If you love tomatoes and potatoes, you might be keen to grow your own pomato plant!
As you can probably guess, this is a plant that’s made by grafting a tomato plant and potato plant together.
Are these plants easy to grow?
Once you have all the things you need, it’s easy to grow pomato plants. Best of all, these will save you lots of space in your garden.
Both the tomato and potato are part of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family so they can be grafted easily because they share many traits and have similar requirements.
There’s lots to know about pomato plants and how to grow them. Let’s jump right in so you can get started with growing your very own pomato plants!
Table of Contents
What, Exactly, Is A Pomato Plant?
But this isn’t what a pomato plant can achieve. Rather, a pomato plant is basically a plant that grows both tomatoes and potatoes on it – the tomatoes grow above the ground and the potatoes grow underground. So, you basically get two types of produce from one plant!
Where Did Pomato Plants Come From?
The story behind the pomato plant is very interesting. It came about in a Kenyan prison garden, as Business Daily reports, as a way to deal with the problem of hunger.
This plant is an excellent example of how developing countries can find ways to maximize their plant yields, save space, and require less labor for the production of fresh produce.
Grafting plants together can also ensure healthier produce yields because it strengthens the plant against fungi, pests, and bacteria!
Three Ways In Which To Get Pomato Plants
- You can grow them from pomato seeds.
- You can purchase a pomato plant that’s already grown.
- You can graft your tomato and potato plants together.
Now, the first two methods are often thought to be the easiest, but pomato seeds and plants aren’t always that easy to find.
On some websites, like Gardener’s, there are pomato plants for sale but they’re sometimes out of stock. The third method – growing your own pomato plant – might seem difficult, but it’s actually not and it will be very rewarding to do!
How To Grow Pomato Plants
If you’re up for the challenge of growing your own pomato plant, you’ll need to get the following items:
- Cherry tomato seeds
- 1 white potato
- Shallow pot
- Potting soil
- Large container
- Grafting tape
Once you have those item, these are the steps you should follow to grow pomato plants:
- Plant your tomato seeds in a shallow pot that contains potting soil mix. Stick to planting a maximum of two tomato seeds in every pot. Water them regularly so that their soil is always moist. You can expect the tomato plant seedlings to sprout in a few days!
- Get your large container (it should be a minimum of eight inches deep). This will be the container you will use for your pomato plant. Purchase some potting soil and put it in the container.
- Then, take your potato and cut off a section of it that has several sprouts (sometimes called eyes) in it. Put this piece about five or six inches into the soil of the large container. Make sure you water the soil immediately. You can expect your potato to sprout seeds within two or so weeks.
- This next step requires you to be a bit patient. You have to wait for both your tomato plant and potato plant to reach the height of about 10 inches before they can be grafted together. They have to be of a similar height in order for the grafting to work.
- Once they have reached that level of growth, you should put them next to each other so that their stems can make contact. Now, with the use of a sharp knife, you will need to cut into the stem of the potato plant. You need to remove some of the middle of the plant’s stem so that it’s cut into a “v” shape.
- You should also cut the roots of the tomato plant, and make a straight cut on its stem. Then, cut away material from the bottom of the stem, on both sides, so that you create a wedge design. This has to fit the “v” shape you’ve cut in your potato plant.
- When you have done the above, you want to combine the plants so that they wedge together. Use grafting tape to wrap the stems together securely.
- You’ll be able to see growth on the top of the tomato plant approximately 10 to 14 days after the procedure. You’ll also see a bulge start to form on the side of the graft.
- When the pieces have completely fused together, you can cut away the grafting tape.
- The plant will require a lot of moisture, so you must cover it in plastic for a few days.
- If you see the potato plant show signs of growth, you need to cut it off. This is essential to prevent the potato plant from growing more than the tomato plant.
Extra Tips To Increase The Success Of Your Pomato Plant
- The best time to graft your tomato and potato plants is early on when both of the plants’ stems are soft and easy to cut.
- Don’t fiddle with the plants once they have been grafted together. The tomato plant might look like it’s close to dying but leave it alone. The plants need time to adjust.
- Put the plant in an area that has a lot of shade and give it a mist of water (from a spray bottle) regularly. This should be done for about two weeks while the graft is in progress.
- Keep your plants out of windy areas as this can cause them to move around and get pulled apart.
Pros And Cons Of Growing Pomato Plants
By now, you might be raring to go and try growing your very own pomato plants. But there are both pros and cons to consider to find out if it’s something you should undertake or not.
- If you grow pomatos successfully, you’ll be able to enjoy two different types of produce on one plant. That means you can put in less effort to get more produce.
- You can make the most of your limited space. It’s not always easy to find enough space to grow tomato plants and potato plants, but with the pomato you can get both without having to increase your gardening space.
- You need to put in a lot of work when you graft the tomato and potato plants together. This will take some time and effort.
- Even with all your energy and time invested in nurturing the pomato plant, it might still fail. However, don’t be disheartened! With a bit more practice, you will succeed in future.
When there is no frost, let your pomato plant grow outdoors in a large container. Keep it in the shade but introduce it to the sun for a few hours every day until it’s used to direct sunlight. Make sure you water it regularly.
If two types of produce come from the same family then they can easily be grafted. For example, you can graft an orange tree with a lemon tree because both oranges and lemons are citrus fruits.
If you love tomatoes and potatoes, and are intent on growing them in your garden, you might love the idea of growing them on the same plant.
Pomato plants combine the best of both types of produce, giving you the chance to grow tomatoes and potatoes in your garden on one plant.
This can save you space, plus it’s an excellent idea if you want to care for fewer plants without losing out on how much fresh produce you make at home.