Q What does chitting potatoes involve?
A Chitting potatoes means putting seed potatoes (the ones you buy to plant) in a light, frost-free place as soon as you buy them. An egg box or a seed tray make useful containers for this.
Caption: Chit potatoes as soon as you buy them
Q Why do you chit potatoes?
A Chitting means that the see potatoes will produce small shoots that are easier to handle when planting. Left in a dark place, seed potatoes will produce long, fragile shoots that are easy to break.
Caption: Chitting encourage seed potatoes to grow small shoots
Q Is chitting potatoes worth it?
A When Which? Gardening magazine trialled planted 10 tubers of 'Maris Piper' and 'Sarpo Mira'
potatoes chitted, unchitted and with the long, pale shoots you get when potatoes are
left in the dark. We found that unchitted potatoes gave us the most baking-sized tubers but overall there wasn't much difference in the yield between any of the chitting conditions. However,
the seed potatoes chitted in the dark produced very long shoots, which were difficult to
handle and prone to damage.
Our verdict was if you don’t have time to chit your potatoes, or they’ve grown shoots in the dark, don't despair. Plant them anyway and you can still look forward to a good harvest.