Soil preparation for Tomatoes
I have grown tomatoes for many years, but have only recently began reading on the internet about what to do and not to do. I learned from my grandfather how to grow them. He always sub-soiled the bed with the tractor, then he would add add 20 pounds of dried cow manure per plant he intended to plant, he would then add about 5 pounds of marble dust per plant he intended to plant, and then rotary till it all together several times. After he had let that set for a few weeks, he would spread 20-20-20 fertilizer, with a quart of epson salts per 50 lbs, 1/2 pound of sodium chloride per 50 lbs of fertilizer, 1 pound of zinc per 50 pounds of fertilizer, and some iron (however much he was in the mood for) at the rate of three pounds per plant he intended to plant. He would till that in and let it set another week. About a month after planting, he would spread and water in about 500 pounds of marble dust. He would use water soluable urea weekly until the plants began to set fruit and then discontinue using it.
I plant the exact same way he did. Until I began researching, it was all I knew. His tomatoes, just as mine, do wonderfully. The plants run over the top of 6 ft baskets and back onto the ground. They are loaded with tomatoes that taste and sell wonderfully.
My question is this: According to everything I read, he and I both are using entirely too much Nitrogen. I read the horror stories of tomatoes being all vine and no fruit when you subject them to high levels of N2. I put so much nitrogen on my plants that I curl the leaves on them slightly prior to them setting fruit and they still bear monsterous amounts of huge tomatoes. If N2 is supposed to be kept to the levels that most on the internet say it is, Why did my grandfathers tomatoes grow so well and why do mine grow so well at these high levels of Nitrogen exposure? I experimented last year growing tomatoes the way they are supposed to be grown in a control plot, and they yielded less than half the fruit per plant than the ones I grew my traditional way.
I am a bit confused on this.