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I recently had some new neighbours move into our back yard, a couple of Kangaroo Apple plants. Not wanting to destroy perfectly happy native plants, I set about discovering what else they might be good for. And aside from the fact that they are a solanum (deadly nightshade) species, and therefore related to capsicums chillies eggplants and tomatoes, I also found that they're also quite edible when ripe, just like tomatoes.
More importantly, I also read that because they're are a hardy and long lasting rootstock, their close relative the Devils Plant (Solanum capsicoides) used as a grafting rootstock for eggplant, to give a longer growing season, and I thought to myself if S capsicoides can be used as a rootstock to graft eggplants (S melongena) onto then perhaps I can graft tomato (S lycopersicum) onto a Kangaroo Apple (S laciniatum) as well? Correspondingly, around three weeks ago, I grafted a scion of a tomato I had on hand to a branch of the Kanga, and see what happened. Now, this was not the most professional of grafts, and because it was my first one I also skipped several important steps. BUT IT WORKED. So one of the things I'll be sharing here and on 4-SEED Facebook is how to propagate the rootstocks, and how to grow longer cropping (and perhaps multiple varieties) of solanums on the hardy vigorous native rootstock.
Updated papers and documents at the 4-SEED Facebook pages (https://www.facebook.com/groups/4SEED) and news as it happens!
New 4-SEED box going in at Grow Lightly Food Hub Shop located in the car park of Coal Creek Historical Village, 12 Silkstone Rd, Korumburra. Box should be operational for the next trading days of the Food Hub Shop, being the upcoming Friday Saturday and Sunday. (29, 30, 31 January 2016) A range of seed will be available and we hope that with the extra exposure and publicity, a few more contributors will come forward as well.