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Chitting Potatoes

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Seed potatoes sitting in a plastic container on a windowsill

Chitting Potatoes

Chitting is a gardening term that means germinating seeds before burying them in the soil. I have often chitted seeds in the past to avoid wasting space in my growing areas by burying duds but this year is my first attempt using potatoes, the crop to which the chitting is most widely applied.

This is my first year growing potatoes. Based on various research, I understand that some connection with the soil can give better yields (presumably because the potatoes can benefit from the goodness stored across a large volume of earth) but that they are easier to harvest from containers (tip the container out and there are all the spuds).

I have decided to combine the two. I am using old compost bags turned inside out (the black lining looks better than revealing the brand advertising). The bottom is slit open for a good interface with the bed beneath and some soil is packed in to hold each back in place. The tube has then been filled about halfway with a mix of compost and the contents of a Miracle-Gro organic potato grow sack (ratio 3:1). The rest of the bag can be topped up and rolled up as the plants grow.

At the moment I have one planted up with the three unidentified tubers Robert gave me. They were sprouting healthily so, given that the spot is reasonably sheltered, I decided to get them out. Indoors I am beginning to chit the rest of the tubers I have in my stash and I have three more tubes reading and waiting with the tops folded over to protect them. I realised I had more tubers than I expected so I might add a couple more bags to the bed before I am done to prevent overcrowding.

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