Ketchup and Fries is Our New Favorite Plant
By Nicolette Power
Now is a great time to plant vegetables in your garden- so why not try something fun and new?
What it is
Our new Ketchup and Fries plant (Solanum Lycopersicum + Solanum tuberosum), is the top of a cherry tomato grafted onto a white potato. This is possible because these plants are in the same family. This isn’t genetically modifying the plant, and plant grafting isn’t anything new. People have been practicing grafting plants for centuries to produce plants that hold up to disease better and produce higher yields. Fruit trees, grape vines, and roses are a few examples of commonly grafted plants.
The concept was conceived in the United Kingdom, where many also refer to this plant as “Ketchup and Chips.” Here in the U.S., in addition to the clever moniker we are using, it is also called “pomato” and “tomtato.”
How it grows
Plant in the ground when there is no chance of frost, with the graft union below the soil. Mulch and water after planting, and stake for support. 6-8 hours of direct sunlight will yield the best results. The tomatoes will be ready to harvest about 12 weeks into the summer months while the potatoes will ready after the tomato leaves begin to die back in early fall.
Why you should grow it
It’s a conversation starter and a great way to learn about growing vegetables. Find it today in our outdoor garden area located outside the south entrance of our store.