Tomatoes and potatoes on one plant – yes, it’s possible!
How is it possible?
Both plants come from the nightshade family (Solanaceae) so they can be grafted onto each other. After many years of research, the first TomTato® was launched on the Dutch market in spring 2015. This plant produces masses of sweet cherry tomatoes and delicious, waxy potatoes with a yellow skin.
How do I care for my TomTato®?
The TomTato® doesn’t need much care! A bit of water and fertiliser now and then is all it takes to achieve a good crop. But if you want to turn it into a super-plant, you can pinch out the side-shoots, pollinate and remove any potato shoots.
Erik shows you what to do in this short film!
Practical growing tips
What sort of pot does my TomTato® require?
Repotting: TomTato® can be grown in soil in the garden or in a pot. If you opt for a pot, you will need one with a capacity of at least 20 litres so that there is enough space for the potatoes. Ensure that the graft (where the thin stem changes to the thick tomato stem) is set deeply into the soil. Water your TomTato® well after repotting.
How do I pinch out the side-shoots on my TomTato®?
Pinch out the side-shoots on your TomTato® regularly. New shoots form in most leaf axils (where the leaf stem joins the main stem) – these are known as side-shoots. At first, these side-shoots consist of a stem witha leaf. If the side shoot is not removed, it will develop into a large branch which will in turn produce side-shoots of its own. This is a waste of the plant’s energy. You will end up with a bush-like plant with very few, small fruits and they won’t all ripen. That’s why you should remove the side-shoots, preferably before they are 10 centimetres long. Removing the side-shoots encourages the plant to develop an upright stem.
How do I pollinate my TomTato®?
Tomatoes are self-pollinating. When they are grown outdoors, the wind moves the flower trusses and the pollen falls onto the stigma. Under glass, where there is no wind, you have to help release the pollen by tapping the plants once a week. Using your hands or a cane, tap the cane that the tomato is tied to. The plants then release the pollen and the flowers fertilise each other.
How do I remove potato shoots?
The TomTato® consists of a potato and a tomato plant. It is a single plant, but the potato roots occasionally form new shoots which emerge above the soil and continue to grow as a plant. You need to remove these so that all the energy goes into your tomatoes and not into the shootPagina. The potato shoots have firmer, more rounded leaves than the tomato. See the adjoining picture. The shoots can be cut off just above the soil. In fact, you can cut off anything that appears next to your tomato plant. After July this is no longer necessary
How do I harvest my TomTato®?
Pay particular attention to regular watering as soon as the tomatoes start to turn red. If the water supply varies too much, the tomatoes will split. To harvest the tomatoes, press your thumb on the thicker area between the tomato and the truss. This leaves the crown on the fruit. You can also cut them off with a pair of scissors. When the temperature drops in September, harvest the remaining unripe but fully-grown fruits. You can ripen these indoors at a temperature of 20°C.
Cut off the plant at ground level and leave it to “die off” for ten days.
You can harvest the potatoes after a further ten days.
Where will my TomTato® grow best?
Choose a sunny spot for the plant when it is ready to go outdoors. Place the TomTato® in full sun (7 hours a day or more). Tomatoes need plenty of warm sunshine to develop the best flavour.
Why does the TomTato® have a cane?
Ensure that the plant has enough support as it grows. For example, use a 1.5 metre cane and attach the plant with special clips or string. Add some tomato fertiliser to the water regularly.
When is Tomtato® available?
April – May
Would you like to know more about TomTato®?