A Recipe for Homemade Fresh Fish Fertilizer

dead-tilapiaI have an idea for Dave, who had an abundance of fish after his aquaponic experiment went south.  Take those unfortunate fish and give your in-ground garden a boost!  Fish emulsion is a good fertilizer for lots of garden vegetables and other plants too.  It has an N-P-K ratio of about 5-2-2, and has micronutrients too.  Store bought fish emulsion is made from the byproducts and waste from fish used for another process, like fish oil or canned fish.  Using fresh fish that still have all their parts intact should be even better than the commercial stuff.

You can make homemade fish emulsion at home in a bucket, or several buckets if you have a lot of fish.  I’ve done this with scraps I had from cleaning fish I caught, but it should work fine with whole tilapia.  Fill the bucket about 2/3 of the way full by layering fish scraps and brown organic matter (like leaf litter) in equal parts.  Fill the bucket with water to cover all the material, cover it with a lid and keep it out of the sun.  I’ve heard of people adding molasses and seaweed to get more nutrients in the emulsion.  Stir the mixture every few days for several weeks, and then it should be ready to use.

Pour off the water and catch it in another bucket – this is your fish emulsion.  You can use the remaining fish scraps and leaf litter to brew another batch, or just put it in your compost pile or your worm bin.  To use the fish emulsion, dilute it with water.  Use about a cup of emulsion to a gallon of water.  The dilution can be used to pour on garden soil or to spray your leaves.


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  • Mike63Denver

    We inner city street gangers like to study you rural folk who live and love in the country so we can become brighter. Thank you so much for the enlightenment.

  • Lettuce doesn’t sweeten up without fish fertilizer and I wondered how to make it (without creating something noxious). So thank you for the useful fish fertilizer recipe!

  • Fish fertilizers are also good and provide better benefits for our plants. Apart from chemical fertilizer fish fertilizer and organic fertilizers are good for crops and plants; fish fertilizer contains different types of beneficial ingredients and here we have found some homemade fish emulsion with the mixture of seaweeds and other organic products. I hope we should learn some better techniques of preparing homemade recipe fertilizer from fish and other organic products.

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