Chitting potatoes is the process of presprouting before planting, if you are using questionable seed potatoes this is an easy way to find out which are viable and which are duds, I don’t have a lot of time energy or space to devote to questionable seed potatoes so I invest the extra money in buying quality certified organic seed potatoes from West Coast Seeds. Usually by the time my seed potatoes arrive in the mail the chitting process has already started and the eyes of each potato are staring to pop out sprouts.If you leave viable potatoes sitting around in a dark place(like the box they arrived it!) at this time of year, potatoes naturally start to sprout(or chit), leave them too long and they will develop long ghostly white super fragile shoots, they are still perfectly fine to plant but the these in the dark chittings break off easily and broken shoots can cost productivity in your crop.
To avoid dark chitting as soon as the seed potatoes arrive I open the box and place them in an open egg carton to start chitting properly. I like using an egg carton because each potato gets its own seat with some space around it to grow shoots. I have chittied potatoes in a flat try before but if you move them they can roll around and snap the shoots off.
Unlike other seedlings chitting potatoes do not need direct bright light, indirect light works fine I leave the seed potatoes on my kitchen counter under a north facing window. In a couple weeks all the eyes should have sprouted with short stalky dark shoots. You know the potatoes are ready to plant when the sprouts look like they are budding up ready turn into green leaves. Handle with care even stalky potatoe sprouts can break off easily.