A 'kitchen item' to bury in your garden for a 'huge harvest' and exceptional blooms - it 'works wonders'

A 'kitchen item' to bury in your garden for a 'huge harvest' and exceptional blooms - it 'works wonders'

Royal Horticultural Society

Royal Horticultural Society
Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 01/04/2024

- 06:00

Fish debris in your compost bine may offer a unique set of microorganisms to plants

While the benefits of fertilising plants are undisputed, gardeners may be unsure how to feed their plants for the best results.

Just about any organic ingredient can be fed to plants as long as it contains essential elements like magnesium and potassium.

Green-thumbed expert Sam Marlow, from Gardening Buildings Direct, named fish heads as one of the “unusual kitchen items” that “works wonders” in the garden.

The expert said: “Burying fish heads beneath planting holes can provide a slow-release source of nutrients as they decompose, enriching the soil.”

fish head and flowering plants

Fish heads offer plants unique microorganisms


The most popular way to prepare the feed is by boiling fish bones and using the reduced liquid as fertiliser.

According to the gardening website Rural Sprout, burying a fish head under tomatoes could also encourage a ‘huge harvest’.

The Royal Horticultural lists a score of other natural fertilisers that grow in nature.

“Comfrey, nettles, and liquid from wormeries all make excellent liquid fertilisers,” the website explained.

“Comfrey is potash rich, so is useful for flowering and fruiting plants and vegetables; nettles are high in nitrogen, especially in spring, and the liquor from a wormery is a good general feed.”

It continues: “Some organic fertilisers, such as fish blood and bone or poultry manure pellets, are slow to release their nutrients and are applied in the late winter or early spring in preparation for the growing season.”

Sources claim that fish fertiliser helps plants produce more sugar, which results in tastier vegetables.

Because it is non-toxic, it doesn’t risk deterring beneficial pollinators like bees and butterflies from your garden.

Though fish emulsion can be bought at stores, some argue that the pre-made products lack the microorganisms present in homemade solutions.

“Homemade fish emulsion fertilizer is super easy to make and usually works out less costly than buyer pre-made fish emulsion fertiliser,” explain experts at Trees.com.


colourful flowers in garden

Fish heads will promote stronger growth in flowering plants


Other kitchen scraps that could encourage prolific flowering include banana peels.

Placing one or two peels at the base of each rose shrub will give the plants enough potassium to turbocharge their growth over the summer.

Even discarded ingredients, like used tea bags and coffee grounds, can help gardeners achieve a fuller display.

Chamomille and black tea varieties act as nutritious fertilisers because their tannic acids foster high nitrogen levels, which plants need to thrive.

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