Photo of potatoes in egg box

What is ‘Chitting’ a Potato?

You may or may not have heard of the term ‘Chitting’ before. This is a gardening term which is used to describe the process that encourages the seed potato to sprout faster. This will speed up the growing process, allowing you to get a head start on your gardening this Spring. 

When to Chit

You should start the chitting process as soon as you get your seed potatoes. They should be chitted 4-6 weeks before you plant them outdoors.

How to Chit

All you need to successfully start the chitting process are your seed potatoes and a tray or an old egg container. Find a frost-free area for them at home that’s at about 10°C. This could be in your garage, or any dark dry place.  Do not place in direct sunlight like window sills.  Place your potatoes upright in the tray, with the ‘eye’ facing upwards. The process takes about 4-6 weeks in total.

Over the next few weeks you will see sprouts beginning to form on your potatoes. The sprouts should be about 3-5cm in height and purple or green in colour. Once they have gotten to this stage they are ready to move to the garden. If the weather is still unsuitable outside then you may need to hold off on planting them outdoors.

Want to learn more about growing your own potatoes? You can find some more useful information here.

If you’ve got any other gardening questions on your mind just contact your local Horkans Garden Centre where one of our helpful and knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.