How to Grow a Garden with Fish Guts

Save money on fertilizer and use the scraps from your catch in your vegetable garden

fish guts garden fertilizer
Miracle Grow: Watch your garden blossom with fish-scrap fertilizer.The Voorhes

You can pay $40 for a gallon of someone else’s liquefied fish guts. Or you can use the guts from the fish you’re bound to catch this summer to make your own garden fertilizer. People have been growing crops with fish scraps since the beginning of time, because it works.

If you have understanding neighbors and the olfactory tolerance, you can create your own liquid fish fertilizer by composting the guts in a barrel with water along with wood chips, grass clippings, or vegetable scraps. It’s going to take a while to simmer to just the right brew, but serious gardeners swear by it.

I don’t have that much Mother Earth in me. But I do always scatter filleted bream and crappie carcasses across my garden plot and till them right into the ground. So long as they’re ­sufficiently covered with soil, you won’t notice much of a smell. I also spray the slime and scrapings from my filleting table right into my bean seedlings once I’m done cleaning fish. ­Every summer, we have more fresh vegetables than we can stand.