For home / allotment growers, the following tips could be usefull.
Tips for Chitting:
During chitting, you will see one dominant sprout appearing that appears to do quite well.
Most people pride themselves in having potatoes with good sprouts and usually they will do very well once planted.
However, if the dominant (biggest) sprout is removed during chitting, the other eyes will wake up, and produce sprouts as well.
When planted, this will result in more shoots, more plant, more energy. This ultimately results in more potatoes per plant!
Try it yourself. Take a few potatoes that you have chitted the normal way and an equal amount of ones chitted our way. Plant them next to eachother and see if you can spot the difference!
Tips for Planting:
place the potato with the majority of sprouts aiming upwards, with the top of the tuber level with the surrounding level of the ground, with at least 1 inch of loose soil underneath. (see Fig 1 underneath)
Directly after planting, mound the soil from either side on top of the potato to make ridges and valleys. The ridges should be approx two foot apart.
Make sure you don't create the ridges too big, so that you don't have enough soil for the next rows. The potato should in the end be in the middle of the ridge. (see Fig 2 above)
The reason for creating ridges is you increase the area of soil available to the potato. It also helps in wet years by avoiding water sitting around the potato tuber and rotting it or its produce.
However the best reason for creating ridges is something you probably already know. You will have noticed that in warmer years the potatoes do better. This is because of the higher temperature in the soil. By creating ridges you help nature by increasing the area of soil exposed to the sun. This will help warming up the ridges, even in "normal" years, and create more favourable conditions for the potato, which will speed up its growth.
These simple tips resulted from 25+ years of large scale commercial seed growing. If it works for us, we are sure that it will work for you.
We hope that these tips will be usefull to you, however if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on: