Thursday, January 7

Chitting potatoes

In the newsletter mentioned below Alan Roman wrote:

“Chitting” is no longer regarded as essential. It is a hangover from mid Victorian times when all varieties were late maincrops requiring a long growing season. Modern varieties have a shorter “biological clock” and if they are started early they finish early with loss of potential yield. Better to keep them cool with the smallest possible bud and plant into warm soil. It is always possible to bring on a small number of earlies for earliest possible crop by chitting in a warm room".

This just adds to the perennial debate about whether or not you should chit your potatoes. Our seed potatoes usually arrive well before we want to plant them and so we tend to have no choice about whether to let them sprout a little or not. Maybe this year it will be different.

Maybe the bottom line is do what works for you and maybe it just doesn't really matter one way or another!

We have ordered several varieties of potatoes. We always do this as in this way usually the conditions suit at least some of the varieties grown and we have a decent crop that sees us through the year.

This year we have ordered Charlotte, International Kidney, Juliette, Lady Christil, Nadine, Nicola, Red Duke of York, Sarpo Mira and Ulster Chieftain. We tend to go for salad varieties as we find they suffer less from slug damage.

If you haven't bought your seed potatoes yet, Alan Roman has a good range of varieties with information about each one that helps in choosing a potato right for you and where you grow your potatoes. Click here for their website.


  1. I have only had my allotment for two years and have only recently heard of chitting potatoes....needless to say i have never done it....maybe I should give it a try?????

  2. If you haven't done it and get a decent crop of potatoes I wouldn't bother!

    In gardening just go with what works for you


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