Fish guts in the garden?

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Topic by labman1 posted 05-07-2009 09:05 PM 14616 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View labman1's profile


33 posts in 3494 days

05-07-2009 09:05 PM

Just wondering if anyone else puts their fish in the garden. I tried it a few years ago and was amazed how it worked. I dug a hole and buried them and checked it about 10 days later. It was completly gone except for a few bones. No smell just black soil and worms! I was worried about stink, animals digging it up or worse, our dogs getting into it but I have had no problems. I live in the city and its a good way to get rid of the fish guts, no more stinky garbage!


View GrandmaT's profile


5389 posts in 3685 days
hardiness zone 9

05-07-2009 10:12 PM

We had an old Armenian lady (whom I dearly loved) that lived across from us at our old home and had lots of “old country wisdom”. She was very concerned about this one tree that her son had bought her many years ago. So she would bury fish “everything” under this one tree to make it well … the following year, this tree was absolutely BEAUTIFUL and just as healthy as could be as of last weekend.

Now, I honestly do not know if the fish actually helped that tree or it managed to get better on it’s own … but an interesting coincidence.

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View XploreOrganics's profile


1393 posts in 3686 days
hardiness zone 5b

05-08-2009 04:03 AM

Capelin roll ashore here in NL and it is very popular to use the fish and seaweed in the garden.

-- Xploreorganics, 5b Canada, LFD 06-20

View BadBob's profile


24 posts in 3193 days
hardiness zone 8b

05-08-2009 04:55 AM

I have buried lots of fish waste in my garden. Never once had a problem.

I used to raise rabbits for food. After I butchered the rabbits I would bury the remains about 12 inches deep in a part of my garden that I was not currently using. I never found so much as a bone.

Once while in a hurry I raked back some mulch. Dumped a large pile of fish waste on the ground and covered it with mulch thinking I would bury it the next day. I forgot until several weeks later. I raked back the mulch expecting to find a mess. Nothing. Not even bones.

Note that this garden soil was very biologically active. I would not attempt this. in my current garden.

View dini's profile


1591 posts in 3524 days
hardiness zone 5

05-08-2009 07:23 AM

In our old garden, we always buried fish waste between the rows, all summer. The next year we would shift the rows over so they were on top of the last year’s fish. That garden always produced spectacularly. A 10 X 10 (foot) space, produced enough tomatoes, peppers, and cukes for 3 households, plus whatever else we decided to grow that year.

-- the day you quit learning is the day you quit living.

View mario1360's profile


921 posts in 3222 days
hardiness zone 5a

05-08-2009 07:31 AM

i do that here all the time, almost downtown montreal….we eat a lot of fish.
as long as you bury it deep enough its very beneficial, fish fertiliser for free, and buried deep wont attract dogs, cats , skunks etc….

-- south shore montreal, zone 5a, whish it was 9

View Bon's profile


7374 posts in 3587 days
hardiness zone 5a

05-08-2009 08:15 AM

My grandfather used to bury fish carcusses in his gardens at the cottage.He had the best tomatoes ever and his dahalias were just awesome.

-- Bon,Hastings, 5a....Always room for one more

View GrandmaT's profile


5389 posts in 3685 days
hardiness zone 9

05-08-2009 10:11 AM

OH wow, so my little friend across the street many years ago definitely knew what she was doing. That is very cool to know …

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View Cynthia's profile


651 posts in 3212 days

05-09-2009 05:04 AM

Labman1: I find that fish really like to be in the water since this keeps them alive. LOL! If it was good enough for the North American Indians, then it is good enough for us, the gardeners! Sounds good as long as the dead fish with or without guts are buried deep.

View MsDebbieP's profile


14694 posts in 3807 days
hardiness zone 5b

05-09-2009 08:26 AM

when we gave someone a rose bush for a gift we’d always bury fish remains in the hole before planting the bush.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View firecaster's profile


81 posts in 3253 days
hardiness zone 7

05-12-2009 07:23 PM

I would like to try this but the problem I see is having to clean a lot of fish.

-- Father of two boys. Both Eagle Scouts.

View jroot's profile


5121 posts in 3437 days
hardiness zone 5a

05-12-2009 07:29 PM

I know some folks who just get the fish heads from the fish market. They boil them up to make a broth; use the seive to take out the bones; and then bury the bones in the garden near their roses. Works well.

I was thinking of them tonight when I took my wife to the local pub and one of there specials was mussels. The chef uses fish carcasses to help build his stock, and then adds his onion, wine, fennel, tomatoe, secret spices etc. They were FANTASTIC. I should have asked him for the fish bones, if I had the time to dig them in.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Greenthumb's profile


2290 posts in 3627 days

05-13-2009 09:52 AM

Nothing like the smell of boiling fisheads in the house. Kinda like using sardeine juie as a perfume.

I like to put the fishguts in one of brothers front pant pokets in an open ziploc bag just to watch his expression when he reaches down to find out whats goin on!!!!!!.......kidding?

My lab can find fish guts buried in the garden in a heart beat, then dig it up and roll in it and march the stench into the house. .........perfect. I just wish I could teah the FIL’s dog to do the same, that would certainly stop him from burying all the goldfish that die every spring.

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View SteviePete's profile


1 post in 3137 days
hardiness zone 3b

05-13-2009 11:42 AM

Like greenthumb I find the most value of fish guts in the ability to make the neighbors keep their dogs on a leash. Nothing better than neighbor dog stinking of fish.

When the humor wears off I bury in the compost bin if I still have about 6-8 parts of carbon (dry leaves, shredded organic matter).

State of Wisconsin also has supported fishwaste composting science as an alternative to landfilling. The secret was just layering with peatmoss and keeping the skunks out. Commercial and sport fishermen have done a good job supporting this action.

-- SPJ, Summit, Wisconsin Great White North

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