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Potatoes in the Home Garden.

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Potatoes in the Home Garden.

Postby Durgan » Jul 18, 2008 7:03 am

Potatoes
Chitting http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?RNJJN General Overview from an Internet site.

Seed tubers are best 'chitted' or sprouted. Look closely at the potatoes and you should see more eyes at the crown - often there are three or four, sometimes five, in a cluster. On some tubers, particularly the roundish shaped types, they may be placed off centre. If these are allowed to grow they will produce mainly small tubers. Using a potato peeler or a small pointed knife remove all the eyes in the cluster by scooping approximately one eighth of an inch (3mm) deep, which should eliminate any regrowth. Without the crown cluster eyes, the tuber's food reserves will be directed to shoulder and side eyes. Reject all tubers showing the slightest sign of disease. Cutting out the diseased part, such as dry rot or gangrene, is no answer because if it is planted the diseased tubers will infect the soil.

Set treated tubers, crown up, on egg trays, thus allowing space for the sprouts to develop. They do not require high temperatures, but should be kept in full light and free from extreme cold or frost.This will encourage sturdy sprouts. Sprouts will form within a few weeks, dark blue or green, or deep pink or red, depending upon the cultivar, by planting time. By chitting we may select the eyes and encourage good sturdy sprouts before planting to produce earlier, improved crops.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?QOGGE Chitting Picture indicating procedure. 16 March 2008 My Chitting method.

Seed potatoes were purchased 16 March 2008. Some were already sprouted, so it was easy to remove the clustered sprouts. This is my method. I use a potato peeler and remove a plug consisting of the clustered sprouts. This is probaly only feasible in a home garden, due to the labour and expense involved.

The types of potatoes are Kennebec, Superior, Chieftain.

Although unsprouted tubers can be planted, the chitted ones benefit from their flying start, and vigorous sprouts. Early cultivars will crop sooner and more heavily if chitted, so I am told.

Chitting later season cultivars results in earlier foliage before blight or drought strike and they mature earlier and can be gathered before slugs damage the tubers, if these conditions are prevelant in your area.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?IQVHT 6 April 2008. Chitting after 21 days. The sprouts take the colour of the particular potato. The potatoes will be planted in about two weeks time.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?FOIUV 23 May 2008 Potato Growth. Potatoes are planted 12 inches apart, and row spacing is 18 inches.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?ZLQXU 31 May 2008 Potatoes hilled. It rained last night and the potatoes were hilled, and compost was placed in the valleys formed to trap the moisture and to add additional nutrients.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?HOMUR Potatoe 16 June 2008 Doing Well

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?QAWRI 1 July 2008 Potato Seed Pod

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?ADDQJ 15 July 2008 First harvest of potatoes. The ground is dry. The tubers probably wont grow much more. Most of the crop will be left until the tops die off completely.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?CCZOA 18 July 2008 How Potatoes grow.
The tubers are formed in a circle, at about the same level around the seed potato. There are no shoots emanating from the stalk. Hilling is necessary, since the tubers push through the soil, and when exposed to light they turn green indicating an alkaloid called solanine, which is harmful to ingest. The eyes of potatoes also have solanine, which indicates that they should be removed prior to cooking.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?DMKNV 18 July 2008 Superior Potatoes. Comparing chitted to Not Chitted Plants.
Two plants were compared as to the production of the potatoes produced, one seed potato was chitted, and the other was not. At first look, visual inspection indicates that the chitted plant produced larger tubers. I have 18 more plants to compare, so will have a better idea as to the merits of chitting potatoes.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?FOAWC 18 July 2008 Effect on a potato that is exposed to light
Zone 5 Brantford,ON
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Durgan
 
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