Instructables
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Potato Chitting

Picture of Potato Chitting
No, that's not a typo - this is the third in my grow your own series - Potato chitting is one of those things that some grow-your-own types like and others don't. Remember the last lot of potatoes you bought, stuck in a cupboard and forgot about? Well chitting is the same kind of thing. The potato starts growing in the nice cool windowsill you've got, then you can transplant outside.

You'll need:

1) Potatoes - not just any though!
2) egg box
3) windowsill
4) 'special knowledge' (you'll get that in a minute...)
 
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Step 1: Buying the potatoes

Picture of Buying the potatoes
This is bizarrely an important step - why? That's because normal store bought potatoes will usually be OK, but may possibly contain disease you don't want to put into your soil. Use 'seed' potatoes from the local nursery or seed store and you can guarantee they will be virus free. That's not to say that the soil you're putting them in is disease free, but at least they'll have a fighting chance.

You can pick them up fairly cheaply from a good shop - mine here cost £2 from the local nursery

More importantly is that you can often pick up varieties of potato not usually available or even endangered or rare plants - though often these are sold as actual plants rather than the rare and valuable tubers.

Step 2: Learning the knowledge...

Picture of Learning the knowledge...
Did you know a potato has a right and a wrong way up? No? Well that is why this part of the instructable exists and why I bothered in the first place!

Look at my blurry photo below (Damn my nokia n95 which I've been using for all my grow your own series pics)

See the knobby bits - commonly called 'eyes' - these are where the potato sprouts from. As far as you are concerned this is 'up'. Welcome to the potato grower brotherhood...
damian.loynd2 months ago

can you chit a potatoe more than once? Thanks

nicki.felix4 months ago

I bought some seed potatoes, and cut them into pieces, each with an eye on. Put them into egg boxes, but I think the potatoes will rot before they actually chit. Perhaps I should have let them chit first then cut them up ready for planting?

St Anton3 years ago
How deep? Are we supposed to make a dirt mound?
DeanGPotts4 years ago
i seem to have bought some pre chitted tatoes, 6 in a bag that are soon to be burried, was going to eat them.
jadler-14 years ago
so help this dummy out. Seriously, once they're "chitted", to the "chits" go UP when you put them in the ground? Or are those "roots" per say, and they go down?
Sorry if it seems like a dumb question!
tim_n (author)  jadler-14 years ago
Chits go up :)
jadler-1 tim_n4 years ago
thank you!
Kaiven5 years ago
Wait... Why do I want to chit a potato? If I cut apart a potato and I plant the chits seperately, will they all grow into full potatos?
tim_n (author)  Kaiven5 years ago
yes you can! In war time England under the grow your own campaign people would chit, then peel the skin off and plant each bud so they could use the potato for eating!
Kaiven tim_n5 years ago
Awesome! Wait... do the peels grow back into full potatoes? Or do they like collect the seeds then plant the se--.... Hmm.. I am confused by the life cycle of a potato.
Arano Kaiven4 years ago
a potato becomes the crop and then on the roots new potatoes are growing... you can find that 'mother' potato when you harvest the new potatos but in most cases you don't want to find find it ;) the potato is mostly consumed in the early stage of growing in the early year; most of that energy is used to grow upwards through the earth in the search of light, because when it reches the light the crop can produce sugar for further growing....
gw8126 years ago
Question - heard once that you can cut up the potato once it has chitted and plant each chit with a piece of potato attached separately. True?
awang8 gw8126 years ago
You can cut the potato in to as many pieces as you want, but only the pieces with eyes on them can be grown. Save the rest for compost!
tim_n (author)  gw8126 years ago
you can in fact go one step further and use potato peelings to grow potatoes. A practice common in the dig for victory era during the second world war in britain! Just make sure the chunk or peeling has an 'eye' to start growth.
SpinWard6 years ago
I remember when I learned this word, I pulled an old potato from beneath the cabinet and said, "Look mom, I chit a potato." She made me get the dictionary or I was going to be in big trouble. Great instructable. I'm trying to plan my garden for next year and my husband requested potatoes! Thanks!
devilwyrm7 years ago
where i am from we call those the chits eyes
tim_n (author)  devilwyrm7 years ago
Indeed - the 'eye' is from whence the chit comes - the sprout is the chit. The act of purposely letting them sprout is called chitting.
tim_n (author)  tim_n7 years ago
I've uploaded a better final pic of a chitted potato.
tim_n (author) 7 years ago
Ooops! Amended! 4-6 weeks - or it can be a week.
about how long does it take for a potato to chit (lol) a whole other one?