Chitting potatoes

Gardening to 'grow your own food' from square foot to half an acre !!
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steveindenmark
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Chitting potatoes

Post by steveindenmark »

That time is coming round again to get chitting your potatoes and so i thought I would share this with you.

I was in Italy last year, helping someone with their garden. We dug the potato patch and he bought all his chitted potatoes out and then proceeded to cut them all in half. I had never seen this before and was very doubtful as to the crop he would get.

He posted me lots of photos through the year and he got a huge crop of potatoes. He had double the crop he would have had.

It was a trick he learnt in the USA.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by lancashire lass »

Cutting seed potatoes into chunks is not new and I don't think I'd credit the US for that - it was actually essential in the UK during WW2 to increase the yield because at the time there was a shortage of seed potatoes to be able to grow enough. The trick to successful growth is to ensure each piece has at least one, preferably a couple more "chits" or little shoots on them. You can even grow a good harvest of potatoes from the peelings - anyone who has ever "composted" their peelings will tell you, plants grow (as long as they get good sunlight) and produce a crop in the compost bin )t'

My potatoes are also chitting nicely. There's no need to chit potatoes - it just gives gardeners with itchy fingers something to do LOL. There's a theory that the plants will take off as soon as you plant them .... I'm inclined to think it has more to do with soil temperature.
Trev62
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by Trev62 »

lancashire lass wrote:There's no need to chit potatoes - it just gives gardeners with itchy fingers something to do LOL. There's a theory that the plants will take off as soon as you plant them .... I'm inclined to think it has more to do with soil temperature.


I would agree with you Lancashire lass it is certainly true that your potatoes will grow chitted or not, having tried growing them using both methods, the only difference I found was that our chitted potatoes were ready earlier. The main thing we learnt out here (trial and error) was to ensure winter was definitely over and the air/soil temperature on its way up as the first year here we got hit with a cold snap and snowfall in late April resulting in our first attempted potato crop being a disaster.

You live and learn :-D

We have another potato growing experiment underway at present just waiting for the snow to clear to check all is going well.
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Gwenoakes
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by Gwenoakes »

I have only ever grown potatoes in an allotment, many, many moons ago and it was not very successful. So this year I have some Buildbase bags and am going to use them instead of in the ground.

Anyone else had a go at this?
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by wildlifemad »

we've never grown spuds in bulk bags as we have an allotment (& a great harvest we had last year,we've still got 3 sacks left!!) but I know other folk have & successfully.I would just make sure you spike some holes in the bottom (I know the bags drain) to ensure good drainage, keep them well watered & fed, we now use blood,fish & bone & chicken pellets before we put them in so I would just mix the food with the soil before you plant.Good luck with them!
Gwenoakes
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by Gwenoakes »

Thanks, Wildlifemad. I will be putting the potatoes in tomorrow, time permitting, so will see how they progress.
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by Gwenoakes »

Not sure how long potatoes take to grow, but I have nothing sprouting as yet.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by lancashire lass »

Gwenoakes on 01 Apr 2017 wrote:I will be putting the potatoes in tomorrow, time permitting, so will see how they progress.


Gwenoakes wrote:Not sure how long potatoes take to grow, but I have nothing sprouting as yet.


Potatoes can take about 3 weeks to emerge depending on how deep you planted. Don't forget that we had a cold snap / heavy frost / snow (depending where you live) so the soil temperature dropped which means it probably checked the growth. And the average daytime temperature has been a little low too, with cool nights. You should start to see something in the next 2 weeks - if by then there is still a no show, you could carefully uncover one to see if it is still there.
Gwenoakes
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by Gwenoakes »

What a difference 4 days make.........I have potatoes coming up. YAY!
Thanks, Lancashire Lass. I planted them in bags about 20" deep, at the very beginning of April. Was listening to Monty on the gardening programme and he said not to water. Had a bit of hassle from OH and daughter about the no show, so started to water the smaller bag, but it is the large bags that have not been watered that are sprouting their nice green sprouts.
wildlifemad
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by wildlifemad »

Congratulations on your potato shoots!! Not sure where you are in the country but there was talk of possible frost in the countryside tonight so it may be wise to throw some soil over your shoots just to protect them,although it doesn't kill them it knocks them back a bit. We shall be doing the same to ours on the allotment this afternoon.
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by Gwenoakes »

We are in Lincolnshire WLM and potatoes are doing really, really well. Even had 3 come up in the smaller bag that I watered first.
Anyone know when to harvest them? I am presuming it will be when all the tops die off.....
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lancashire lass
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by lancashire lass »

it depends on the variety - if it is a First Early, you can start harvesting about the end of June (depending on when you planted of course) You need to have a furtle in the soil and feel how big the potatoes are. You can of course leave them to die back naturally which I have always preferred. Main crop potatoes won't be ready until about early-mid September.
Gwenoakes
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by Gwenoakes »

I put them in at the beginning of April, LL, so almost 3 months now.
I am guessing they will be ready before Sept as they were bought as earlies, but cannot remember the name.
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Mo
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Re: Chitting potatoes

Post by Mo »

Depends if you want your own as soon as poss or a big crop.
For the earlies I just lift 1 root at a time and let the rest grow. But grubbing around in the soil to feel if there's anything there is one way. Could even pick off a few and try to leave the root undisturbed for the smaller ones to grow.
I tend to notice some leaves looking sad so I dig that root first in case it is diseased (some stems seem to rot). And put the tops in the Green bin not the compost heap.
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