The idea of growing potatoes and tomatoes on the same plant is not new – it is something that gardeners, included this fellow, have practised occasionally for decades.
But offering hand-grafted plants for sale to the general public is a first and the firm launching it after 15 years of research is Thompson & Morgan (T&M).
The concept is simple enough. The two plants belong to the same family (the genus solanaceae) and are compatible, forming a bond when their respective cambium layers meet under favourable conditions.
So it’s a fairly straight-forward matter of bringing together the two developing plants of similar stem thickness and completing a graft.
The tomato top grows on producing trusses above while the potato forms tubers below.
There is no genetic modification involved. Hand-grafting is a perfectly safe and natural process.
The tomatoes are a sweet cherry variety and the potatoes white.
Although the varietal names have not yet been revealed, T&M have announced that the tomatoes measure 10.2 on the Brix scale, so they’re sweet with just the right level of acidity.
They also crop profusely.
The white potatoes can be boiled, mashed, roasted or made into chips.
These plants can be grown on the vegetable patch or under cover and, in keeping with traditional tomatoes and potatoes, they lend themselves to container growing – a ‘veg plot in a pot’ claim T&M.
Those of us who have grafted our own before have agonised over what it should be called, but T&M have resolved the issue for us by announcing it is a tomtato.
Unsurprisingly, given the nature of this creation, it is not cheap at £14.99 for a single specimen in a 9cm pot.
Buy two for £29.98 and you get one free. If you’re interested in ordering, go online at www.thompson-morgan.com or ring 0844 573 1818.
They have built up a stock of 30,000 for sale and, given the initial response last week, expect it to be a very popular introduction.