Anyone for Chit?


Meadowlark

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I had to look up "chiting", LOL.

Never done it here in Texas but average 10 pounds of new potato per pound of seed potato...and that's plenty.

I do cut my seeds and harden them off before planting...and usually coat them with wood ashes and/or sulphur.

I planted these a couple of days ago during a warm snap...usually wait until Valentine's day but the weather window opened up .

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I chit. I put the potatoes on the garden table, cut them so there are at least two "eyes" per piece, and leave them for a day, then plant.
 

Steve Randles

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Chitting is something we do here to get a start on things when waiting for the right time to plant. We place seed potatoes in tray in a light area that is front free to encourage the eyes on the tatties to start growing, not the long green shoots but short deep coloured sprouts. So that when we do plant they are growing almost straight away. It is a traditional part of our gardening year here in the UK.

Steve...:)
 
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I leave my seed potatoes whole, and chit only my 1st earlies.
The only purpose of chitting is to get some growth before they can go in the ground, so it doesn't really matter whether you do or don't.
It'll just be another week before they are ready.
 

Meadowlark

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Very interesting thread to me. I've been growing new spuds for many years and not familiar with chitting.

One thing that would concern me about chitting would be encouraging growth (above ground) too quickly for freezes/frosts. I plant my seeds well before the danger of freeze/frost is over. I have to because here on the Gulf Coast it gets very hot very quickly...by late May, new potatoes have to come out of the ground or rot.

So, I try to plant as early as possible to get a root system started and have no more above ground exposure than necessary until danger of freeze past. Along those lines, I plant at least 8 inches deep and hill up as soon as new shoots start coming forth and continue to hill up through harvest.

I have had up to three freezes once on the same crop with above ground tops and they survived but did have somewhat lower production. In a good year, I'll get 12 to 15 pounds of harvest per pound of seed potato, but average about 10 pounds. The three freeze year, I got about 7 pounds per pound of seed. I started this year already with 20 pounds of seed spuds in the ground. 200 pounds of new potatoes generally does us for most of a year until I can get the next batch growing.

I absolutely love growing potatoes and it has been a family tradition around here for 50 years or more.
 

Steve Randles

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I have had up to three freezes once on the same crop with above ground tops and they survived but did have somewhat lower production. In a good year,
This one of the reasons why we chit, we get them going inside whilst the freeze is going on outside, then similar to you I plant 6 - 8 inches deep then hill up, but I do that straight away. I would have all growth underground rather than letting the tops get frozen and blackening. That would set growth back a couple of weeks as those tops recover and regrow.

My last frost date is Late May. And I plant out chitted seed at the end of March.

If I am unlucky and the tops are out of the ground and a freeze is forecast I will venture forth and cover with horticultural fleece before hand, another trick if you miss the forecast but you know overnight there is a freeze, you can get up and out before sunrise and use a hose to "wash" the frost of, this has about a 70% success rate, the earlier you do this the better but best done before the sun rises.

I harvest between 3-5lb per plant, normally around the 3lb mark.

Steve...:)
 

Steve Randles

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venture forth
1. To move forward, especially in a courageous but cautious or wary manner.

This is a particularly apt phrase when one considers that at just gone 5pm this time of year it is dark, and further consider all the trip hazards, on my plot. :)

Steve...:)
 
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I just learned what chitting is, thanks to youtube.

I'm a chitter and didn't even know it:)

I eat a lot of pototoes, love 'em. I never peel my potatoes, but I do cut off imperfections and put them in my compost bucket, consequently I have many potato plants growing in my garden, since I dump my kitchen waste directly into my garden under the mulch. I do harvest those potatoes and they are good.

BTW, my potatoes naturally grow those spuds without special storage.
 

Meadowlark

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Yes, store bought potatoes are treated with a chemical to prevent sprouting....and I don't like those kind of chemicals in my food so growing our own has another added benefit. We keep several small ones each year to carry over for seed the following years and they do fine.

I have found that production on those kitchen waste spuds is far less than the seed pieces...something like 3 pounds per vs 10 pounds per. Because of that, I try to make my seed pieces as large as possible to support production.

The last few years in addition to dark air storage, we have canned potatoes and they are great in winter time soups and recipes.
 
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Never mind the anti-sprouting spray; here in the UK farmers have a programme of TWELVE sprayings for potatoes.
They're not even single chemicals, but cocktails! :eek:
 

zigs

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I chit mine usually, then keep an eye on the frost when they come up. Usually put old windows over them to keep em warm :)
 

zigs

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Got some Sarpo miras today, they don't stop growing till you or the frost stop them.

Put them on to chit :)

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Got some Sarpo miras today, they don't stop growing till you or the frost stop them.

Put them on to chit :)

View attachment 49987
If you have eaten Sarpo Mira potatoes before, the very best of luck; if you have not, throw them away and get some decent seed potatoes.
I grew them in 2017, and they were the worst potatoes I've ever eaten, both for taste and texture.
All the ones which grew really big had hollow heart, too.
They were invented to feed hungry mouths in Warsaw Pact countries, and pleasantness came well behind calories.
Threw most of them away, as I was too ashamed to give them away.
They really are that bad.
Valor have some blight resistance, are nice potatoes, and give a decent crop.
Desiree are quick to bulk up, and, in Cheshire, I can usually get them in, out and stored before blight becomes a real problem. They are an excellent all-round potato.
 

Steve Randles

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I've grown Sarpo Mira for a couple of years now, and I rate them fairly highly.

I was sceptical at first having read reports similar to HFB above, but I eventually tried some of a friends harvest first and was pleasantly surprised, so I grew them the following year (2 seasons ago now) I use them for Fries and Saute and I find their flavour to be light which suits the uses. Half of my Sarpo crop are grown and encouraged to be massive and I achieve this without any hollow tubers. They can get a little scab in dry weather if you don't keep the rootzone moist.

For mashed potatoes and Baking I grow Kennebec, a variety that the americans here will be familiar with.

For roasting potatoes, there can be only one, the King Edward.

I also grow International Kidney (Jersey Royal!) it is an early miancrop but I start harvesting them as a first early, through the summer, digging them up as required.

Steve...:)
 
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We are growing Kinnebec for the first time this year. I'm interested in seeing how well they do here in central Texas. For early potatoes to steam, we have Red Lasodas, and we also grow Yukon Golds, which I was assured by a neighboring farmer "would not grow around here." I took him a small bag of Yukons, which he agreed that "on your farm with the soil you have, the Yukons didn't do bad." Why am I thinking
"Mr. Potato Head"?
 
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I'm growing Maris Bard, Foremost and Casablanca as first earlies; Nadine as second earlies, Desiree as early maincrop, and Valor as late maincrop.
All, bar the Maris Bard and Casablanca will store for months.
 
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zigs

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We've taken that on board Bees and got these as a back up (y)

50092


Can always make booze out of the sarpo miras :giggle:
 

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