Have you ever heard of or used fish emulsion fertilizer? Healthy garden plants are a result of good quality soil, plant food, sunlight, water and of course sufficient nutrients for their health.
There are plenty of organic matter or organic products you can use to fertilize your plants with:
- Worm castings
- Seaweed Fertilizer
… and so on.
However, there are also good organic items and supplements to consider – fish emulsion fertilizer is a good example.
Fish emulsion is a liquid fish fertilizer like this from Neptune Harvest made from byproducts of the fishing industry.
It is beneficial for leafy vegetables and fruits we grow.
It is high in nitrogen and sold as a concentrated liquid which gardeners dilute and use. It has a typical fishy smell but now-a-days, deodorized versions are available easily.
What Ingredients and Nutrients Are In Fish Emulsion?
This ratio tells the percentage by weight of each of these three elements.
Generally, fish emulsion plant fertilizers have a ratio of 5 :2:2 or 5:1:1.
These liquid organic fertilizers may provide the ingredients which your soil might lack and are necessary for a rich and balanced growth in your garden.
Fish emulsion also provides trace elements like:
… which plants require in micro quantities.
How Do You Use Fish Emulsion In The Garden?
- A bottle of fish emulsion (either store-bought or home-made)
- A clean bucket
The procedure is very simple. For every 1 gallon of water mix 3 tablespoons of the fish emulsion concentrate. Increase this quantity with the number of gallons water you will be using.
That’s all there is to it. Your fish fertilizer is ready to go.
In the garden, apply the fertilizer as a foliar feed like you would a liquid fertilizer by watering plants with the solution through its leaves. It’s recommended to use around 1/2 gallon per tomato plant for example. [source]
As simple as the process is of using fish emulsion on plants, there are reasons for using organic fish emulsion fertilizer over other fertilizers.
- Organic fish emulsions are produced from unused fresh fish parts, and are natural resources which will otherwise be wasted.
- They contain ample Nitrogen- Phosphorus- Potassium which are essential plant elements.
- The micronutrients like Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium etc. which are constantly replenished and needed by plants.
- Fish emulsion for plants can be used at any point of time as an all-purpose garden fertilizer.
- They are mild and there is less chance of damaging/ burning the plants.
- It can be used as a soil drench as well as a foliar spray. No fancy chemical fertilizer injector needed a hose-end sprayer will work just fine.
- They are beneficial to the plant but do not cause any harm and contamination of the environment like the chemical varieties.
- Some use it in the dry fertilizer form called a fish meal and add it to the compost pile the same way bone meal is added.
The nutrients supplied by fish emulsions make the plants stronger and pest resistant. The addition of lavender oil has helped take the fishy smell out with a deodorized option is available.
One additional benefit of fish emulsion is, that plants will not be overfeed.
The nutrients help increase soil health and soil microbes.
How Often Should Liquid Fish Emulsion Be Applied?
Since the fertilizer acts fast on providing nutrients, more frequent applications are required.
Many plants grown outdoors are watered twice per week. Research has shown, that the application of half ounce of fish emulsion mixed with one-gallon water applied twice weekly helped plants grow vigorously.
Check The Percentages
Before feeding plants with fish emulsion, always check the nutrient levels currently present in the soil to avoid overfeeding. Follow the instructions on the packet, if using store brought emulsions.
How To Make Your Own Homemade Fish Emulsion Fertilizer
Store brought emulsions are dependable and convent, but you can definitely make your own. The homemade solutions tend to be pure and have more nutrients.
Store brought products are made from various fish parts – blood, tails, heads, insides etc. Some use raw fish some use cooked. Some may add seaweed to add additional nutritional value.
Homemade emulsions are rich in nutrients as well as in fungi/ bacteria which are also needed. You’ll find different recipes for making fish emulsion fertilizer.
To make your own liquid emulsion fertilizer:
- Half 5 gallon bucket of Composted Manure
- 4-5 Cans of Sardines in water or fish oil
- Half Cup Black Strap Molasses (some recommend unsulfured molasses)
- Handful Epsom Salts
- Fill with water
- Cover with lid and cut holes in lid so it can breath (cover holes with screen)
- Stir Daily for 2 weeks, then strain solids off
- Use liquid as you would store bought Fish Emulsion Fertilizer.
Using a fish emulsion fertilizer is a excellent organic option to fertilize your outdoor plants. DO NOT use on your indoor plants. The reason – SMELL!