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Fish Emulsion & Fish Meal

* Organic nitrogen and phosphorus garden plant food,
* Fish Emulsion for cold early months,
* More readily available organic food for faster growing,

Traditional fish fertilizers - fish emulsion, fish meal and hydrolyzed fish fertilizer - have become more widely available in recent times. Waste fish provides a rich source of nutrients to recycle to your garden plants.

These fertilizers have particular cultural advantages worth considering in an organic garden - see below. For example - nitrogen in the form of partly digested protein is more readily available to plants than it is from some other organic fertilizers.

Fish Fertilizer Sources

Fish should not be caught specifically for making fertilizer, especially fish from depleted fish stocks. However, when undersize waste fish are landed they can now be made into fish hydrolyzate (a practice that I hope is carefully monitored). The waste from gutting is also used.

Three Fish Fertilizers

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Fish meal: is made from dried fish waste. Oils that become rancid are removed, preservatives are added and the material is spray dried. The nutrient analysis of fish meal is around  N : P : K  =  10 - 12 : 6 : 2 making it a good choice to use with leafy plants.

The next 2 fish fertilizers have sulphuric and phosphoric acids added to stabilise the material. This makes up some of the fertilizer value - probably less than 1% P in Fish Emulsion.

Fish Emulsion: made from gutted fish waste which is dried to kill micro-organisms.

Nutrient analysis is around  N : P : K  =  5 : 2 : 2  It is readily soluble and used for folia spraying. This is especially useful in the colder earlier months when manures and slow release organic fertilizers may be breaking down too slowly.

Hydrolyzed Fish: made from whole fish waste which is minced and digested with enzymes. To prevent further degradation this fish 'soup' is acidified with phosphoric acid at a lower ph than fish emulsion. It preserves more micro-nutrients, vitamins and proteins than the emulsion.

The more balanced nutrient analysis is around  N : P : K  =  4 : 2 : 2.

The Garden Seat - books by experts to help you grow organically

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The Are Many Organic Fertilizers

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