One liter bottle of this concentrated liquid fish emulsion goes a long way. A tablespoon of fish emulsion is diluted in a gallon of water, and it is this diluted mixture that you use to water your garden plants. Never pour concentrated fish emulsion directly on your plants.
How to Apply Homemade Fish Emulsion Fertilizer
There are a couple of ways to apply the liquid fish emulsion. One is to water directly to the base of the plant for root uptake. The other is by foliar spray on the leaves.
The procedure outlined below discusses watering the plants roots. It is more effective and reduces fertilizer wastage. But because there is also the danger of water runoff when watering the ground, I use a funnel applicator to ensure focused application of fertilizer to garden plants.
Application of fish emulsion fertilizer may vary from once every 2 weeks to once every month. Since I make my own fish emulsion fertilizer, I apply it every 2 weeks.
- Liquid Fish Emulsion
- Plastic Spoon
- Funnel Applicator - cut top half of a used soda pop bottle
- Watering Can - without the sprinkler cap
Prepare the Fish Emulsion Fertilizer for Watering
- The ratio of dilution is 1 tablespoon of fish emulsion to 1 gallon of water. Carefully pour the fish emulsion into a tablespoon. Because of its oil content, homemade fish emulsion has the consistency of heavy syrup.
- Pour the tablespoon's contents inside the watering can.
- Since the fish emulsion has a tendency to stick on the spoon, flush it with a garden hose.
- Continue filling up the watering can with the garden hose at high pressure until you get the correct dilution ratio. You will notice a froth or foam developing on top of the water. This is due to the nutrient-rich fish oil in the emulsion.
Prepare the Funnel Applicator and Watering Hole
- Cut the top half of a used soda pop bottle and remove the cap as shown below.
This will allow you to funnel all the liquid fish emulsion fertilizer into the ground where the plant's root zone is located.
- To create the watering hole, jab a thick stick or a metal rod 3 inches deep below the ground where you will be watering. Below is the one I use. It's actually just a metal rod that I use to manually till the soil.
- With an encircling motion, create a conical hole on the ground as shown below.
- This conical watering hole has 2 purposes. One is to focus the watering in the root zone and not cause spillage or runoff. Second is to keep the funnel applicator stable and not topple over when you start watering. The finished conical hole should look like the one below.
Apply the Fish Emulsion with the Watering Can
- Position and press the Funnel Applicator into the conical hole and keep it steady.
- With the watering can (remove the sprinkler cap), gently pour the fish emulsion fertilizer into the funnel as shown below.
If the soil is slow draining, jab a few more holes on the ground for nearby plants while waiting for the ground to absorb the fish emulsion fertilizer.
- Repeat the previous 2 steps for applying the fish emulsion fertilizer to other garden plants.
Two Uses for the Leftover Fish Emulsion Pulp
Remember the leftover fish emulsion pulp you collected in the basin when you extracted the liquid fish emulsion? Do not throw it away! The leftover pulp is nutrient-rich and may be amended to your garden's soil. But you need to really spread it out and mix it in your soil, as it is quite concentrated. Water thoroughly afterwards.
Another use for the leftover fish emulsion pulp, which I strongly recommend, is to return all of it in the 5-gallon bucket. This can become a quick starter for your next batch of fish scraps or wastes. The leftover fish emulsion pulp already has plenty of active microbes in it. The remaining amount of molasses in the pulp will now help expedite the decomposition of the second batch of fresh raw fish scraps.
Here's a definite plus: Because of its rapid decomposition, the second batch of fish emulsion won't smell as bad as when you started from scratch with the first batch. The second batch's fishy odor in the first week of processing will definitely be more tolerable.
Other Articles in this Series:
How to Make Easy Homemade Fish Emulsion Fertilizer
Collect and Extract the Homemade Fish Emulsion Fertilizer