Tag Archives | together farm

How to grow tomatoes and potatoes on one plant

This article will show you how to grow tomatoes and potatoes on one plant by grafting a tomato plant onto a potato plant. As summer slowly rolls to an end, we often find ourselves with an abundance of tomatos.  Many of the fruit remains green and not fully ripened.  I typically find myself asking, “What can I do different next year to get more fruit for my effort?”

 

It turns out there is an answer:  grafting tomato plants to potatoes.

How to grow tomatoes and potatoes on one plant

Grafted Plant Diagram (click image to see image source)

Over the centuries, smart gardeners and farmers have developed successful methods to use potato root stock to support tomatoes that may not otherwise be well suited to poor soil conditions in your garden.

 

This is a great way to save space in your garden!  You can start your potatoes early in the growing season to let them mature.  Leave some of the potato plants in place and perform the following grafting process to give your tomato plants a head start!

 

The process:

  1. Taking the potato plant (called the “stock”) cut the stem about 1-inch above the ground and split the stem in a V-shape.
  2. At the tomato plant (called a “scion”), cut the stem with at least 6 to 8 inches of length with a straight across cut.  I recommend choosing a tomato plant that has a stem roughly the same diameter as the potato plant rootstock.
  3. Shape the cut end of the tomato plant to a wedge shape so that it will fit into the potato plant stem’s V-shape cut.
  4. Carefully slide the tomato plant stem onto the potato rootstock.
  5. Wrap the graft location with grafting tape in order to hold the two plants together.
  6. The grafting tape needs to remain in place until the tomato plant begins to show new growth.

 

Here is an illustration of the grafting steps described above:

How to grow tomatoes and potatoes on one plant

Grafting Scion Section to Stock (click image to see image source)

Why does this grafting process work?  Tomato plants and potato plants are part of the family of plants called “nightshades”.  Both plants contain alkaloids that help protect the plants from insects (they can even be used to make an organic liquid pest control solution for aphids: Organic Aphid Control)

 

A point of caution, grafting can potentially affect the flavor of the tomato fruit.  Also, grafted plants may yield less fruit than two separate plants grown from seeds.  On the other hand, a major benefit is the grafting process will save you a lot of time and space!

How to grow tomatoes and potatoes on one plant

Tomato-Potato Graft Plant Starts (click image to see image source)

If you end up trying this next year, or plant to grow potatoes in general, we have the perfect garden box for potatoes (and for lots of other things too). We call it TogetherFarm Blocks. This is a modular garden box system made from 100% recycled, food-grade plastic that can be put together in any shape or size. Because it is modular, it is perfect for growing potatoes and tomatoes. Tomatoes will send out roots at any point that the stem is below the  surface of the soil. So, as the plant grows, you can add additional layers onto your modular garden box to give the plant even more strength and fruitfulness. With the potatoes, TogetherFarm Blocks makes it simple at harvest time. Simply pull apart the blocks to be able to get to all the potatoes underground. So cool! We are currently in the last few days of a Kickstarter Campaign to get these blocks to market. If you pledge now, we will ship you a kit at the end of January of next year – just in time for next year’s growing season. Here is a link to TogetherFarm Blocks on Kickstarter as well as a picture of an assembled box. Help us reach our goal and get incredible rewards. Pledge now!

 http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/togetherfarm/turning-plastic-into-produce-togetherfarm-blocks

How to grow tomatoes and potatoes on one plant

TogetherFarm Blocks – an eco-friendly and easy way to build a garden box

 

Happy Gardening,

Matt and the TogetherFarm Produce Evangelists

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Where Does Food Come From?

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

Where does food come from before it gets to the grocery store?  The USDA has strict country of origin labeling (COOL) laws that, “requires retailers … notify their customers with information regarding the source of certain foods.” Effective as of 2005, the law covers just about anything edible including: muscle cut and ground meats (beef, veal, pork, lamb, goat, and chicken); wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts; and ginseng. Yes, ginseng made the list and is specifically called out.

Cut the tomato off the vine with about an inch of the stem still attached. This helps the tomato ripen better.

Home grown tomato

Although the law covers country of origin, it’s difficult – if not impossible – to tell where within the country the food came from, the conditions in which it was raised, or the handling of that food from origin to table. This is just one of many factors that have fueled local food movements.

The microclimate in your area can affect what grows best in your yard.

The microclimate in your area can affect what grows best in your yard.

If you are interested in learning more, FoodRoutes.org is a great place to start. They point out that in addition to exceptional taste and freshness, buying locally strengthens your local economy, supports endangered family farms, safeguard your family’s health, and protects the environment. And don’t forget the experience factor. Whether you are checking out local farms or growing your own food, you’ll have these memories for a lifetime.

If you want to know where your produce comes from, one of the best ways is to grow it yourself.  Check out our Kickstarter Campaign, where we are raising funds to bring our very first product, TogetherFarm Blocks™, to you.  If you have a small space you can use these blocks to quickly build a custom garden box without tools or carpentry experience.  Check them out!

grow your own produce

Grow your own produce!

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Can your garden box do tricks? Introducing TogetherFarm Blocks

This post reviews TogetherFarm’s recently unveiled TogetherFarm Blocks – the best and easiest way to build a garden box.

TogetherFarm recently launched a Kickstarter Campaign to get TogetherFarm Blocks to market. Check out this link to learn more and to support the project:

TogetherFarm Kickstarter Campaign

Kickstarter Campaign for TogetherFarm BlocksMost garden boxes are pretty boring when you think about it. Just a plain square or sometimes a rectangle. If you want to get creative, you have to be a professional carpenter.

TogetherFarm Blocks changes all this because our blocks can do tricks – your imagination is the limit. We have designed a modular garden box system that is made out of 100% recycled plastic. Each of the individual blocks clip together to form a garden box in whatever shape or size you want. Since most of us have gotten so accustomed to thinking of gardening boxes as, well, a box, we wanted to share some of the possible layouts that you can do with each of the kits sizes – thinking outside of the box, if you will! Here are just a few of the layouts you can do with a TogetherFarm Blocks’ garden box kit. But don’t let these examples stop you. There are dozens more configurations that are possible.

Can your garden box do tricks? Introducing TogetherFarm Blocks

 

And, you don’t need any tools to assemble TogetherFarm Blocks. There is no cutting, no measuring, and no heavy lifting. Additionally, the blocks can easily be taken with you if you move. Here is what one of our newest fans said, “TogetherFarm blocks are ideally suited to renters like ourselves, who have ended up spending a couple hundred bucks at every rental house building our own wooden beds because we can’t stand to live without a garden :)!” This is just one of the many features that TogetherFarm Blocks provide to those who want to grow their own produce.

As we gear up for manufacturing, we need your help to get these blocks to market. TogetherFarm has launched a Kickstarter Campaign where we hope to raise enough funds to cover the mold and tooling costs to produce TogetherFarm Blocks. With your help, more people will have access to their own home grown produce. You can pledge at whatever level you want – from $1 and up. Those who pledge $35 or more will receive TogetherFarm Blocks of their own as a thank you for supporting the campaign. Here is the link to the Kickstarter Campaign:

TogetherFarm Kickstarter Campaign

And, thanks so much for your support!

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