How to Make Fish Emulsion


Growing healthy plants that yield large numbers of flowers, fruits and vegetables requires the application of fertilizer. If you're growing an organic garden and do not want to use commercially prepared chemical fertilizers, you can make your own. Fish emulsion is high in nitrogen, which promotes the growth of healthy leaves and stems. Apply fish emulsion when the plants are small. This will encourage them to produce enough vegetative growth to support the production of their crops.

Step 1

Chop fish waste so larger pieces are approximately the same size. You don't have to chop the large pieces down to the same size as the smaller ones.

Step 2

Place fish waste into a large waterproof container with a secure lid.

Step 3

Add approximately twice as much water as the volume of fish waste. Stir well. Replace the lid.

Step 4

Allow the mixture to rot, which should take about 30 to 60 days.

Step 5

Strain the solids by pouring the contents through a large sieve and decant the resulting liquid into the smaller container. This remaining liquid is the fish emulsion fertilizer.

Tips and Warnings

  • The smell of rotting fish will attract domestic and wild animals, so secure the lid and place the container in an inaccessible location.

Things You'll Need

  • Fish waste, including guts, skin, scales and bones
  • Container with lid
  • Large sieve
  • Container for finished product


  • University of Alaska Extension: Make Your Own Complete Fertilizer

Who Can Help

  • University of Massachusetts Extension: Organic Growing Media and Fertilizers for Greenhouses
Keywords: make fish emulsion, organic fish fertilizer, homemade organic fertilizer

About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a freelance writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.