What is Hydrolyzed Fish Fertilizer?

Fish heads ready to fertilize.

There are many different types of organic fertilizers that produce great results without harsh, manufactured chemicals. Many of these products use ingredients from the ocean, such as kelp or seaweed. Some of the most influential and responsive products, however, come not from sea plants, but from fish. When choosing an organic fish fertilizer for your garden or farm, which is the best quality type of fertilizer for your needs?

TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Kathy Bosin adds, "Our ancestors used to place a fish in each planting hole, allowing the fish to break down naturally in the soil as the plant grows. You can add fish or fish remains directly to your garden or to your compost pile. Shrimp and crab waste can also be added directly--be sure to dig them in deeply to the center of your compost to keep out unwanted wildlife."

Non-Hydreoyzed Fertilizer

Historically, anything organic was considered inferior to the traditional chemical fertilizers, even when producing fish fertilizers. However, the organic option is much better for the plants in the long run.

When non-hydrolyzed fish fertilizer is manufactured, fish products and scraps are boiled and then used primarily for other industries, like creating paint and cosmetics or for livestock feed. Most of the oils are drained for those products long before they are used to make fertilizer. The process causes most of the essential amino acids in the fish to be lost or used for other purposes.

Hydrolyzed Fertilizer

Hydrolyzed fish fertilizer is manufactured by a much different process. Basically, 100 percent of the fish product is used for the fertilizer, allowing for more nutrients in your soil and for your plants. A more useful product is obtained from this process, making it more cost effective and longer lasting. There are also more environmental benefits from this this type of fertilizer, as there is little waste and no chemical additives.

Hydrolyzed fish fertilizers contain a very low count of N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium), which is ultimately better for the soil. The fertilizer creates no toxic minerals that many high-grade emulsion products tend to have. Seaweed or kelp extract is also often included in the fish fertilizer, which has also been proven to be beneficial to home gardens as well as large crops.

The pure economic savings from such a product are worth the purchase, regardless of the more simplified production process and lack of waste. Not only does this type of fertilizer use every piece of the fish, it uses a cold pasteurizing technique that holds all of the most important micro and macro acids and nutrients naturally found in fish.

For Your Garden

The longer the fish are cooked, the less important proteins remain that can encourage growth of your garden. While hydrolyzed fertilizer may be more expensive at first, its value and durability is a much better option. Your plants will thank you from having the proper nutrients.