Why You Should Chit Potatoes Before Planting - Backyard Boss
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Why You Should Chit Potatoes Before Planting

Are you hoping for a better yield of potatoes? Have you always wanted to increase your vegetable harvesting efforts, but never knew how? Well, look no further! Planting chitted potatoes is the best way to ensure success in your potato-growing endeavors.

Chitting is a simple process that is based on how you store them — It can drastically improve the quantity and quality of your harvest. Below you’ll find why chitting is so important for optimum growth conditions for potatoes, as well as what supplies you need to get started. So, dive right in! Here’s why every gardener should chit their potatoes before planting!

Why You Should Chit Potatoes Before Planting

Chitted potatoes
Image credits: J Davidson via Shutterstock

If you want to get the most out of your potato crop this season, chitting them before planting is an effective way to increase yields and reap a bigger harvest. Chitting potatoes involves storing them in a light, cool place and encouraging the development of short shoots called ‘chits,’ which can help speed up their growth once planted. Although it may seem like extra effort, there are several reasons you should take the time to chit your potatoes before planting.

For one thing, chitted potatoes generally sprout more quickly than those that aren’t chitted. This means less stress on the plant when it comes to growing new roots and leaves after being transplanted into soil. You should start this process indoors in February so your potatoes will be ready for transplanting come spring.

Chitting also makes it easier for you to identify which variety of potato is which during planting because you can identify the short shoot. This can be useful if you’re growing multiple varieties in the same plot or area.

Getting Started

potatoes with sprouts
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Not only is chitting easy and fun, it encourages healthy growth and provides an opportunity for children to get involved in gardening. So why not give it a try? Here’s how to get started.

First, choose tubers with smooth and blemish-free skins. Arrange your tubers in an egg box or seed tray with the ‘eyes’ facing upwards. Place it in a cool but frost-free room where it will receive indirect light. A good temperature range is 45 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, if the potatoes get to hot they can shrivel.

As you do this, look at the varieties you have on hand — it’s essential to know which ones are which. Bring out one type at a time, you can label them as you go and avoid any mix-ups.

Over the course of four to six weeks, they should produce small green sprouts. These will help the potato develop strong roots, encouraging better uptake of water and nutrients. It is worth noting that some varieties of potato may require more time for this process than others.

Fundamentally, chitting potatoes doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Just by following these simple steps, you will be able to ensure maximum yields from your potato crop and start enjoying the fruits of your labor in no time. So, if you’re a gardener looking to maximize your potato yields, to chit potatoes before planting!

Get Them In The Ground

Seeding Potatoes
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Are you ready to get your hands dirty and start planting potatoes? If so, it’s almost time to begin chitting your tubers. As mentioned before February is a great time to start. However, if you live in an area that experiences late frosts, then it’s best to wait longer before chitting your potatoes. The ideal time to wait is four to six weeks so the tubers can grow to at least 2cm — then your chitted potatoes are ready to get in the ground!

Whatever the case may be, try to keep soil temperatures between 42 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit when planting your potatoes — this will give them the best chance for success. So, be prepared to get your hands dirty and plant in April!

To Chit or Not to Chit

Cut the sprouting potatoes
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When it comes to growing potatoes, one of the most debated topics is whether or not to chit them. While this process can promote more vigorous growth when done correctly, commercial growers tend to skip this step altogether, opting instead for cold storage followed by direct planting.

This doesn’t mean you should follow suit. If you’re a novice gardener looking to try your hand at potato growing, why not experiment with both approaches? You could try out the traditional chitting technique on some potatoes and leave others untouched. Record your results later down the line and see which variety fares best! Who knows, you may even find that one method works better for you in certain conditions.

At the very least, no matter what approach you take, you’ll have a delicious crop of potatoes come harvest time!

This Spud’s for You

Potato chitting is an easy and low-cost way to give your plants the extra boost they need! The real work will come when it’s time to dig them up, but if you do enough pre-planting preparation, the harvest can be so rewarding. So, don’t skimp on the basics — get out there and chit those potatoes!

And while you’re at it, show this article some love by sharing it so others can take advantage of this information. Let everyone know what kind of success stories you have with potato chitting by leaving a comment below. After all, every spud deserves some extra TLC!