growing-yukon-gold-potatoes

How to Grow Yukon Gold Potatoes

Yukon Gold is a potato variety that was first released in 1980. It gets its name from the golden yellow color of the flesh. It is a popular market variety and well-suited for potato salad, baking, casseroles and soup. Although Yukon Gold doesn't require special care, attention to details will result in a larger and healthier crop.

Yukon Gold Characteristics

Here are some pluses and minuses about Yukon Gold Potatoes:

  • Can be baked, boiled, fried, grilled and roasted
  • Golden skin and waxy flesh
  • High in vitamin C
  • High moisture content
  • Medium to high yield
  • Stores well and has a long dormancy period
  • Susceptible to a number of diseases.

Your Climate

You can grow Yukon Gold potatoes in any USDA zone. Gardeners in the colder zones should always pre-sprout their potatoes and wait until March or April to plant. Remember that whatever your climate, the important aspect of planting is the actual conditions in the garden. Potatoes are sensitive to frost once they’ve sprouted, so it’s better to wait if conditions are cold.

Preparing the Soil

Few things are as important in growing Yukon Gold potatoes as properly preparing the soil. Heavy feeders, potatoes need lots of nitrogen and potassium, as well as trace minerals. Adding humus to the soil improves its texture and promotes the good drainage potatoes require. Well-rotted leaves, aged manure, organic compost and additions like kelp, greensand and wood ashes are great choices.

Sprouting and Planting

If you live in a cold climate or want to get an early start, pre-sprout your potatoes. Place them in a warm area with bright, indirect light until the shoots are a couple of inches high and leaves are beginning to form. Then plant with sprouts pointing up, in trenches or individual holes that are about eight to 12 inches deep. Cover with four inches of soil and water well.

Caring for Your Potatoes

Like all potatoes, Yukon Gold needs plenty of water while growing. Soggy soil, however, increases the chance of fungal disease and rot. Keep the soil just damp. Hill your potatoes – cover them with soil – at least twice to encourage more tubers and protect the developing tubers from light, which will make them turn green and become inedible.

Harvest and Storage

Yukon Gold potatoes can be harvested in around 85 to 90 days in most climates. However, if you want larger potatoes, you can let them go to 100 days. Harvest new potatoes about two or three weeks after flowering; these won’t store well and should be eaten immediately. Harvest the main crop three or four weeks after the tops die down. Cure in a dark, dry place with good circulation for two weeks. Store in a cold, dark area with high humidity.