I just received the following press release from the nice folks at Territorial Seed. They will be offering their new grafted tomato/potato plant aptly-named 'Ketchup 'n' Fries' for the 2015 gardening season. How's that for cool?!
Territorial Seed is located in Cottage Grove, Oregon, and has a wonderful catalog, which you can request by going to this link. Here's what they had to say about 'Ketchup 'n; Fries' in the press release:
The product of over a decade of research, ‘Ketchup ‘n’ Fries’™ TomTato® advances the grafted tomato/potato plant from mere novelty to a reliable producer of dual crops from a single plant – especially good news for those seeking to maximize production from precious garden real estate. Territorial Seed Company’s spring 2015 catalog marks the first time such a plant has been offered commercially in the US. The first garden catalog to offer grafted tomato plants in 2011, Territorial continues to further the all-natural, age-old process of grafting in its application and availability to the home gardener.
European researchers spent over a decade developing this combination, which debuted exclusively in the UK last year. Now, Territorial in partnership with SuperNaturals Grafted Vegetables, the folks who brought us the Mighty ‘Mato line, is bringing this horticultural innovation stateside much to the delight of urban and container gardeners, those with space limitations, or simply the gardener on the cutting edge. Territorial will ship these plants with their other transplant offerings, with a choice of three shipping dates beginning in the last half of April and running into late May or as long as inventory lasts. Demand for ‘Ketchup ‘n’ Fries’™ is expected to be high, as witnessed with its UK launch, so gardeners are advised to pre-order for the best availability. Plants are hardened off prior to shipping and arrive ready for transplant.
Extensive trials and careful selection of both the tomato scion and potato rootstock cultivars were required to achieve properly staggered maturity. This enables the plant to focus its energy first on yielding hundreds of sweet, tangy, and early glistening red cherry tomatoes, before maturing up to 4 ½ pounds of fine, thin-skinned, all-purpose white potatoes in the late season.
Patio gardeners can grow a ‘Ketchup ‘n’ Fries’™ plant in as small as a 10 gallon container, though
allowing more space can increase its vigor, boosting potato yields especially. The breeding work
and grafting techniques applied here are traditional, non-GMO methods of propagation. Grafting involves attaching a scion variety (top part of the plant), selected for its desired flowering, fruiting, or growth characteristics, to the plant tissue of a different variety of rootstock. This pairing can control vigor, lend disease resistance, and in this case, yield a completely secondary crop. Grafting has been used for thousands of years and is widespread in the production of orchard fruit, roses (yielding the ever-popular standard rose), and a host of other ornamental and food crop applications. Grafting across species lines is far from unheardof; for example, dwarf pear trees are commonly grafted onto quince rootstock. In the case of a ‘Ketchup ‘n’ Fries’™, the closely related tomato and potato can be successfully grafted because they are both in the Solanum genus, within the nightshade family Solanaceae.