Chitting potatoes… what’s (ch)it all about?!
Basically, we’re encouraging healthy sprouting before we plant around late March time – simple as that!
Here’s how to chit your seed potatoes:
- Grab an empty egg box or a similar tray (we’re not going to ask you to do some Blue Peter style crafts, don’t worry), and pop in your seed potatoes with the wider end pointing up as it’s likely to have more eyes for sprouts to grow from.
- Put your seed potatoes in a light, cool but frost-free spot (about 10 C is ideal). Windowsills, conservatories, greenhouses or anywhere with plenty of light but not near a source of heat is ideal.
- If the shoots start to come up long and white – your seeds are likely not getting enough sunlight (which can be said for most of us at this time of year in the UK…) so experiment with where you’re placing them. Ideally, the shoots should be short, quite thick and a purplish colour. Two to four shoots per potato will work best. If your potato has more than that, you should be able to rub the weakest sprouts away with your thumb.
- After around six weeks you should have sturdy shoots around 3cm long that are ready to plant in rich soil in full sun.
- When you’re ready to plant – dig out a trench that is about 20 centimetres deep and place the potatoes about 30 centimetres apart. Dig your soil back over your potato trench, and voila, you’ve planted your potatoes!
Just keep an eye for late frosts as your potatoes begin to sprout up and cover with a bit more soil to protect if need be.
As always, if you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you.