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New 'Eggs and Chips' Plant Grows Both Eggplants and Potatoes In One Pot

Jan 08, 2016 05:00 PM EST
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Gardeners, make room for "Frankenplants." Horticulturists have created a new plant that grows two vegetables in one pot – aubergines, commonly known as eggplants, from its stem and potatoes from its roots. British seed company Thompson & Morgan have now begun selling the plants, subsequently named "Egg and Chips."  

To create this "Frankenplant" experts experimented with over 20 eggplant varieties before selecting one that was best for size and performance.  Next, the stems of separate aubergine and potato plants were carefully cut and grafted to produce the dual-cropping plant. But they are keeping the exact variety of aubergine and potatoes used under wraps so their work is not copied.

Researchers say this crafted plant will save space and can produce up to four, big purple eggplants and 4.5 pounds of potatoes under the soil, according to the Daily Mail. Although aubergines can be difficult to grow successfully outdoors, Eggs and Chips can grow in most spots in the garden or in a pot on a patio or balcony.

Eggplants and potatoes are members of the same plant family, known as the Solanaceae or nightshade. Among other benefits, the hardy potato plant actually supports the more delicate eggplant root system when grafted together. 

"For seasoned veg growers this is a really novel development," Michael Perry, the product development manager for Suffolk-based Thompson & Morgan, said in an interview with Express. "For those without the luxury of an allotment or large vegetable patch, it makes the most of available space in the garden.

"Even the smallest patio or balcony can accommodate a pot-grown Egg and Chips plant – pair it with a Tomtato plant - a dual-cropping plant that produces tomatoes and potatoes – and you'll have three easy-to-grow crops from just two pots," he added. 

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