The TomTato®has been around for a couple of years now. I confess I dismissed it as a novelty when I first heard about it, and it may yet turn out to be – but I’ve been lucky enough to be sent a couple to trial and of course I’m going to give it a go.
The idea is to take a tomato seedling and graft it to a potato seedling. It’s not a daft idea – they’re both from the same solanum family and tomatoes have been grafted to each other for years – usually twinning flavoursome but weak varieties with the roots of real bruisers that don’t taste special. There’s no GM involved, this is pretty much literally a cut-and-paste job.
Thompson and Morgan are, understandably, keeping the varieties of tomato and spud top secret – they don’t want all their years of testing varieties together to get nicked.
I can see the point of doubling up soil space – it’s great for balconies, container and tiny gardens and I like it in theory. It would also be great fun for children, who can watch – then eat – these Frankenstein’s monsters of the plant kingdom. But how good is it for serious gardeners?
I shall be testing to see how it grows – if it really does come up with more than 500 tomatoes and 2 kilos of spuds – but more, given the ethos of the plot, with an eye (and tastebuds) for flavour. At £9.99 each, I’m going to want to get something that tastes amazing if I’m going to give it space in the Event Allotment next year.
They’re recommended for containers. Since I have two, I’ll grow one outside and one in my (soon to be finished, just need a couple more old windows!) new cold frame.
As usual, I’ll be reporting back periodically. Watch this space.