Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?

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JayG

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A few years ago the only thing I used to chit was potatoes, but since then I've had a duff packet of sweetcorn seeds, some saved sugarsnap pea seeds which I wasn't quite sure about, ditto some saved runner bean seeds, and now having read Aidy's post in the current "Parsnip and radish" thread I am in danger of becoming a compulsive chitter!  :ohmy:

Parsnip seeds are pretty fiddly but I can see the benefits of planting single seeds that have already been germinated in the warm (the possibility of using year-old seed, far less waiting, no thinning, and no danger of causing forking by transplanting seedings too late.) I'm a bit tempted to give it a go.........

What do you others do, chittingly-speaking?  :unsure:
Sow your seeds, plant your plants. What's the difference? A couple of weeks or more when answering possible queries!

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Auntiemogs

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 17:15 »
I chit my peas and beans.  :)
I would rather live in a world
where my life is surrounded by mystery
than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it...✿~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

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BabbyAnn

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 18:14 »
I only ever chitted potatoes but when I got stuck in with the chilli project, I followed the main chilli websites advice and chitted them on paper towelling in a warm place - magic, not only did they germinate much more quickly but you can see at an instant which ones are viable and so not waste compost.  I had some special tomato seeds that I wanted germinating quickly and I'm afraid I'm now a convert.  So next will be parsnips, sweetcorn, beans ...  :lol:

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LJB12

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 18:36 »
Oooooh! How do you chit a seed and what is the benefit?

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A Reyt Tayty

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 19:00 »
I usually do my parsnips in toilet rolls. This year I have had a pretty poor germination rate........less than a quarter. So, I have done the jolly old blotting paper germination trick with the rest of the packet. They have been in about a fortnight (by the side of the boiler) and not a glimmer as yet. I am a failure. Boo hoo.

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mumofstig

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 19:09 »
Oooooh! How do you chit a seed and what is the benefit?

reasons and how to  are here
http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=76184.msg862191#msg862191
Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)

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shokkyy

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 20:12 »
Never chitted anything but a spud in my life. I rarely if ever seem to have problems getting any seeds to germinate, and it's already hard enough finding time to do all the sowing/pricking out/planting/watering/etc. that has to be done, so I've just never really seen any point in giving myself yet another task to do which will probably be completely unnecessary.

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New shoot

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 05:33 »
Apart from spuds, the only things I have done before are sweetcorn and the odd saved seed to test viability.  Then I read a tip about sowing sweetcorn virtually on the surface of the compost and that worked so well, I forgot about the chitting  :)

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Salmo

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 08:26 »
I usually do my parsnips in toilet rolls. This year I have had a pretty poor germination rate........less than a quarter. So, I have done the jolly old blotting paper germination trick with the rest of the packet. They have been in about a fortnight (by the side of the boiler) and not a glimmer as yet. I am a failure. Boo hoo.

Do you therefore conclude that the initial poor germination was because the seed was at fault?

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JayG

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 08:34 »
Oooooh! How do you chit a seed and what is the benefit?

Seed chitting used to refer mainly to partially breaking down the seed coat of very hard seeds (like sweet peas) to assist with germination, whereas what we are talking about here is pre-germination of seeds.

If there is a "standard" way of doing it it's placing the seeds on a damp (not wet) piece of kitchen paper in a sandwich box or similar, covering with another sheet of damp paper, putting the lid on, and keeping in a warm place until the seeds start to sprout. Some very large seeds can be soaked for at least a few hours first, whereas some are just too small to be able to handle so are not really suitable.
With all of them it's important to plant in soil as soon as the first sprouts are seen, or you will potentially have problems with roots and shoots getting dried or damaged, or knowing which way up to plant them.  :unsure:

I tend not to do anything involving effort unless there is a clear benefit  ::), or the time potentially saved in future is greater than the time taken to do it, and a few years ago I didn't chit any seeds, but after sowing 35 sweet corn seeds and only getting 4 to germinate I lost confidence in them and now pre-germinate them first.

So, pre-germination is far from being essential, but can be useful if there is any doubt about the viability of the seeds, and is something to think about this year in particular given that the cold weather has squeezed the time available to get some of the early crops started (and therefore the time available to re-sow if things go wrong.)

+ + +

Reyt Tayty: how warm was it near your boiler? A temperature of around 20C is all you need for germinating parsnip seed - above that the germination rate declines quite rapidly.

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richy

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 09:02 »
Spuds and sweetcorn for me, i dont fancy chitting 500 or so parsnips or peas.

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DD.

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2013, 09:14 »
3,000 pea seeds is also a no-go for me!
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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Aidy

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 15:31 »
I only chit parsnip, spuds, broad bean.

The rest is sown as normal
Punk isn't dead...it's underground where it belongs. If it comes to the surface it's no longer punk...it's Green Day!

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sowitgrowit

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 15:40 »
Parsnips, sweetcorn, potatoes.

The rest are sown as normal. Or should that be sowed.  I can never decide.
Live like a peasant,
eat like a king!

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JayG

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Re: Are you a seed "chitting" or "no-chit" sort of person?
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2013, 16:56 »
The rest are sown as normal. Or should that be sowed.  I can never decide.

I can tell you that "sown" is the "past simple" and "sowed" is the "past participle" (because I know how to Gurgle!)

What I don't know is what the correct usage is because I'm too thick to understand the explanation and examples!  :lol:

I do know that seeds are "sown" and plants are "planted" though, and so do you obviously!  ;)



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