Last year I grew potatoes for the first time. A friend of mine had a huge bag of red russet potatoes that sprouted before they got a chance to be eaten so I grabbed them and planted them in the dirt. I used the stacked tire method of growing potatoes and it worked great. This year I am growing potatoes again. I purchased two different varieties, Adirondack Blue and Yukon Gold.
When you buy seed potatoes they come in a plastic bag and look just like little potatoes. When the time is right (proper weather and temperatures outside) you will plant the seed potatoes in the dirt and a crop of taters will start to grow. But before you can plant the potatoes you need to chit them. What is chitting? Well, it’s basically letting the potatoes sprout. Have you ever bought potatoes from the grocery store and forgot about them in the pantry only to stumble upon them weeks later and discover they all sprouted? We’re going to be doing the same type of thing to our seed potatoes.
How to Chit
Take your seed potatoes and place them in an old egg carton with the lid ripped off, or use one of the larger sized cartons that don’t have a lid. My husband buys his eggs from Costco and they sell them in the giant packs. The egg carton has a nice shape to fit the round seed potatoes and still lets the air circulate underneath. Place them in sunny spot that’s not too hot. just a little cooler than room temperature and in a few weeks they will start to sprout. It can take 4-6 weeks for the potatoes to start sprouting so now is the time to get your potatoes and get started.
I will be planting my seed potatoes mid to late March and this year I am going to try a few different methods for growing them. I’ll write some follow up posts on the methods of growing potatoes and whether or not they are successful.