Irish Gardeners Forum Home
 FAQFAQ   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Custom Search
   
Weather Report /
Moon Phase for Ireland

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Vegetable growing, fruit and allotments in Ireland

How to chit seed potatoes for earlier and heavier cropping.


 
Most Recent Posts Hello
Last post: Blowin
What is this plant please
Last post: Sue Deacon
Amelanchier
Last post: Good guy
Prime Seaweed (Availability) Conditions?
Last post: Gautama
 
Visit TheGardenShop.ie
Author Message
James Kilkelly
Rank: Site Admin


Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2162
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:11 pm    Post subject: How to chit seed potatoes for earlier and heavier cropping. Reply with quote

How to chit seed potatoes for earlier and heavier cropping.
by GPI

What are the little green tomato-like fruits that my potato plants produced last year, are they the potato seeds, and can I plant them? Questions I have been asked on occasion, to which I reply, "yes those (poisonous) fruits contained potato seeds, but it is a real troublesome job to grow a crop from them".

The seeds produced at the top of the potato plant are occasionally used for research into new variety breeding, but they are never sown for cropping even by professional farmers. You instead should start your potatoes from small whole potatoes of certified seed stock, or in times of seed shortage from seed pieces (potatoes cut into sections). Seed potatoes are available for the three cropping periods, these are first earlies, second earlies and Main Crop varieties, their names referring to the length of time they take to crop and not when they are planted, as all types are planted at the same time.

To give your seed potatoes a head start in terms of growth, you can carry out a technique known as chitting. Also known as sprouting, chitting forces the seed potatoes to produce buds before they are even planted, an encouragement that results in earlier and heavier cropping. Earlier cropping has the added bonus of getting your first and second earlies in and out of the soil before potato blight becomes a problem.


Chitted potatoes with good bud formation ready for planting, photo / picture / image.
Notice the central potato is a cut section, this will grow as well as the whole potatoes.


To chit your seed potatoes, you simply lay them in a container to produce buds for a few weeks before sowing. There are of course a few rules to ensure strong buds are produced in the shortest amount of time, rules which cover the container used and chitting location.

The container.
New upright buds are produced much better on potatoes whose majority of "eyes" are facing upwards, the "eyes" are those small depressions found on each potato. The part of the potato with the most bud producing eyes is commonly called the "rose" end and it is to be found at either of the two blunter ends of the spud. Maintaining the upright position of the potato for chitting is where careful container selection comes in.

Try these three solutions...
Arrow 1. Use a box or seed tray filled with hay or straw, which you can screw the potatoes into right-side up.

Arrow 2. Ask your local shopkeeper for a few apple boxes with the foam apple trays intact, these are ideal for supporting larger seed potatoes.

Arrow 3. Save your old egg boxes, rip the tops off, and plonk your potatoes into them right side up.

Chitting location or where to chit potatoes
You know when you loose some potatoes at the back of the cupboard, only to discover them again a month or two later. Well, the long white buds which can be found growing from the spuds at that stage are a prime example of what we don't want to produce. This soft bud growth is caused by the darkness, so for our chitting potatoes to produce short sturdy buds we must instead leave them in an area of natural light.

A windowsill without direct sunlight in a cool room or garage (8-10°C) is a perfect location for chitting, the coolness in these areas also prevent soft stringy bud growth. Chitted in this way, it normally takes about four to six weeks for your seed potatoes to produces buds approx 2.5cm (0.5-1in) long, ready to be planted out as soon as the soil is workable during March and April.

Be warned though that chitting in an outdoor shed sometimes leaves your potatoes open to attack by rats and other vermin. This is shown in all its horror in this post..... Rats attack potatoes , by one of our members Organicgrowingpains

Now that you know how to chit potatoes for earlier and heavier cropping you will not have to rely on suppliers having 'pre-chitted' seed available when you need it. You will just produce your own. Smile

Need more materials?


Irish home delivery.

Need more materials?


UK home delivery.

Need more materials?


US home delivery.



- Potato seed bargains-
CLICK HERE.





-Potato seed bargains-
CLICK HERE.





- Potato seed bargains-
CLICK HERE.





Associated content.
Increasing your stock of seed pototoes, How-to Video.

Grow your own potatoes.

How to grow new potatoes for Christmas.

How to manage the top two potato pests, Wireworm and Slugs.

Common potato Scab, Management of the problem.

Potato blight, how to treat Phytophthora infestans.

Planning a Vegetable Garden? How to Make a Vegetable Garden.

Any queries or comments on chitting seed potatoes for earlier and heavier cropping, please post below.

_________________
Gardening books.

http://www.allotments.ie/ Ireland's allotments.
On Twitter... http://twitter.com/Allotments

Garden Consultation & Design.

Try my Garden Design home study course!
.
.


Last edited by James Kilkelly on Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:50 pm; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
CW12CAT
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 09 Feb 2009
Posts: 17
Location: Wexford

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am chitting potatoes on the window ledge using an egg box. I have noticed that the sprouts have a hairy coating on them. Is this a fungus and are my potatoes now useless?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
verge
Rank: Chief Moderator


Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 598
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certain varieties have a downey sprout CW12CAT. Any pics of youurs so we can confirm whether you are in the clear? How to post images on Irishgardeners.com
_________________
How to post pics on the forum.

Benefited from us? Then link to us or tell others.

http://www.allotments.ie/ Ireland's allotments.
On Twitter... http://twitter.com/Allotments
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CW12CAT
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 09 Feb 2009
Posts: 17
Location: Wexford

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:17 am    Post subject: chitting potatoes Reply with quote

Hi
Thanks for your quick reply. I am attaching a photo of the offending potato. I think all the potatoes are getting this hair. What do you think it is?



cw12cat_potato[1].JPG
 Description:
fur on potato
 Filesize:  34.33 KB
 Viewed:  42875 Time(s)

cw12cat_potato[1].JPG



_________________
cw12cat Wexford
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
verge
Rank: Chief Moderator


Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 598
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No looks grand CW12CAT. What variety by the way, roosters?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CW12CAT
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 09 Feb 2009
Posts: 17
Location: Wexford

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duke of York. I have some already planted (without chitting) in a potato bag but no sign of any sprouts yet. I will plant these chitting ones in a couple of weeks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 4592
Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a beginner. Does the egg box have to be cardboard or can the polystyrene and plastic ones be used too or is condensation a problem? Just wondering as I started to save our egg boxes about two months ago when I first read this article.
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
My Potatoes
Rank attained: Pedunculate oak tree


Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 307
Location: Cork

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't matter what the material is. The shape is the key, something that'll hold the seed potatoes aloft so that all eyes have a good chance of sprouting.

I use those egg trays from the supermarkets, they hold about 100 eggs.

If I need extra capacity I just make long 'ropes' with newspaper, then lay them criss-cross in a grid.

Like most things gardening, it more art than science.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 4592
Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks my potatoes, i was just wondering in case of dew or condensation being in contact with the spud.

Dug the first of my Kerrs Pinks today, the boss roasted them with a chicken - delicious. 10 -12 spuds per plant of varying sizes, golf ball to bigger than a tennis ball, not 'rising to the potatoes' as you call it didn't help I presume.
PS: I love that phrase, it's part of the vocabulary now around here.

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Vegetable growing, fruit and allotments in Ireland All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2006 - 2017 IrishGardeners.com (part of GardenPlansIreland.com)