Yukon Gold is a versatile early type of potato with yellow skin, an excellent flavour, and creamy, fluffy texture that lends itself well to mashing, boiling, baking, roasting and salads. Though Yukon Golds require attention to grow well, the variety has the advantage of being resistant to drought. The effort you put into your crop will pay off. As Eliot Coleman, author of "Four-Season Harvest," writes, "potatoes grown in a fertile, well-composted soil will taste so good that you will never again be satisfied with store-bought potatoes."
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Things you need
- Seed potatoes
- Hay or straw
- Garden space
Obtain certified virus-free seed potatoes from a reputable website, garden centre, nursery or mail-order catalogue. Seed potatoes are small potatoes with one to three eyes. Charlie Nardozzi of "Vegetable Gardening for Dummies" cautious against using potatoes obtained from a grocery store as seed potatoes: "These spuds have been treated with a chemical sprouting inhibitor, so they either won't grow any plants or the plants will be weak and not productive."
Plant your potatoes in rows around 3 inches deep and 8 to 10 inches apart. Eliot Coleman writes that "the home garden yield from a 30-foot row should be about 27.2 Kilogram," or one bushel. Nonetheless, it's also possible to grow potatoes in a smaller space. Yukon Golds are particularly well-known for producing high yields.
Care for your potatoes by weeding and watering regularly, as well as mulching your crop with hay or straw and hilling a few times during the growing season. Hilling is a growing technique unique to potatoes that ensures the root vegetable a dark, moist, weed-free growing environment. To hill, push a mound of soil around the base of the potato plant as it grows. Nardozzi recommends hilling at least twice: the first time, a week after the potato leaves emerge from the ground, and again two or three weeks later. Mulch your crop after the final hilling by laying a 3- to 4-inch layer of hay or straw around the plants to add fertility to the soil in the final part of the growing period.
Harvest your potatoes. Yukon Golds come from the second crop wave of early potatoes, and are usually ready from late July and August. Geoff Stebbins, author of "Growing Your Own Fruit and Veg for Dummies," advises checking on your potatoes when the plant's flowers are starting to open. Dig the potatoes up if they are big enough to harvest. It is not necessary to harvest the potatoes immediately, though they will grow bigger and tougher if you leave them in the ground longer. If you are harvesting potatoes to store them, make sure to do so on a dry day.
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