How To Grow Yukon Gold Potatoes In Containers

Yukon Gold Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is known for its yellow flesh and good flavor. Growing Yukon gold potatoes is a really interesting job. This article covers a complete guide on how to grow Yukon gold potatoes in containers.

They are also known for their abundant crop yield and it is a very popular home garden variety of potato.

Are Yukon gold potatoes determinate or indeterminate

Yukon gold is an early potato variety. It is determinate and a perfect container crop as it matures quickly.

How long do Yukon potatoes take to grow

How long does it take Yukon gold potatoes to grow? Well, Yukon gold potatoes take 80 to 90 days to mature and harvest. Small and new potatoes are sweet in flavor. Yukon gold potato is a very container-friendly plant.

Growing potatoes is always a fun activity because you are going to see the multiplied product always. One seed is going to develop into one plant and this one plant will turn into 5 to 10 tubers. The higher yield depends upon the conditions, care, and growing environment that you provide to your plant.

Grow potatoes
yellow potatoes

Growing Yukon Gold Potatoes In A CONTAINER

When choosing a container for Yukon gold potatoes, try to go for the large size containers because they multiply in number. The small-sized containers might cause low space problems which can hinder the growth process.

Large containers and pots that are at least 16 inches high and 16 inches in diameter are perfect for Yukon gold and also for other potatoes that can be grown in containers. 4 to 6 seed potatoes can be easily planted in this sized pot

Growing Yukon gold potatoes in bags

If you want to choose a grow bag for your crop, use 5-gallon grow bags for 2 to 3 seed potatoes, and for 4 to 6 seed potatoes use 10-gallon grow bags. The Fabric of grow bags is good for airflow but it can quickly dry out your bag, so have a keen eye. 

How to grow Yukon gold potatoes in a bucket

Potato pots, recycled buckets, self-watering containers, garbage cans, potato towers, Tupperware bin, gunnysack, or a burlap bag are good options as well. Keep in mind the size of your container before planting seeds. 

Whatever container you are choosing, one thing is the most important and that is good drainage. If your container has good drain holes that’s perfect, if not, then drill the holes yourself before growing the plant. This will prevent the water from sitting at the bottom of the container.  

Placing small-sized river rocks or gravel at the bottom could add more to its efficiency. This way the excess water will easily drain away.

ADVANTAGES OF GROWING IN CONTAINERS

Firstly,  you can place your container plant anywhere you want. Less space utilization. It is easier to take care of container plants. Secondly, the main advantage is that in container gardening you don’t have to worry about soil contamination. Thirdly, you can keep your plant out of pests’ reach and control it efficiently.

Lastly, container potatoes are easy to harvest. Just loose the soil of the container and turn it upside down, the harvest will spill out of the container and you can easily separate the potatoes from the soil.

One other major benefit of growing in containers is that you can move the container anywhere you want. Yukon gold potatoes need plenty of sunlight per day, so you can place them accordingly where they get the required sunlight.

Other potato varieties to be grown in containers

Irish cobbler, Sangre, red gold, chieftain, dark red Norland, amarosa, banana, french fingerling, pinto and rose finn apple are some varieties that can be easily grown in containers

SEED SELECTION FOR YUKON GOLD POTATOES

Don’t look for grocery store potatoes because their sprouts are removed that’s why they are not useful as a seed. If you are growing Yukon gold for the very first time, try to buy certified seed potatoes as they are generally disease-free. Always look for the seeds that have at least two sprouts and as soon as you receive them just plant them in your container

Growing gold potatoes

Plant the mini tuber without cutting it. Place your container in a sunny area. If the size of your seed is more than 2 inches you need to cut the seed into smaller pieces. Cut them smoothly. If your seed is between 1 to 2 inches in diameter, plant it without cutting. Smaller than a 1-inch seed will not be fruitful.  

SOIL PREPARATION

How deep to plant Yukon gold potatoes

Try to use fresh and rich organic soil. Fresh soil always reduces disease problems. Try to maintain the pH of the soil from 4.8 to 6.0. Soil depth must be at least 8 inches. Put the mini tubers about 4 to 5 inches deep in the soil. Keep them about 6 to 8 inches apart. 

