Growing fresh and delicious potatoes is not only easy but very rewarding. We started our Yukon gold potatoes from seed potatoes which we bought at our local gardening store. From December to January and no later than February are ideal months to plant seed potatoes in Southern California and the reason is the plants will emerge in 6-8 weeks when the spring weather sets in which is conducive for forming potatoes. Potatoes love warm weather but cannot withstand extremely hot summer temperatures, spring through summer is an ideal time to grow potatoes.
We used the trench method to plant our potatoes where we dug a large hole/trench 8-10 inches deep, very close to native soil. We have arranged the seed potatoes where we will be planting them, distance between each seed potato is approximately 8-10 inches from each other. You do not need to cover the trench fully with soil immediately, we will add more soil in the trenches as the plant slowly grows.
Our soil in the raised bed contains a combination of peat moss, perlite, and compost. We had lot of organic matter present in this raised bed from our previous growing season. Keep in mind that certain potato varieties don’t thrive well in compost growing medium, and they get fungal disease if they grow in too much compost. So, it’s safer to use a good soil mix, if you think your soil is deficient in nutrients add a good all-purpose fertilizer that has potassium and phosphorus. Potatoes need full sun for 6-8 for optimal growth. Water the raised beds thoroughly once you plant the spuds
51 days since planting, the plants have emerged and look quite healthy.
83 days since planting they have grown bigger/stronger leaves and have used up all the nutrients in the soil. If your plants are not thriving you can add a liquid fertilizer in the form of compost tea, or worm tea.
Yukon gold potatoes are particularly susceptible to blight which is a disease that affects potato plants. If you notice blight on your crops remove all the affected leaves and stem and toss them away.
126 days since planting, the foliage is starting to die and this is an indication that the potatoes are ready to harvest. I used a garden fork to loosen the soil and dig up and you will be pleasantly surprised at potatoes you may find deep down. This is the advantage of using the trench method to grow potatoes, they not only produce potatoes at the bottom but also on the sides as the plant grows. Our harvest from one bed weighed 13 lbs.
Potatoes like to be well watered and do not like to dry out. But over watering is very harmful, it’s easy to over water your beds if the soil is not well draining. Set up an automated drip irrigation or micro sprayer system and make sure the soil stays moist 2-3 inches below the surface.
I didn’t use any insecticide or fungicide to control insects and blight. But you can use Neem oil or soapy water to control pests and copper/sulfur spray for controlling blight. However, I will not advise using any form of insecticide in your organic home garden
Here’s a link to the video guide on Growing Yukon Gold Potatoes in Raised Beds in your home garden.