No doubt you’ve seen Thompson & Morgan’s latest news on the TomTato®; a unique grafted plant, which combines an extra sweet tomato with a delicious white potato!
Now, the concept isn’t new and the phenomenon of grafting these 2 plants together has been known for almost 100 years. The difference is, until now, it’s only been carried out on an amateur level and it can be quite a tricky graft to do.
However, Thompson & Morgan now have a partner company who have the skills and expertise to do such hand grafts on a commercial scale, and hence we can now bring the TomTato® to a wider audience.
One of the most important issues was the grafting itself. Both stems needed to be the same thickness. Unfortunately, when working with live material, a lot of issues can happen which delay the process. A lot of work was needed to ensure we began with just the right young plants.
As with all the new products that Thompson & Morgan develop, a key aspect is always quality and we wanted to ensure that future customers could have the most benefit from this product. Many tests we’re undertaken to ensure that we found the most compatible tomato and potato possible – we wanted both to deliver not only on size but taste and versatility too.
If you can think of something to go wrong, it did. Various attempts were made on the graft and once the initial grafting issues were resolved, other issues soon arose. This included some tomatoes dying off, some plants collapsing half way through the growing process, and when mature, some plants only gave 5 mini potatoes, a less than ideal situation that needed to be resolved before being commercially viable! Plants were trialled in every conceivable place, indoors, outdoors, north, south, shade and direct sun.
After a few years, we found the right tomato and the right potato and these 2 plants finally became one. We married up an extra sweet cherry tomato with heavy cropping (brix of 10.2), up to 500 fruits per plant with a tasty white, versatile potato that crops around 2kg! The best part is the tomato ripens and is ready to harvest before your potatoes are ready!
So, my advice is to look after your Tomtato® plants and the proof of this fantastic product will be in the pudding! It’s a great space saving plant providing you two tasty crops, enjoy.