Sengyan
Full Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:32 pm
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Home made fish fertilizer/emulsion

I would be grateful for a recipe to make my own fish fertilizer as I think is it less costly in the long run.

Thanbk you

Sengyan

grandpasrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

Hi Sengyan! It's not hard! Here you go!! 8)

Fish Emulsion

Place the fish remains into a five gallon pail. Then fill the pail about 3/4 full with water.
Stir the contents of the bucket quite well and allow it to stand for a day or two, stirring it when you have a chance to do so. Make sure you place the pail in a spot that animals won't bother it.
After a day or two has passed, carefully strain out the remaining scraps. You can do this by placing a piece of cheesecloth over the top of the pail, and tie it securely to the pail. Use the now-smelly water on your plants as you would any other fertilizer.

There are of course much more involved recipes for making fish emulsion, but this one is the easiest. Have fun! :wink:
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Wow, sounds like it will be great stuff. Be sure to keep it well away from the house! Whew! :wink:

Sengyan
Full Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:32 pm
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

How to make fish emulsion

Thank you Grandparose. How much fish do I need? Could you also post more involved recipes?

Thank you.

grandpasrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

Hi Sengyan! You can put as much fish as you like in. It will just make it stronger, the more you put in.
I often don't even take the step of making emulsion. My Dad is an avid fisherman, so I have access to lots of fish remains. I just bring them home, and bury them under my rose bushes as is. They love it!

Here is a more complicated recipe for fish emulsion if you would like to try it. I have never used it, so cannot vouch for it.

You can use fresh fish parts or any canned fish. The juices, sauces, or oils in the can can be used to breed beneficial microbes and supply extra proteins in the tea, so use it.

If you do use canned fish products, you may want to let it decompose mixed with some finished compost, good garden soil, etc. in a container for a few days before using. Most canned meat products contain preservatives, and this ensures that the good microbes in the tea will not be killed off or harmed in making the emulsion.

If you use fresh fish, you need to compost it in a 5 gallon closeable bucket. Fill bucket 1/2 full with extra browns like sawdust, leaves, or straw. You can add some molasses to the fishy mixture in order to build up microbes to speed up decomposition. Stir the bucket daily or every other day in order to get air in the mix for better decomposition and better aerobic microbial growth in the emulsion. Let this paste rot for at least 1-2 weeks.

If you like you could add 1-2 tblsp of Epsom salt to the mix for extra magnesium and sulfur and for extra trace elements you could add 1-2 tblsp of apple cider vinegar.

You can apply this fish emulsion at a dilution rate from 1:1 to 1:5 ratio (5 gallons of tea to 25 gallons of water).

Hope this helps you out! Let me know how it goes! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

User avatar
Grey
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1596
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:42 am
Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

A question on the canned fish tho - there's a LOT of salt in the canned fish here in the States. I have to rinse it several times before I feed it to my mutts. Won't the salt in canned fish cause problems to the plants if buried directly? Just wondering :)

grandpasrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

That's great to bring that up Grey, although I didn't mean to bury the canned fish, I was referring to waste fish remains.
In Canada there is very little salt in canned fish - depending on the fish of course. But if you are concerned about the salt when you use it in your emulsion, just give it a rinse through first.
Good point! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

User avatar
Grey
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1596
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:42 am
Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

Ah, I wish there was so little salt in our canned products! Thanks for clearing that up :)

Sengyan
Full Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:32 pm
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

fish emulsion

Hi Grandparose. I like the idea of burying the fresh fish parts under the plant.
Can you please explain how it's done so I don't damage the roots? I am an avid fisherman and I've thrown away fish parts. What a waste. But not anymore.

Sengyan

grandpasrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

Yes, you've let all that wonderful stuff go down the drain! My grandfather taught me this trick many years ago, but he used it under his peonies. Everyone on the street always wondered why his peonies were so glorious, and of course he never told!
I just dig a small hole near the base of the plant (it doesn't have to be right under) deep enough that the animals aren't digging it up (about 4-6"of soil over top of fish). Then I put the fish in, and cover it back up. It naturally and slowly deteriorates, and blends into the soil around it, and the plant takes what it needs. Easy as pie!! 8)

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Hi Grey, the salt from the canned fish would be washed away by rain. It is very soluble in water and wouldn't be much of a problem.

Sengyan
Full Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:32 pm
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Fish emulsion

Thank you Grandparose for your fish parts burying advice. To think that I had been throwing away all the good stuff all these years!

Sengyan

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Hi Sen,

some people actually bury fish parts in trench composts in their gardens. You'll want to make the trenches deep such that any dogs or other animals that happen across the area won't dig it up but, I've heard that it works miracles for the soil.

bunge
Full Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:08 pm
Location: Rutledge, Georgia-U.S.A.
Contact: Yahoo Messenger

OK, this may sound real stupid...but
we have several tropical fish aquariums.
Can I use the water that I drain out of them (25-50%) once a week,
on my garden?
Will it fertilize any? I don't think it could hurt the plants, but, will it help them??
WoW, this is a great forum, I'm learning so much.
You can teach an ole dog!!!!
j bunge :D

Richard_a
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:34 pm

this fish fertilizer seems like an interesting idea, i've never heard of it before.

but it sounds like it really smells terrible - what can one do against this smell?

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

The smell is negligable if used outside and I would only use the product outside. Not meant for indoor use.

The product is diluted and then watered over plants. And the smell is barely noticeable. I wouldn't use just before having a bunch of guests over for an outdoor picnic but, you barely notice the smell and it is gone within a day.

Use this product at most once a week and you'll be fine. You can also use liquid seaweed which doesn't smell and has a different nutrient profile. I personally use both.

Another alternative is kelp meal, blood meal, rock phosphate and I'm sure their are others. Kelp meal is a slow release organic fertilizer, I don't know much about blood meal (somewhere in the organic section is a list of NPK values for most fertilzers) and rock phosphate is an inorganic (no carbon) environmentally friendly soil ammendment that aids in hardying plants and creates a recalcitrant soil that holds nutrients. Definately recommnded.
I actually use all of the above except the blood meal but, try it as well.

Probably more information than what you were looking for but, hopefully you'll find everything useful. :)

TimCook
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:50 am
Location: Newton, Alabama

Fish Fertilizer home brewed NO bad smell

Take fish heads and all uneatable fish scraps, put into a metal pot and cover the fish with water. put over outside gas cooker and bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. As soon as it cools or up to 2 days after cooking, mix 1 part fish mush to 5 parts water. It does not smell bad, but it does not smell like something to eat either. Use this mix immediately in garden and around any plant that needs fertilizer. If you intend on storing it you have to mix 1% phosphoric acid by weight to bring the PH down to 4.5 to stop decay. If you store it without the acid it will explode. With 1% acid it is still Organic. I like to fish and I like to garden. It works Great. I have used this mix on some stunted trees and it work within 2 weeks making the trees put on new growth, unbelievable. It works on Roses as well as anything in the garden. It feeds the micro-organisms and the microbes feed the plants with poop and urine. It is Gods perfect way to grow food. Try it you will like it. My dad use any leftover garden fruit and table scraps to do the same thing and it works very well also. I believe you could boil your grass clippings and get great results. I will try it soon. Feed the soil and it will feed you!!
home brewed fish Fertilizer works Great !

Timlin
Senior Member
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Zone 3 Canada

Another very good fertilizer is alfalfa meal. I buy mine in 50 lb bags at the local feed outlet. I put a handful around the base of a plant, scratch it in and stand back...........everything seems to love it.

Return to “Organic Gardening Forum”