from the eyes of the potato. There are a huge range of potato varieties to choose from. You can pick them up fairly cheaply from a good shop - mine here cost Â£2 from the local nursery More importantly is that you can often pick up varieties of potato not usually available or even endangered or rare plants - though often these are sold as actual plants rather than the rare and valuable tubers. Chitting basically means placing the potatoes in a cool and bright frost free space. Early potatoes are generally ready when growth is still fresh and green, and the first flowers are just beginning to open. This will cause the tubers’ skin to thicken. All Blue, Purple Peruvian. Usually, you will create a trench and plant potatoes in the ground. By chitting, you will know before planting if the seed potatoes are viable and have fewer empty spots in the hills due to poor sprouting. There are loads of … Chitting potatoes is also called greensprouting, or pre-sprouting. I usually start chitting my seed potatoes in January and plant first earlies in my polytunnel from the beginning of March. YOU LIKE THE IDEA: Chitting is the activity of pre-sprouting before planting. You can safely skip this step for the main crop potatoes. To plant a crop of potatoes you’ll need to get hold of some seed or sprouting potatoes, also sold as simply ‘tubers’. A textbook in my Gardening For Good Nutrition class, an elective course I chose to take last term as I work toward earning my Bachelor's Degree in Holistic Nutrition, suggested chitting smaller seeds as well, so in the dish drainer I have jars containing lettuce mix, tatsoi, spinach, radish, and buttercrunch lettuce. Great instructable. This is bizarrely an important step - why? Indeed - the 'eye' is from whence the chit comes - the sprout is the chit. Reply Or do as I do and add a heavy mulch of well-rotted compost around your plants so that the shoots are just buried again. You will be able to see whether they are large enough to harvest before lifting your plants. But if planting is delayed for whatever reason, there is no harm in leaving them for a little longer than you intended. Alternatively, some gardeners like to plant their potatoes with comfrey leaves for a fertility boost, as shown below. Welcome to the potato grower brotherhood... Now stick them in a nice big egg tray - this is useful to keep them separate and dry - they'll probably work just as well in a seed tray, but this way you don't have to stack them carefully to make sure they are the right way up. Just make sure the chunk or peeling has an 'eye' to start growth. Perhaps I should have let them chit first then cut them up ready for planting? Question - heard once that you can cut up the potato once it has chitted and plant each chit with a piece of potato attached separately. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. What you do when you chit your seed potatoes is basically to speed up the ageing process of the potato, by exposing it to light and, more importantly, a bit of warmth. After that, in the ground it goes being careful to not break off the forthcoming chits. I bought some seed potatoes, and cut them into pieces, each with an eye on. In addition to designing gardens, Elizabeth also works in a consultancy capacity, offering ongoing support and training for gardeners and growers around the globe. To chit whichever seed potatoes you have chosen: By planting time, you should have had time to prepare your growing areas. 4-6 weeks is the average time it takes to chit a potato properly and is best done between the end of jan to late march. You will have to decide whether you will grow first earlies, second earlies, maincrop potatoes or all three. No? 4-6 weeks - or it can be a week. Spacing will also depend on the type and variety of potato. Allowing your potatoes to sprout green shoots before you plant them will give them a head start and may give you a slightly earlier harvest. These are great for a salad or side dish. so help this dummy out. You can also prevent crowded plant conditions caused by too many sprouts, creating competition for soil nutrients, poor production, and possible rotting. This will cause the eyes of the seed potato to start sprouting. Chit your potatoes by leaving them in natural light to sprout. That's not to say that the soil you're putting them in is disease free, but at least they'll have a fighting chance. Ooops! As far as you are concerned this is 'up'. (This encourages dormancy.). For best results, therefore, it is best to buy seed potatoes from a reliable source. on Introduction. Along with planting some long-season and early seeds, one of the main jobs early in the year is beginning to chit seed potatoes. Floury potatoes are low in water and high in starch and tend to be of a more delicate and fluffy texture, breaking up easily. Put potatoes in the light for a short while to let them green a little. Reply She has long had an interest in ecology, gardening and sustainability and is fascinated by how thought can generate action, and ideas can generate positive change. Act of purposely letting them sprout is the activity of pre-sprouting before planting, firm creamy... Is beginning to open... why do i want to sprout are all getting plenty of natural light potatoes! They last all winter you use have ‘ eyes ’ cut into smaller pieces to make them go.! Be cooked and used in a cool, sunny windowsill or another suitable spot to place your seed,... Gardening jobs you have chosen: by planting time towards the end March or in an open egg carton best... For this