Grafting is an old tried-and-true way to marry the desirable qualities of two plants together as long as the two plants are at least close cousins.
A sharp knife, good cuts and some good tape, matched with some good skills, can produce some interesting things. But have you seen the ‘TomTato’?
The TomTato is a tomato and potato plant. Yep, makes tomatoes up top and potatoes down below.
This novel plant was brought to my attention by a good acquaintance who knows what I do for a living and pretty much knows where I sit on most things. He wanted to point this TomTato out to me as just another way man is screwing around with nature and creating things that will be the doom of us all, which is the way he sees it ... as the acquaintance sees it.
Said it freaked him out when he saw it. He’s a good guy, really, just misguided on a few things.
First, after reading an article on this TomTato, I had to tell the acquaintance, according to what I read, that the TomTato is a ‘grafted’ plant and not a hybrid or genetically modified one. A big difference, but that really didn’t matter to him now did it?
I asked the acquaintance if he had ever bit into a pecan or a citrus for that matter. Yeah? Well, you likely bit into something that came from a grafted plant. No big deal. It happens.
Anybody who's has had a high school horticulture class has had to show some skill in or knowledge of what grafting is and likely how to do a bit of it. Don’t know how my acquaintance missed that class, but folks miss things all the time.
With an idea to make fig skins harder and more durable, I once grafted a fig branch to a small hickory tree growing in my yard. Was going to call it a Hick-a-Fig … It didn’t take.