TomTato plant grows both tomatoes and potatoes
By Ben Coxworth
October 1, 2013
We've seen a number of innovations that allow for gardening in small spaces, including a ferris wheel-like contraption, a mat that shows you where to plant specially-prepared seeds, and a system that lets you grow vertically-stacked veggies in your window. The TomTato, however, is in a league of its own – it's a single plant that produces both tomatoes and potatoes at the same time.
Created by UK horticulture company Thompson and Morgan, the TomTato is not the result of genetic engineering. It's "simply" the top of a cherry tomato plant and the bottom of a white potato plant, that have been grafted together at the stem.
While it's been possible to create such hybrids for a long time, the taste of the resulting tomatoes has apparently left much to be desired. According to the company, however, the TomTato's fruits have a Brix (sugar content) level higher than that of most supermarket tomatoes, along with "just the right level of acidity that only the tastiest tomatoes have." The potatoes are said to be fine for boiling, mashing or roasting.
The TomTato is purchased as a grown plant (as opposed to in seed form), and lasts for one growing season. One plant can reportedly produce up to 500 tomatoes and 2 kg (4.4 lb) of potatoes. More information is available in the video at the bottom of the page.
Thompson and Morgan states that this marks the first time that grafted tomato/potato hybrids have been produced commercially. According to a BBC report, however, another such plant has just become available in New Zealand this week. It's made by Incredible Edibles, and is known as the Potato Tom.
If you're interested in getting a TomTato of your own, and you live in the UK, you can order one now for £14.99 (US$24). Delivery is scheduled for the end of next May.