Now is the time to start chitting potatoes, especially main crops, to encourage early growth.
As seed potatoes develop, buds appear on the potato.
Sometimes, as shown in the photo below, a potato develops three good buds evenly apart on the potato. This is ideal!
The potato shown above is ready for planting.
But my potato has more buds!
The potato shown below has lots of buds, particularly at one end.
If this potato were to be planted it would produce lots of shoots, but they would be weak as the tuber would be trying to support too much initial growth.
This potato needs to be chitted.
To do this the two strongest buds at this end of the potato (plus the solitary bud at the other end) are left intact, but the other buds are removed.
This leaves three strong, reasonably well-spaced buds.
This potato is now ready to be planted.