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article imageYou can now grow your own 'Ketchup n' Fries' on one plant

By Karen Graham     Jan 12, 2015 in Science
A seed company in Oregon has something new in its 2015 seed catalogue. To add a new dimension to home gardening in a limited space, they have introduced the "TomTato" or "Ketchup and Fries." It's a hybrid plant that grows tomatoes and potatoes.
First released in the United Kingdom, the TomTato is being released in the U.S. this year by American grafting leader SuperNaturals Grafted Vegetables, LLC. For those in the know, they're the same company that created the Mighty ‘Mato brand , a grafted tomato that produces bigger fruits on a hardier root stalk.
The plant itself combines the vine of a cherry tomato (called the scion), with the root stalk of a potato plant. This is not genetic engineering says the company. Instead, it is called grafting, a means of combining two different plants to grow on one plant using a procedure called splicing.
The stem of the tomato plant is grafted onto the root of the potato plant.
The stem of the tomato plant is grafted onto the root of the potato plant.
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According to the Oregonian, the grafting process works well with tomato and potato plants because they are closely related. The process is simple enough that a home gardener could do it, but the key is in making sure the stem parts of the two plants are the same thickness.
Tomatoes are spliced onto potato rootstock  and the stems that are joined need to be of the same thi...
Tomatoes are spliced onto potato rootstock, and the stems that are joined need to be of the same thickness.
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Home gardeners can purchase the non-GMO plants from the Territorial Seed Company of Cottage Grove, Oregon. The plants come in 2.5 inch pots and sell for $19.95 retail. The company recommends the plants be transferred to a 10-inch pot for growing.
Territorial Seed Company's Marketing Director, Tim Russell told ABC News, “We were really excited because people have been grafting these together for a while, but they were more of a novelty and didn't produce well. But these will actually produce a decent amount of fruit off of the plant. They’re very cool.”
For those gardeners wanting an orchard of fruit trees instead of vegetables, but are lacking enough space. Syracuse University artist Sam Van Aken will sell you one of his trees bearing 40 fruits. He is growing a grove of them in Portland, Maine, and you can get one for $30,000.
Sam Van Aken  an award-winning artist and educator  has created a tree that bears 40 different kinds...
Sam Van Aken, an award-winning artist and educator, has created a tree that bears 40 different kinds of stone fruit.
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More about Ketchup, French fries, grafting, splicing, Cherry tomatoes
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