Abrahams' corn technique confirmed . . . removing leaves from tomato vines . . .
Weymouth, Mass. — Thought you might like to hear of some indirect praise for the Monitor's question-and-answer columnists, Doc and Katy Abraham. It is contained in the August issue of Organic Gardening and Farming magazine.
In an article entitled ''Backyard Corn Science,'' Rusty Welch noted the conflicting advice given to corn growers. Some said remove the suckers, because ''they take strength from the mother plant.'' But ''The Green Thumb Book of Fruit and Vegetable Gardening,'' by George and Katy Abraham, states: ''You get more ears if you leave the suckers on.''
Welch tested out the conflicting theories on six 50-foot rows of Golden Bantam corn. Those rows on which the suckers were retained outyielded the pruned corn in the number and size of ears - and by almost one-third in total weight ( 29 pounds to 21 pounds).
In the cooler north, where tomato plants are growing apace, it might be well to remove some of the lower leaves from the now-dense vines. This allows improved air circulation. Under no circumstances remove all the leaves, as a friend of mine did in the belief that all the plant's energy would then go into the fruit itself. The leaves of a plant are, in fact, its food producers, the kitchens that prepare the meals, you might say.
Remove the kitchen from our homes, and we'd have to eat out all the time. The tomato doesn't have that option.