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potatoes

hi just been in my loft to see how my potatoes are doing as I have not a lot of room in my bungalow,  to bring them down now to start chitting , they have got really big white shoots on them, do I leave them on or take them off.

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  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    Oh dear, you should have put them in the light some time ago. I'm sure someone will be along soon to tell you what to do next, apart from putting them in a cool, light place. The ones with small shoots will recover, not sure about the long ones.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    If they are not really shriveled up already, I would just knock the long shoots off and let them go again in the light.

    Mine started themselves off too early in their delivery box, I just knocked them off and placed them on the windowsill as usual. New shoots look normal enough.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 32,356

    I wonder if you leave them in the light, but cool, the light might turn the white shoots green? I've seen longer sprouted spuds planted with good results.

    Devon.
  • Pondman01Pondman01 Posts: 71

    hi all thanks for the replys, I thought about knocking the long shoots of and starting again, also.will have another go at it. thank you.

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I'm pretty sure my OH used to do them like that on purpose. He would put them in a dark cupboard to shoot then planted them out. They always grew OK. 

    It was only when I took over the veg I read about 'chitting' and started to do them on the windowsill. image

  • Pondman01Pondman01 Posts: 71

    hi that's what I was told put them in the dark to chit, but mine have gone mad, I think I will put them in the greenhouse as it is cool in there at the moment, and not direct in the sunlight.

  • I doesn't seem to matter much whether you "chit" or not these days.  e.g. the commercial growers round here have planted about 40 acres of potatoes over the past day or so.  I checked the contents of the potato boxes at the side of the field, and no sign of any growth on the seed potatoes.   They couldn't use chitted potatoes with modern machinery anyway, because the processes would rub the shoots off.  They even use GPS to find the most economical route to cover the acreage/ ref time taken/turning space for the tractor etc etc  so my guess is that if it were really worthwhile chitting potatoes before putting ithem in the ground, they'd have come up with some way of doing it by developing the machinery to cope.

  • Pondman01Pondman01 Posts: 71

    Yes I must agree I thought about the farmers putting them straight into the fields also. I could not see them having loads of boxes' wait for the potatoes to chit.

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I wonder if chitting is part of the obsession with early crops? I read quite a few older books over the winter and from the 1940's to 70's one gets the impression veg gardening had a lot to do with getting the earliest crops possible. In general these early crops were maybe two weeks ahead or so, but a lot of text was given over to the techniques to achieve it.

    I don't think it is such as necessity for most of us these days and so perhaps not quite as important as it might have been to people in the past?

    I'm still going to chit my tats, I order them in January so have plenty of time to, but I get the feeling it isn't necessary, rather just a way to get them off to an early start, when it is too soon to just plant them out.

  • Years ago - when my Pa (who was a farmer) used part of the land for potato growing - we did actually "chit" potatoes.  The seed potatoes were stored foor chitting in wooden crates.  These were slatted crates, with an upright "brace" in each corner which allowed some space between each crate when they were stacked one on top of another.  You see a modern version of this sort of thing these days in some greengrocers' shops etc - it means that the contents of the crate don't get squashed.by the one stacked on top of it.

    The machinery used for planting had a sort of shelf along the top of the axle, and this was big enough to accommodate the boxes of chitted potatoes.  There were  two seats behind the shelf, which is where the workmen sat.  They picked each potato up and dropped in down into the furrows which had been created by the part of the machine in front of the axle.  This way, it was possible to use chitted potatoes without damaging the new growth, because the potatoes didn't actually come into contact with any of the machinery's moving parts.

    p.s.  the people round here who grow "first earlies" commercially have already got them  in the ground - there's a sort of covering made from plastic - on a sunny day it makes the fields look a bit as though someone has laid down a whole lot of strips of white carpet!

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