Just to add, keep en eye on the weather temperature and if there is a frost predicted, just cover them with some fleece
Are yours out in a shed, Darren? My shed doesn't have windows so they wouldn't get any light. Where is a good place to keep them instead?
Yes, mine is in the shed
You could keep them on top of a unit in the house
You just don't want it too warm or darm
Somewhere cool and light
Greenhouse will be ok as long as you cover at night
I think I'll pop them in the spare room and turn the radiator off.
Thanks for the help
How long should they take?
I personally don't start chitting till Mid February with a planting date of first week in April to ensure I have short stubby shoots. I would imagine you will have an earlier planting date where you are. A rough rule of thumb is six weeks before planting. I'm sure Darren will keep you right, I'm just that wee bit closer to the Arctic than you guys hence the later planting etc. Last year we had a ground frost in the first week of June.
I start chitting now as my show is an early one
If it can wait, it is always best to leave it as long as possible, then you will ensure the better weather
John is the man for potatoes, just look at his collection
I've been chitting mine in egg boxes in the cool conservatory on the north side of my house. Lots of light, not much heat. I'll be planting the first lot in potato bags in the shed (clear roof) which will keep any frost off in about 1 months time. The rest will go outside on the plot in March. I'm in the south west so it's relatively warm down here
That sounds fine to me Debs. Don't think you'll have too much of a problem with that
I love this time of year when everyone gets obsessed with chitting potatoes, and yet no-one questions 'why bother?' I was having a browse through my books and online the other day, and NONE of them have a good reason to do it. The RHS say it's 'vital' but give no reasons why, various experts say 'they've found', 'they think', 'they tend', 'in my experience', etc, there are endless media articles about how to do it but none give any decent reasons. Or certainly none backed up by any hard facts.
It seems that most people do it without questioning it, because everyone else does it, an 'expert' says so, the book said so, and so on. Are there any good reasons for doing this actually backed up with evidence anywhere? I'd have thought soil temperature, fertility, water, etc would all have far more impact on whether potatoes crop earlier or more heavily?
Personally I don't bother as I haven't got the room to lay them all out. I don't think it makes any difference to mine, but if someone can tell me why I should do it I'll get one of the kids to sleep on the floor so I can find room ;)
The main reason for chitting tatties is to make sure that you are planting a viable seed tattie. i.e. one that will grow. Also by chitting you are starting the growing process and as such reducing the time the potatoes are in the ground. Also if the potatoes are not chitted and the ground turns cold often the seed potato will struggle to produce sprouts and establish, this usually leads to smaller tubers and poorer yields. The reason exhibition growers chit is to the reduce the number of viable sprouts to 3 or 4 as this helps with the uniformity of the tubers produced.
But if by not chitting your seed and they perform well for you then stick with what works for you. This is the beauty of veg growing. What works for one grower does not necessary work for another.