I have a many year-old supply of Charlie Carp (fish emulsion) fertilizer that has "gone off". Namely, it has a strong ammonia smell. It's "commercial strength", meaning it's very concentrated.

Is it a good idea to use this? I've tried it on a few plants, and it didn't kill them, but I'm wondering what chemical change has happened, and if the ammonia might be killing off beneficial soil micro-organisms.

1 Answer 1


The short answer is, probably. Rot is part of the cycle, even if it's putrification which is partially what I am guessing your fish emulsion did. Though it might not be pleasant to work with and it may even have pathogens you yourself don't want to be exposed to, but strictly speaking, for the plants it's probably ok.

  • Roy? Please define.
    – Greg Bell
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 21:36

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