GG | Fishing abord the Mingrev's Folly.Greenhorn Gardening listener Mark e-mailed me the other day about how he makes his own fish emulsion. Not long ago I made YouTube video about burying fish as fertilizer like the Native American Indians did long ago. Mark sent this nice message that might help many of you make your own fish emulsion:


Damon, I pureed the fish parts in a blender, put them in a 5 gallon bucket(with a lid) with about 3 '' of sawdust in the bucket, added 1 pint of un sulphured molasses, Epsom salts, and filled it up with water. I stirred it every other day for 2 weeks. I added another pint of molasses the second week to help with smell and microbe growth. It smells sooo disgusting, but you can't argue with results. If you come up with a recipe that doesn't have as much order, I'd like to have it!


Best, Mark


Thanks, Mark! Sounds like another project for Mad-Man LAbz!


Grow'em big!



P.S., Do any of you have experience in making fish emulsion or fish-based fertilizers?



2 Responses to “Guest Post | Homemade Fish Emulsion”

  1. Jeffrey Shafer Says:

    Listened to your podcasting project fishbed. Have not seen YouTube videos yet but plan to watch them. Been experimenting with raised beds for a couple years and had to move leaving my raised beds behind. Thinking about taking the next step in gardening – aquaponics. Wondering…if I buy a house with an above ground swimming pool, could I convert it to a aquaponics system using a series of those totes you spoke about cut in half for the beds?  Also, I live in central Kentucky. How does winter and possible periodic freezing affect an aquaponics system?  Do you "winterized" the tank and beds somehow?  Thanks for the inspiration. Jeff

  2. Damon Says:

    Yes, the wintering is a difficult aspect to figure. I guess that’s why I’m doing mine now to see how it performs over winter. In tropical climates where it never freezes this isn’t a problem. Some people if colder climates build their aquaponic system in a greenhouse. If you build a greenhouse it’s like moving 500 miles south. I plan on covering mine with a simple coldframe.

    An above ground swimming pool would give you plenty of water, and I doubt it would freeze. I plan on adding more totes to my system as you plan to as well.

    The biggest problem with an above ground swimming pool would be the pump. It’s advised that the pump cycle the entire volume of water once or twice per hour. The aquaponic beds filter the water for the fish. There are plenty of pond pumps out there that can do the job.

    I’m still learning all this myself.

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