Monday 30 March 2015

Harvest Monday: March 30, 2015 - On Chitting Potatoes

This is my submission for the weekly Harvest Monday hosted by Daphne's Dandelions where you can see what others are doing with their harvests.  My post is both a reference to last years harvest and preparing for this years.

I guess there is some debate over this topic (to chit or not to chit), but I've always chitted my potatoes to prep them for planting.  This just means to encourage sprouts to form from the eyes.  The sprouts then help to form the stem and eventually the leafy part of the potato plant.

So it seems logical to me that you would want to get a head start on the plant, huh?

I am using the last of my potato harvest from last fall to form the beginnings of this years (I'll need to pick up some Yukon Gold's somewhere as well).  I have several small Blue Russians and Fingerlings remaining (14 and 16, respectively).

Just like last year, the Blue Russians have already started to sprout in the dark, cold room where I store them.  They are a bit far advanced so I pulled off the longest of the sprouts.

This also allowed me to reposition the potato properly in the egg carton so that the most eyes were at the top (I store the smallest ones in egg cartons over the winter so just brought them upstairs in the same cartons).

The fingerlings have just a couple of sprouts.  I've readjusted them to have the best eyes at the top.

They are now in a back room of the house.  I've closed the heat vent to keep the room a bit cooler but they will now have better light exposure and should be good for planting in early May.

Wow, hard to believe I might be planting something in just 4-5 weeks with the looks of the yard earlier!  Perhaps a bit later, we'll see. A few good days of above-freezing temperatures can melt a lot of snow.


  1. I've been wondering if I should or shouldn't, but it looks to me like quite a few bloggers do, so I think I will go with the majority on that front - if I can, that is. I won't be getting my seed potatoes until mid-April so I'm not sure if I'll have time to get any sprouts going.

    1. It seems to me from what I've read that it is not necessary. But for me, it's like starting seeds indoors - a good way to get a head start.

  2. I didn't know you can pull off some of the sprouts and still keep the the seed potato going.

  3. I used to chit when I grew potatoes. Like you I figured it gave them a head start when they went outside. I'm not sure if it matters a lot, but it doesn't hurt.

    I'm really hoping to be planting something in a week or two, but I too still have snow. It is melting though. Once it is melted I wonder if the soil will thaw quickly or slowly. It was a really cold winter, but then again there was a deep snow blanket on it.

  4. I have to admit, I don't chit and have always been okay with the potato growing. Truth is I am just not that organised, but they grow.

  5. I've done it both ways, and the potatoes seem to grow fine either way.