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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old April 29, 2017   #1
ARgardener
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Default Fish Heads- worth it?

Gardening in virign soil this year so I plan on spicing things up in my tomatoes' holes to help them out.
I've seen some mention of putting a fish head under the planting hole. I've also seen where putting rabbit manure into the hole is good, too.

Is this an either-or deal? Should I be putting either rabbit poo or fish heads; not both?
I've got a source for both, so both is possible, but what is the best route to go?
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Old April 29, 2017   #2
dmforcier
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Fish head is supposed to be good, but bury deep or someone will dig it up - along with your plant - and eat it.

With a fish head, I would just use rabbit pellets for top dressing.
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Old April 29, 2017   #3
pmcgrady
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If I have access to small crappie/bluegill or fish guts, I use them...
I can see a big improvement in peppers, and somewhat in tomatoes.
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Old April 30, 2017   #4
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AR..dm.. is right. Most especially if you have raccoons in your area and also coyotes as weird as that sounds. I have tried the fish heads. The raccoons dug up the plants the first night. A friend who didn't have a raccoon problem did the same. When the fish heads started decomposing the coyotes came digging. He caught them on the game camera.

You can use rabbit poo straight on any garden crop... as far as I know and I know I still have LOTS to learn it's the only manure that doesn't require composting.
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Old April 30, 2017   #5
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I had critters dig up a simple scoop of TomatoTone last year. Just lost a few plants.
Had back-ups.
Prepping a bed a year ahead works. I would not do it in freshly planted seedlings if
night critters are around.
During fishing season a few years ago i dug a 20 ft trench and added fish bodies just
after filleting. Covered with fresh kelp, then covered over. Re-peat over the season
a couple feet at a time. I covered it in September and planned to use that bed the next
season but ended up just planting sunflowers lacking the time.

That front set of beds had potatoes for years, probably since the house was built around
the 1880's. Fish and kelp was always the side dressing. Free.
The previous owner of our home was a commercial fisherman.

I have a good hand meat grinder at that home and should use it for smaller Caplin.
Just getting a bit in your compost pile deep is good. Let that pile go at least a year.
If it is free, use it. Cod are enormous, the size of a cary-on luggage most are. So i
trenched deep. That Summer i think our tally was just over 200.
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Old April 30, 2017   #6
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We don't have the critters you guys mentioned. We don't live too far out and our fenced yard has coonhounds and German shepherds on patrol
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Old April 30, 2017   #7
brownrexx
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Skunks would dig up the fish heads in my garden.
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Old April 30, 2017   #8
oakley
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I would go for it...just not every seedling. All about insurance and testing, taking chances....
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Old April 30, 2017   #9
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Like I said, we really aren't in a critter zone. Also, would burying a foot down not be enough to keep away critters in the first place? I also imagine the fencing tomato cages would act as some kind of barrier too.
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Old April 30, 2017   #10
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Do you know why people are buried "6 feet under"? It's because at least 6' of dirt is required to hide the smell from opportunistic beasties.

Might as well try it. The worst that could happen is you discover critters you didn't even know about.

Hey, I got an idea. Dig your holes and prepare, including the fish guts, but don't plant in them yet. Leave a few days to see what happens.
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Old April 30, 2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmforcier View Post
Do you know why people are buried "6 feet under"? It's because at least 6' of dirt is required to hide the smell from opportunistic beasties.

Might as well try it. The worst that could happen is you discover critters you didn't even know about.

Hey, I got an idea. Dig your holes and prepare, including the fish guts, but don't plant in them yet. Leave a few days to see what happens.
Good idea with the letting them sit a night or two.

LOL- The six foot under saying is from the Plague times... They were paranoid about the dead spreading disease. In some states, the coffin only has to be 18" below the surface
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Old May 1, 2017   #12
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Organic gardener friend took me in his field, there is a 3' stretch in one row where the taters are lush and taller than the surrounds. One salmon rack has improved that spot for years. Its not all about the first year with fish racks.
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Old May 1, 2017   #13
greenthumbomaha
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Native American garden tradition :

Bury a fish head, say a prayer, harvest!

- Lisa
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Old May 1, 2017   #14
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I have some 30 gal containers and I buried some crappie carcasses and guts about 1/2 way down about 5 weeks before planting this year. I planted 2 tomato plants in each containers and they are exploding with growth. During the 5 weeks, nothing got in to the planters and messed with the fish. We have a 6' privacy fence around our backyard so that would have kept the coyotes at bay. Which I have seen a few running around.
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Old May 2, 2017   #15
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Alright I'm off to hunt fish parts tomorrow! Fingers crossed I can get some

Would fish be suitable to place under any non-root crop ?? Peppers? Cucumber? Eggplant? Squash?

I say no to putting it under beans.
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