Chitting Potatoes

It is normal to chit seed potatoes, especially earlies. The tubers are stood in shallow trays or egg boxes. The end with the most eyes should be uppermost. They should be exposed to the light and some warmth - for example, an unused bedroom. The tubers will quickly turn green, and shoots will begin to develop. The three strongest at one end should be allowed to develop and the others rubbed off.

Seed potatoes should be about the size of a hen's egg. If any are much larger, they can be cut and the surfaces exposed to air; they will dry after a few days and a corky layer will form. The separate pieces will grow successfully once a shoot or two have formed. You are aiming for strong, stubby shoots about an inch in length.

Do not try to chit "eating potatoes" bought in a supermarket. They will probably have been sprayed with a plant hormone to inhibit chitting, and you may have a long wait. They are also unlikely to give as good a yield as certified virus-free stock.

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