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Organic Yukon Gold Potatoes

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organic yukon gold potatoSolanum tuberosum

Organic Yukon Gold Potatoes

A well known yellow flesh potato with yellow skin and pink eyes.

Sets 5 to 7 tubers per plant  that size very quickly.

Yukon Gold is great as a fruit stand or farmers market variety. 

Good eye appeal and excellent quality.

Great mashed, or as french fries.

A mid summer maturing variety.

We rate potatoes for storability on an index of 1-10.  10 being the best. Yukon Gold rates an 10 on that scale in our opinion.

This product cannot be shipped to Canada

This product cannot be shipped outside the United States

Planting Instructions

  1. In spring, when soil is workable and no longer soggy (about several weeks before last estimated frost date) prepare a deeply worked bed in a sunny spot that is as free of weeds and soil clumps as possible. Work in a generous amount of good compost or well-composted manure before planting, because potatoes appreciate fertile soil. (One caveat: don’t use fresh manure, as this can cause potato scab; finished or commercial compost or well-aged manure is fine to use.) Green cover crops turned under before the planting season begins are an ideal way to increase the fertility of potato beds.
  2. Cut seed potatoes into blocky golf ball-sized pieces (about 1 ½ oz.) with several “eyes” on each piece. Small potatoes need not be cut; fingerlings should be cut crosswise. If convenient, let the cut pieces dry-out overnight or for a day or two before planting to allow them to callous over and reduce the possibility of rot.
  3. Dig a shallow trench 3 to 4 inches deep (3 inches wide at the bottom.) The edge of a hoe is good for this job. Rows should be 24 to 36 inches apart. Put the cut potato pieces into the trench with the “eyes” up, about 12 inches apart. Using a rake, cover them immediately with two inches of soil after planting. Do not allow the soil to dry out.
  4. When the potato plants are 6-8 inches tall, fill in the trench from both sides by gently pulling the soil up against the plants with a rake or hoe, leaving at least 4 inches of each leafy plant exposed. (Keep tools well away from the plants so as not to damage the roots.) Potatoes will form along the buried potato plant roots. A leaf, straw, or hay mulch can be applied after this initial hilling.
  5. As plants grow, mound up soil or mulch heavily around the base of the plants (but do not bury any leaves) to protect the developing tubers and encourage more potatoes to form underground. Mulching also helps retain moisture and protect the growing plants from hot summer sun.
  6. Watch for insects. Identify your pests and use appropriate controls if insects are a problem.
  7. Potatoes require at least 1 inch of rainfall per week while actively growing. Water your plants if there is no rainfall, wetting the soil thoroughly. Once plants are up and growing, foliar feeding (spraying the leaves) with fish emulsion or seaweed fertilizer is very beneficial.

Need to Postpone Planting a few days?
Keep the bags of seed potatoes in a cool (45-55° F) dark place. They will keep 2 to 4 weeks if necessary. The eyes on the seed potatoes may begin to form chubby little sprouts, but this just means they are ready and waiting to grow.
Please, do not put them in the refrigerator OR in a warm dark place. Due to the low humidity level in the fridge they will dehydrate. Warmth/darkness causes the potatoes to create long, pale shoots that make for weak plants.

Harvesting “New” Potatoes
Yukon Gold and Dark Red Norland are a few early varieties that may be harvested early in the season and enjoyed as new potatoes. About 60 to 65 days, plants will flower with small tubers starting to form on the stolons (underground stems). Some varieties either bloom very late or not at all. On these varieties you should check for new potatoes when plants are about 65-75 days old.

Gently probe through the dirt, around the base of the potato plant for any developing tubers at the ends of the underground stems. New potatoes are best if eaten right after harvesting to maximize quality and flavor. You will only want to “dig up” enough of these fragile baby potatoes for use within the next few days. Considered a treat, you won’t want to harvest all of your potato crop as baby new potatoes as they don’t store well. Plan to leave the rest of the crop well covered to mature in size for later harvest and storage.

Harvesting and Storing Your Main Potato Crop
Your mature potato crop should be allowed to continue growing until vines naturally wither and “die back” or until potatoes have reached desired size. Frost will encourage maturing. If tubers are completely developed yet continue to have top growth, simply cut or break the tops at ground level. This will terminate further development. Allow tubers to remain in the soil at a minimum of two weeks after top growth has either “died back” or have been purposely ended. This allows time for skins to “set” which increases storage quality.

Remember to always dig potatoes carefully with a pitchfork so as not to bruise or damage skins. Dig deeply and at a distance of up to 18 inches from the plant to locate all of your harvest. Any injured tubers should be cooked and eaten right away. Store potatoes in a moist dark environment: ideal storage is in wood crates, burlap or mesh bags at optimum about 40° F and high humidity. Cooler temperatures hinder sprouting and increase storage life. Do not store potatoes in the refrigerator, as the atmosphere is too dry.

Potatoes will turn green and taste bitter if stored in the presence of light. Keep them covered with soil while in the garden, either by hilling or mulching, and store after harvest in total darkness. Burlap or mesh onion bags provide good air circulation. REMINDER: burlap bags by themselves do not keep light out.

Next Year’s Crop
Scab, a common disease found in potato production, reduces the potato’s appearance, but does not impact storage ability. Planting “clean” and virus indexed certified seed potatoes in well-drained, loose soil can minimize the risk of developing scab. Developing tubers need moist soil, but avoid soggy soil during the growing season. Avoid growing potatoes in soil with a pH range of 5.8-6.1, which tends to favor the development of scab.

Thoroughly harvest your potato crop. You don’t want any potatoes remaining in the soil and weed out all volunteers as they emerge. This aids in the elimination of potential sources of disease, (scab and virus) for future potato production. Again: resist the natural urge to leave volunteer sprouting potatoes in the ground. Rotate the location of your potato beds each season, if possible, so you are not growing your potato crop in the same spot.

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