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BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 25 April '16
Morrisons becomes first UK supermarket to sell a potato-tomato hybrid plant
Morrison has launched the UK’s first ever potted ‘Ketchup and Chips’ plant, which will appear in stores from today (25 April).
’Veg plot in a pot’
The plant, which Morrisons calls ‘an incredible multi-tasker’, grows fresh tomatoes and potatoes in one pot at the same time. Above the ground the plant will produce cherry tomatoes, while white potatoes grow below.
The launch is being positioned as a solution to the fact that Britain’s gardens are getting smaller; 47% of households now only have access to a small balcony and 11% have no garden area at all.
In a press release, Morrisons states that people are adapting their gardening habits to suit their living space, with demand for compact potted plants soaring (10% up year-on-year). The growing popularity of organic produce has also led 58% of people to want to grow their own.
The plant – which has been dubbed a ‘veg plot in a pot’ – can be grown inside and out, in a large patio pot or 40 litre bag.
Keep it in the family
Ketchup & Chips has been crafted together by hand with no genetic modification involved. The tomato and potato plants come from the same plant family, Solanaceae or ‘nightshade’, which means they can be fused together for a more seamless and successful grafting result.
The plants are carefully grafted by hand in a delicate process that involves taking tiny tissues from each plant; these tissues are then grown separately until strong enough to be grafted. Once the grafting has taken place the plant is nurtured to grow in a protective environment until it has fused completely.
When planted in late April, each plant can yield hundreds of sweet tomatoes from July to October, while simultaneously producing a hearty crop of potatoes until late in the season.
The Egg and Chips Plant
The Ketchup and Chips Plant will be available in Morrisons 101 Garden Centres UK-wide from today, for a limited time only and will cost £5.
‘Many of our customers are green fingered. But over recent years we’ve witnessed the frustration of shoppers who have less and less space to grow their own. This new plant is just the solution for our shrinking gardens – and will enable everyone to follow their produce from plant pot to plate!’
Morrisons gardens expert
Also available during this time will be the Egg and Chips Plant, another unique hybrid plant that grows aubergines and potatoes, costing £5.