A weekly examine of a horticulture term. This week we are looking at the word chitting.


This term is thrown around a lot at the moment, particularly with potatoes.

Chitting is a method of preparing potatoes or other tubers for planting. This is often disputed whether it helps the growth of plants or not. Nonetheless, many gardeners swear by this method. If you have ever left some potatoes in the cupboard so long that they have started to grow stems, you have seen potatoes chit.

To chit potatoes, we place seed potatoes in trays (egg trays are perfect for this) with the potato "eyes pointing up". Leave them somewhere light, cool but frost-free and after a few weeks, these potatoes will start to grow stems. We then plant the potatoes when its time to plant. If we were to chit in the dark the chits would be long and thin, which is not very good for potatoes.

The theory here is that by chitting potatoes we get a head start on the growth for the season. In my experience I have found there is very little advantage to this method and don't really worry about it but other gardeners swear by chitting.

Do you chit, what is your experience with chitting? Let me know in the comments below.

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