One-third of compost, one-third of vermiculite, and one-third of coconut coir or peat moss is a very good potting mix.
Another combination can be half a portion of garden soil and half a portion of the compost. 

WHEN TO PLANT YUKON GEM

Yes, this is actually a gem potato. Potatoes are usually a crop of the cool season. You can plant them at the end of the spring season.

Or if you plant it in May, you will be harvesting it in July. And then you can again plant it in august to get a crop in October.  

Yukon Gold potatoes
Photo by Chiot’s Run on Foter.com

PLANTING YUKON GOLD POTATOES

After making your seeds and soil ready the next step is to plant them in the soil. If you are using the cut pieces then plant the cut side down in the soil. The distance between each seed must be 10 to 12 inches. The depth of the seeds must be 3 to 5 inches. After this cover them with 4 inches of compost. 

TIP: do not fill the container with soil. Keep in mind that you have to add more soil later on for hilling purposes. So leave enough room for that.

CARE

Make sure they don’t get frost, for this purpose try covering them with newspaper or some sheet. You have to do this till the end of the frost season or until the plant shoots are 3 to 4inches tall. When your plant is more than 5 inches tall, start hilling them with soil, up to the last 2 inches of the plant

HILLING AND ITS BENEFITS

Hilling keeps the tubers hidden from sunlight. The best time to start hilling is when the plant height is 8 to 10 inches. One season needs almost four times of hilling. Just add more soil to the plant. Make sure to cover the lower leaves of the plant with soil. This will result in more production of potatoes

Make sure to hill your plant with soil every two weeks. Hilling will keep it cool, and also it avoids the plant to become poisonous. This process will also be helpful in suppressing the weed growth around the plant and also keeps the plant well moistured. 

WATERING

You have to keep your plant well-watered. During hot seasons 1 to 2 inches of water, every week is required. If your plant is not watered properly, you may experience uneven growth of potatoes. Keeping your soil moist is the key. Do not make it saturated. Look regularly for the weeds around the plant and keep control over them.

The grown plant needs more water than those plants which are underground. Don’t let your plant dry out because it will stop growing. Regularly check for its water requirements. Keep watering until it drains out from the holes beneath your container

Watering needs to be done very carefully, as under-watering will affect the yield and over-watering will make them rot. To check the moisture level, stick your finger in the soil and guess about the water need of your plant. 

FERTILIZERS 

When planting, start with organic granular fertilizer. When the plant starts emerging, feed them with fish emulsion. Keep in mind that you spray your plant in the early morning so that they may properly absorb the nutrients before getting dried out at midday. 

Prefer organic fertilizers over conventional ones because they don’t harm the plant if overdosed by mistake. Container plants need plenty of water and also more feed than those planted in the ground.

SUNLIGHT

Yukon gold potatoes need at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day. But overheating can stop its growth. If you are growing in warm areas, keep them in the morning sunlight, and rest of the day keep them away from direct sunlight. Choose the place for your potato container accordingly. 

PEST CONTROL

Keep a good eye on diseases and pests. Use proper pest control if required. 

Some insects are good for your plants so you have to learn about them and know the difference between them and pests. If you water regularly and your soil is healthy it will keep the pests away.

Colorado potato beetle, aphids, Flea beetles, leafhoppers, and wireworms are some harmful and disease-spreading pests. 

COMMON DISEASES

Early Potato Blight, Verticillium Wilt, Potato Scab, Gray Mold, and Root Knot Nematodes are some common diseases found in the Yukon gold plant.

HARVESTING YUKON GEM POTATO

When you start to see the foliage of potatoes turning yellow. That is the time to harvest them. Stop watering them further until you see the foliage dead. Start by dumping your container and start searching for potatoes.

How many Yukon gold potatoes per plant?

What you harvest out of the container depends on how big your container is. A regular-sized one can produce up to five pieces and a larger one can produce up to 10 pieces of Yukon gold. Normally, one pound yield is obtained from 1 plant.

STORING

After completely harvesting your crop allow them to dry. After that remove the soil from them and place them in a cool and dry place. Do not refrigerate them and place them in a place with good ventilation. 

A good option to store them is in airbags, which allow proper ventilation for them. You can also cook them as soon as you harvest them. You can also use mesh bags for this purpose  

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