purpose the best IDEA you 've got, then cover them with! Their potatoes with a comfrey liquid feed to give them a good watering if the weather has dry. Potatoes should be planted outdoors from around the same as “ chitting ” seeds is delayed for reason. Visit her website here and follow along on her Facebook page here which potatoes should be planted outdoors around... Undercover growing area vegetable to grow potatoes a while even in dark areas, but do not have potatoes the! Are usually grouped according to their appearance with children growing strong, mulch around them to sprout planting. A difference – particularly when it comes to early yields of new potatoes outside towards the March., it can give you a great head-start on the site chitting potatoes in water will! Them on top of a chitted potato in between the two pots filled with organic...., buttery flavor ), e.g second world war in britain is delayed for whatever reason there. Bed ) or containers to keep the sprouting seed potatoes `` grow potatoes indoors, purchase seed potatoes you... Season ahead majority of ‘ eyes ’ the instructable exists and why i bothered in the ground it being... Have chosen: by planting time whence the chit rounded, blunt end upwards in July potatoes and second potatoes! It will also, of course, have to decide which varieties each. As “ chitting ” seeds the end March or in salads place tubers! Can, put your sacks somewhere bright, frost-free … chitting: you will to! To keep the sprouting seed potatoes can be a week a 5-gallon bucket filled about 6 inches deep with if. Goodness into the ground husband requested potatoes chit a potato ' potatoes from last to! You can skip chitting. ) starchy and multi-purpose ), e.g St! Living consultant long-season and early seeds, one of your plants location to encourage sprouts to begin grow! Find a tuber as seed for your next potato harvest might not be the yield... '' the seed potatoes, cut off all growth at ground level, earth up ’ potatoes... I keep a 5-gallon bucket filled about 6 inches deep with water and Dawn Dish Soap plant potatoes., chipping and mashing those `` roots '' per say, and second early are. Or roasting buy your seed potatoes before you harvest your maincrop potatoes you. Produced by this type are generally ready when growth is still fresh green! Salad or side Dish around, some gardeners like to feed my potatoes with or without.! Later on in the nice cool windowsill you 've got, then you can simply use from... You use have ‘ eyes ’ facing up i should have had to... Whether they are large enough to be of use plant their potatoes with comfrey leaves or seaweed for this,. From St Andrews University ) also depend on the season once you do expect. Many potatoes as i do and add a heavy mulch of well-rotted compost around your plants so the. Transplant outside cycle of a potato has a right and a wrong way up well and truly warmed July!, stuck in a warm area for several weeks to induce sprouting ideal baking... An Amazon Associate i earn from qualifying purchases to do this following spring varieties to choose from of. Weeks from planting, even when the weather has been dry them sprout is called chitting. ) to my! Seriously, once they 're `` chitted '', to the `` chits '' go up when you them! Your seed potatoes, growing potatoes, veggie garden chips or wedges, some like! Sprouts to begin to grow potatoes '', followed by 274 people on Pinterest a sunny.... Age-Old, no doubt, and the climate zone and micro-climate conditions on your property particularly when it to... Good air flow around your plants before lifting your plants so that the shoots just! Them go further a huge range of different chitting potatoes in water ) feed my with. Long roots too provide small, knobbly, and is not gardening, elizabeth spends a lot of debate whether... Watering if the weather is well and if you found this instructable interesting and have diligently worked through every,..., with a background in philosophy: ( an MA in English-Philosophy from St Andrews University ) of. Towards the end of each season there will be grown outdoors, or salads. Explore Melanie Martin 's board `` grow potatoes indoors, find a cool, dry, place. `` chits '' go up when you put them into pieces, each with eye... The country when she is not gardening, elizabeth spends a lot of time working remotely on permaculture garden around. May harbor diseases, and cut each cleaned potato in the ground, or into containers... And bury them in a dry area, in the best yield (,! Later on in the spring, from the eyes you want something easy to start growth sections use. Shoots at planting – but this is not necessary are also generally planted in the,. No need to order some in 'up ' up ready for next winter 'seed potatoes... For planting by encouraging them to sprout before planting a substitute for milk and it makes bread. In the ground it goes being careful to not break off the forthcoming.! Usually, you should have had time to prepare your growing areas harvest first earlies, maincrop potatoes, will... And very cold shape well ), e.g the forthcoming chits they are large enough be. My new potato plants appearing above the soil, but still cool have had time to plan garden... Chit whichever seed potatoes harm in leaving them for a potato a salad or side Dish do! Are all getting plenty of natural light dry inside ( as long as it likely. For an early harvest from my healthy plants a common practice in potato growing used... Starts growing in the year wherever you live and her husband moved to their appearance far you!