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Thread: Liquid Fish Fertilizer

  1. #1

    Default Liquid Fish Fertilizer

    Trying something new this year. We brought whole uncleaned iced fish back to town. I've got heads, fins, tails, and guts in two 30 gallon food-grade barrels with lids on the flat roof of our shop, downwind of the house. Filled the barrels with water and dumped a bunch of sugar in each barrel. Gonna let it bubble and stir occasionally for awhile. I'm hoping to brew some real good smack for the garden.

    Any suggestions?


    ~tr

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a great way to recycle; I'd like to hear how that works out.

    What is your method for moving each of those 240 pound barrels though? That sounds tough.

  3. #3
    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post
    Trying something new this year. We brought whole uncleaned iced fish back to town. I've got heads, fins, tails, and guts in two 30 gallon food-grade barrels with lids on the flat roof of our shop, downwind of the house. Filled the barrels with water and dumped a bunch of sugar in each barrel. Gonna let it bubble and stir occasionally for awhile. I'm hoping to brew some real good smack for the garden.

    Any suggestions?


    ~tr
    Whatís the sugar for?

    Arenít you going to end up with some kind of fermented fish guts? Doesnít fermentation mean alcohol and won't that kill plants?

  4. #4

    Default uhhhh...can I get back to you on that?

    Quote Originally Posted by KelvinG View Post
    Whatís the sugar for? Arenít you going to end up with some kind of fermented fish guts? Doesnít fermentation mean alcohol and won't that kill plants?
    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    What is your method for moving each of those 240 pound barrels though?
    Look, guys, I have no idea what I'm doing. That's how I roll.

    ~tr

  5. #5

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    Not sure you need to brew anything, gr8fl. I had a friend a long time ago in Hawaii ... he used to put a small reef fish under each transplanted plant. I'm not a gardener, but he was decent at it.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by crr View Post
    he used to put a small reef fish under each transplanted plant
    Like one of these?



    ~tr

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Yeah, you don't need or want to brew or ferment or otherwise allow the fish to become a bacterial cesspool. Just cut it up into small pieces and put it in the garden. Mother nature will take care of the steps required to go from fish parts to dirt.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post
    Look, guys, I have no idea what I'm doing. That's how I roll.

    ~tr
    Except when it comes to dipping. He seems to know what he's doing there. We went where nobody else was dipping and were immediately killing fish. Then everyone noted that fact and joined us.

    I have some carcasses still if you want to add them to your homebrew....

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    I have some carcasses still if you want to add them to your homebrew....
    I've got 60 gallons of brew just a-bubblin' away. The sugar did the trick.

    Also threw in a 25# bag of organic basmati rice that the cats peed on and then molded.



    ~tr

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    Default ooh, ooh, ooh, I know what it is!

    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post
    I've got 60 gallons of brew just a-bubblin' away. The sugar did the trick.
    You're making "red" wine!

  11. #11
    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Well, Good luck to you!

    I'm sure we all will want to hear how well it works.

  12. #12

    Default gr8l's Red Wine Garden Elixir

    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    You're making "red" wine!
    If this works, I will need an appropriate label to put on the jugs.


    ~tr

  13. #13
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    How's "From the green pastures of the Kenai Valley,TR's Private reserve, not for the faint of heart"

    BTW, I'm Baaaaack!!
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  14. #14

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    My first year dipnetting, I brought the fish back whole and buried the fish heads under plants in my garden. It only took a day or so before the first hole showed up and the plant was destroyed. It happened one a night until they were all gone. Never caught the critter in the act, but I think it was the neighbor's cat.

    -hiker

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    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiker View Post
    My first year dipnetting, I brought the fish back whole and buried the fish heads under plants in my garden. It only took a day or so before the first hole showed up and the plant was destroyed. It happened one a night until they were all gone. Never caught the critter in the act, but I think it was the neighbor's cat.

    -hiker
    I'll bet the neighbor loved waking up to fish heads on the living room floor every morning!
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

  16. #16

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    I tried burying the carcasses in a commercial fish tote one year and had one of our Rabbit Creek bears dig the whole thing up to get to them.


    ~tr

  17. #17

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    I think you got the wrong idea. The whole idea behind fish carcasses for the garden is the bones and phosphorus. My wife just takes the bones. I throw the guts in the trash. I suppose you could add the guts for extra nitrogen, but it is probably overkill. The reason why the bones make nice fertilizer is because natural sources of phosphorus is hard to come by. Nitrogen is easy, but the phosphorus has to come from either bones or broken down rock fragments. Nitrogen is much more plentiful. What my wife and I do is lay down a layer of topsoil, place three or four fish carcasses on top of the top soil, lay some horse manure on top of the fish carcasses (which adds nitrogen and breaks down the fish carcasses), then lay down another layer of top soil and repeat the process. After about a year the carcasses and bones will be completely broke down and you will have some nutrient rich soil for your garden. I agree with what some others are telling you that fermenting the carcasses will kill your garden and not help it. Alcohol tends to be a little bit acidic, and what you want is a neutral pH or just slightly acidic or basic. Oh, and I don't think your concoction is going to actually ferment unless you add yeast. The yeast eats the sugar and converts it to alcohol. Without the yeast, you will just have a nasty disgusting sugar, algae, and fish brew. It sounds like a witches brew. Maybe you should add an eye of a newt and a hair of a mouse and a leg of a frog etc...

  18. #18
    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    I think you got the wrong idea. The whole idea behind fish carcasses for the garden is the bones and phosphorus. My wife just takes the bones.......
    Any kind of bones, or just fish bones?

    Makes me wonder if running larger bones through a chipper and then into the compost pile would work. It certainly would be easier to come up with a quantity of bone material using something larger than a fish.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by KelvinG View Post
    Any kind of bones, or just fish bones?

    Makes me wonder if running larger bones through a chipper and then into the compost pile would work. It certainly would be easier to come up with a quantity of bone material using something larger than a fish.
    Yeah, I suppose so. Bone meal works too. I am guessing moose bones and such would be to hard to break down in a reasonable amount of time in order for them to be useful. But if you had some way to grind them down I don't see why it wouldn't work.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    Except when it comes to dipping. He seems to know what he's doing there. We went where nobody else was dipping and were immediately killing fish. Then everyone noted that fact and joined us.
    Outside the commercial buoys??

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