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Potatoes already chitting

I just opened a box of seed potatoes, intending to chit the first earlies (Swift), for planting in a few weeks in the polytunnel. The second earlies (Charlotte), have also started, but not as much. I don’t want the shoots to be really long because they’re really easy to snap-off then. Would you leave them in the light as they’re presumably not going to stop growing now they’ve started?  Would it be best to plant them earlier than planned with more protection or wait and risk long shoots? Also could I have prevented this? They were in their cardboard delivery box in the pantry, which is like a fridge. 

These pictures are all the same, sorry. It took ages to upload with what we laughingly call our broadband connection, and I hadn’t realised that the last few attempts had worked. Can’t remove any of them. 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,238
    Keep them in the light and cool not warm ... (but obviously not down near freezing). 

    Good light and cool temperatures should produce short sturdy shoots. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • EmerionEmerion Posts: 229
    Thanks @Dovefromabove, I’m already dreaming of my first crop of new potatoes. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,238
    I’m looking forward to ours too 😋 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Going to local shop today to pick this years pots. It's nice as you can pick individually and they sell be weight. Any suggestions for something interesting. Usually grow 1 row first earlies, and then either 2 2nd and one main or 1 2nd and 2 main.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 3,386
    Last year I tried Markies main crop @marklovick87 They were very good potatoes cropped well, I wish I had more room to grow so they had lasted longer.
  • EmerionEmerion Posts: 229
    edited 19 February
    I tried the Jersey Royal variety “International Kidney” years ago @marklovick87. I can’t recall why I didn’t keep doing it, but it wasn’t anything bad. Maybe the crop was a bit small. But they were absolutely delicious, easily as good as the best shop bought ones. Now that I’ve remembered them, I’m regretting having already bought more than I’ve got room for! I was really pleased with my main crop last year, Sarpo Mira. Not interesting really, but blight resistant, and they make really good roasties and mash. 
  • I'd have liked some Markies but he hasn't had any in for a couple of years he said so went for the following.

    1st Early - Dunluce (for a couple of bags)
    1st Early - International Kidney (he did advised to eat this young as they can go very floury)
    2nd Early  - Marfona
    Main - King Edward
    Main - Stemster
  • EmerionEmerion Posts: 229
    Very envious 🙂. Digging up potatoes is one of my favourite things. Good luck with them.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,238
    I really like Marfona ... especially for Dauphinoise type dishes. 😋 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • pclark42pclark42 Frolesworth, EnglandPosts: 92
    I have had some first early chitting for a few weeks and the shoots were getting large, so this time I am doing something different, I am growing them in tubs that I purchased off Amazon, so have planted up 3 tubs with 5 spuds per tub, I am keeping them in the heated polytunnel, seeing as I am always late planting I am hoping this year to get a bit in front, I have put Leeks into root trainers, and sown some lettuce, already have cabbage, Cauliflower and Purple Brocolli under fleece outdoors, I have Shallots, Aubergines, Courgettes and Rhubarb coming along in my study, I am determined that Jack frost is having none of my crops.
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