Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?

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Silva

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Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« on: February 11, 2018, 20:03 »
Hello hoping someone can put my mind at ease.

I've been chitting my potatoes for the last two weeks in egg boxes in a plastic mini greenhouse in a sheltered spot behind the house. Now they don't seem to be doing anything (too early maybe?), but doing a little reading online it does seem like most people chit indoors. We had some frosty weather and snow last week- is it possible I could have committed spud murder? Should I bring them indoors and/or consider getting some more seed potatoes as a back up? We don't have any spare rooms, so I thought it would probably be too warm. I could also transfer them to the shed in the allotment now I have it, which has large windows and does seem to be warmer. If they had suffered frost damage how would I tell?

Thanks :)

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AnnieB

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 21:24 »
Most do chit indoors, however it is likely a case of convenience and you can see them easily. Outside may at present be a little early owing to frosts.

Not personally sure about chitting. I never have bothered. There was some years ago a program about Jersey Royals, or Jersey or the Channel islands.

They chitted the seed potatoes in large frames for the purpose, but they then rubbed out the first ones that appeared. The principal was that if they initially formed 2 chits and these were rubbed out then the seed potato "panicked" and then threw out 3, or maybe more, chits. This therefore gave them more stems on which potatoes grew and a bigger crop.

The aspect I can see is that we as gardeners chit, get 2 chits or sprouts and simply plant the 2 sprout potato. So we are likely not making any difference.

The other thought is that if we plant a potato with 3 good chits then in planting and covering there is a fair chance we could cause a chit to break and so reduce the potato bearing stems that grow.

Back to "damage" probably none. They are after all from Peru and from the Andes which gets cold. If the whole potato froze then likely murder, otherwise I would expect little.

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mumofstig

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 22:38 »
If you choose to chit then they should be somewhere cool, but above freezing, and in a bright/light place.
I suspect that yours have been frozen if they have been outside, even in a plastic greenhouse as temperatures have been very low of late. Inside my greenhouse here in the SE, temperatures have been as low as -3.5C over the last few weeks.
If they go soft/wet and start to smell, you will know for sure :(

Lesley x
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Silva

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 07:39 »
Oh dear that's gutting. I went to the local potato day and spent time choosing a nice range of varieties. My only option for replacement now is probably Wilko... If you don't chit how do you store them? As I'm starting to think that I don't have anywhere suitable to chit them :(

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JayG

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 09:04 »
I'd be surprised if garden centres had run out already, especially given the not very gardening-friendly weather recently, although of course you probably won't have the choice you had at the potato day.

You may have got away with it - keep an eye on them as MoS has suggested.

Any windowsill inside the house should be OK - for many who have to buy their seed potatoes early, chitting and storage prior to planting are pretty much the same thing, because you can't store them in the dark or you will get long, white chits which will be weak and probably mostly break off when you plant them.
Sow your seeds, plant your plants, and plonk your potatoes in the soil.

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Silva

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 16:45 »
Thank you everyone for the replies. I've just had a close inspection they do seem firm still (for now) and no obvious signs of rotting (yet!). Looking close I can also see some tiny (about 1mm) purple chits on a few of them. Perhaps there is hope! The broad beans next to them are doing sod all though  :lol:

I think I will get a small number of back up earlies, and only replace the mains once I'm certain of any frost damage. I assume they will remain on sale though March? And I will keep a closer eye on the weather from now on and bring them in for very cold nights. It's funny, you think you've done all the research but still manage to fumble basic things!

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mumofstig

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 16:57 »
Have you got any fleece you can wrap round the spuds? This will keep them a bit warmer and still let enough light through for them to chit. I hope they make it through.

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Christine

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 17:18 »
It's funny, you think you've done all the research but still manage to fumble basic things!
Hmm - that can go on for years even when you think you might know what you are doing.  ;) Don't worry about it - happens to professionals as well as us learners.

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Silva

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 20:27 »
Have you got any fleece you can wrap round the spuds? This will keep them a bit warmer and still let enough light through for them to chit. I hope they make it through.

I have some at the plot, I will go and grab it tomorrow. Thanks!

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rowlandwells

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 11:04 »
would you believe it I actually dug some potatoes out of my daughters razed bed last week we had a few spuds  us but most where sound and after removing the mud they are  still good to eat boiles or baked no probs


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JayG

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2018, 11:31 »
'Amazed' is probably not the right word, but I'm sure many of us have been somewhat miffed at how we managed to miss some of the previous year's harvest, which then come up in the middle of your lettuces or whatever. (In my case, it's not always the tiny ones I failed to spot either!  :lol:)

They are of course perfectly capable of surviving the winter if they avoid the slugs, and are deep enough to avoid any frost.

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rowlandwells

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2018, 16:19 »
i forgot to mention the variety was cara  they did have a bit of scab but peeled and cooked as said no probs and they taste good with a helping of swede or pumpkin thrown in lovely  :D :D

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freefolk

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2018, 10:44 »
I started hitting mine on 13 Feb, they are already starting with the little roots, so all looking good.  They are sat quite happily on a south facing window, sunbathing as I type this!

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DD.

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2018, 11:19 »
I started hitting mine on 13 Feb,

They really won't like that!  :lol: ;)
Did it really tell you to do THAT on the packet?

Seeds are SOWN, planting's for plants (and bulbs & tubers)!

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Silva

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Re: Chitting Potatoes- Potential spud murder?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2018, 16:22 »
They are currently neither soggy nor smelly, and although the chits are still tiny, I think they probably have grown a bit (at least on some varieties- Belle de Fontenay I'm looking at you to get a shift on!), so fingers crossed!



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