Sunday, 21 February 2010

Do You Chit?

"Have you chitted your potatoes yet?" says Parsnip Paul as we wait for the kettle to boil. (I still can't get over how big they are!)

"Err? what?"

My head is buzzing - what on earth is chitting? Better look it up in my trusty book - wouldn't want to appear foolish.

Okay, so I need to get my seed potatoes and put them, rose end up, (that's the end with most eyes) in an old eggbox in a cool light place so that they can get started. Okay. I can cope with that. Better head down to the garden centre and buy some seed potatoes.

So there I am, staring at the labels. Earlies, second earlies, maincrop? What's all that about?

I grab a pack of maincrop (cos they're a nice colour) and head home to get chitting.

A bit later on one of my loyal slaves calls round.

"I'm chitting," I tell him.

"You need to chit your earlies and your second earlies," he says. "It's not worth chitting maincrop. In fact, it's really probably not worth you growing maincrop at all. Just grow earlies and second earlies."

Oh bother. I'm chitting the wrong potatoes!


  1. Hi

    Parsnip n Potato Paul sounds like he knows all about chitting. I hope you took down notes other than the size of his parsnips...

    I like the way you started erm... chitting with the "main crop" because you liked the colour! I had this image of them being pretty barbie pink swimming in a sea of dull potato brown...


    Take care

  2. Wow, I just learned something! Chitting...Who knew? When I was a child in rural Quebec, I'm pretty sure we just planted the leftover potatoes (bits with the eyes, of course) each spring. We had a root cellar and it would flood every spring, so we'd have leftover potatoes and turnip floating almost up to the kitchen floor level.

    I must ask my mother if she knows what "chitting" is!

  3. Yes, this little project is certainly turning out to be educational :-)

  4. There is some good advice about potato growing here: and if you Google "Monty Don chitting" you'll find video of the experiment he tried a couple of years ago which seemed to indicate that early potatoes do benefit, while main crop don't, but it wasn't a full field trial.

  5. Remember your growing them for yourself to eat!

    I found last year my main crop were far more tasty and spanned more of the growing season!

  6. Thanks Heskie, that's a really useful link.

    And cheers Lucky Seven. I've got some earlies chitting now as well so some earlies and some maincrop. That should just about cover it I hope :-)