Everything you've always wanted to know about fish emulsion
(but were too afraid to ask)
Fish emulsion is one of the original organic fertilizers. It is a partially decomposed blend of finely pulverized fish parts.
Chris at EB Stone says the mixed fish parts from the Fort Bragg area are ‘cold-processed’ which keeps the fish material fresher with less chance of decomposition that can be an unfortunate and smelly part of heat-processing. There is also an added enzymatic step, a light digestion process that helps break down the material into smaller parts. The smaller the particles are the faster the soil bacteria can break it down for the plants, yummy! Fish Emulsion is high in Nitrogen, and the source of several trace elements.
The addition of Kelp, which is classified as an algae, means using a natural renewable resource that grows along the coastlines around the world. Kelp is not only a great source of microbes which are needed to break down the nutrients for the plants but….an immediate benefit is attributed to the release of auxins, cytokinins, and gibberellins. What’s that you say? These plant growth hormones, required in small quantities, are essential for cell division and cell elongation, basic functions of plant growth. This increased level of plant hormones helps with enhanced seed germination, and stimulates root and shoot growth as well as drought-resistance, frost-protection and stress recovery of the plant.
According to Rodale’s All New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening ‘sprays of seaweed extract can help prevent plant diseases.’ In recent tests performed at Virginia Polytechnic Institute soil sprayed with a seaweed solution had between 67 to 175% more roots than untreated soil. Foliar sprays are up to 20 times more effective as a way to supply nutrients when the soil is poor quality or when roots are stressed from transplant shock or suffering from extreme heat and drought conditions. Kelp is an excellent source of chelated minerals necessary for plant growth. Because Fish Emulsion with Kelp is water-soluble it is immediately available and can be used in early spring to gets plants going. Regular organic fertilizers cannot be broken down until the soil is warmer. Fish Emulsion can also be used as a foliar feed, even for tomatoes.
This is a great fertilizer solution for gardeners with drip systems. Our friends at the Urban Farmer Store say that by installing an EZ Flow tank, liquid fertilizer can be applied to the garden through the drip system. The EZ Flow tank comes in several sizes and is easy to install.