Do I have to chit seed potatoes before planting?

The short answer is “no”. This is not a mandatory gardening task and you can happily grow potatoes without chitting them. It’s more of a trick of the trade, used to get a bit of a headstart in the growing season. So, if you haven’t yet ordered seed potatoes, or only recently received an order, then please don’t worry.

There is nothing stopping you from simply receiving your seed potatoes and popping them straight in the ground when they arrive. They will still grow and you’ll get a perfectly good crop. In fact, our team regularly do this, and at different times of year. We may, for example, plant some seed potatoes in June or even early July for a Christmas crop, and we rarely bother to chit them first. So please, do not fret if you don’t have the time or inclination to chit your seed potatoes.

The reason many gardeners decide to chit their seed potatoes is to coax the tuber out of dormancy a little earlier in the season, and to encourage some shoots to form. The goal is to give a slightly earlier harvest, by a couple of weeks or so.