How to grow basil year after year (without spending!)

Basil is one of the most beloved herbs and is even better when fresh picked. Learn how to grow basil year after year for FREE with the help of an easy trick!

Basil is one of the most beloved herbs and is even better when fresh picked. Learn how to grow basil year after year for FREE with the help of an easy trick!

I live in Italy, and everyone knows how much Italians love their basil.

Even in the families with the worse black thumb imaginable, there is at least one pot of basil sitting on a balcony or windowsill. It gets thrown on top of plates of steaming spaghetti, made into pesto (check out my foolproof recipe and 15 ways and recipes to use basil pesto!), or placed prettily atop Neapolitan pizza. (My adoptive city, Naples, is the birthplace of pizza!)

I used to buy a few new basil plants every year, as most people do, and these would do me very well for the whole basil season, until winter. Then my sister-in-law taught me a trick, and I haven’t bought a basil plant since.

Basil is one of the most beloved herbs and is even better when fresh picked. Learn how to grow basil year after year for FREE with the help of an easy trick!

She taught me how to harvest basil seeds from the plant as it dies off and dries up.

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I’m sort of kicking myself that this never occurred to me before she showed me, because it seems so obvious, but apparently it isn’t just me because most people I know don’t do this. But it is so easy and totally free. Ok, I know that basil plants aren’t exactly expensive, but you also get a whole lot more satisfaction from growing massive basil plants from seeds that you harvested yourself than from little plants you bought somewhere. Compare the following:

visitor to home: Wow, your basil plants are huge!
you: Thanks, I bought the plants at Acme plant nursery.
visitor: Yeah, that’s nice…

OR

visitor to home: Wow, your basil plants are huge!
you: Thanks, I grew them from the seeds I collected last year. These are the great, great grandchildren of basil plants that I had years ago!
visitor: Get out! That’s so cool!

Basil is one of the most beloved herbs and is even better when fresh picked. Learn how to grow basil year after year for FREE with the help of an easy trick!

As you can see, the coolness factor goes way up this way!

So, are you ready to learn how to grow basil year after year without spending a cent, raising generation after generation of fragrant and tasty green leaves? Let me show you how!

Read moreHow to grow basil year after year (without spending!)

How to grow an avocado plant from a pit

The way to grow an avocado plant from a pit that actually WORKS! www.cucicucicoo.com

The way to grow an avocado plant from a pit that actually WORKS! www.cucicucicoo.com

My kids and I love growing plants from seeds we’ve collected and cuttings. And every so often we try to grown some plant or other from our vegetables. But alas, this usually fails. My pineapple plant rotted away before it became anything, carrots never sprouted and I’ve thrown out loads of avocado pits that just never did anything.

But then, shortly after seeing an avocado plant that my brother-in-law had managed to grow, I saw this Pin on Pinterest on how to grow an avocado plant from a pit. I decided to try just ONE more time, posting my progress as time went on on Instagram, and wouldn’t you know… it WORKED!!

This was actually the tutorial that inspired me to start my Pintastic! series, in which I review tutorials found on Pinterest and give my verdict as to whether or not they work. So, let me show you just how I managed to grow an avocado plant from a pit!

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Make homemade nettle powder from your weeds

Did you know that stinging nettle is super healthy, and tasty too? Discover how to make homemade nettle powder, and you’ll start being happy to see weeds in your garden! www.cucicucicoo.com

Did you know that stinging nettle is super healthy, and tasty too? Discover how to make homemade nettle powder, and you’ll start being happy to see weeds in your garden! www.cucicucicoo.com

For the first time in my life, I am on a diet.

When I was little, I was super thin, and as a young adult, I could eat anything and never gain weight. But not all of my pregnancy weight went away on its own, and I am now 8.5 kg (18 lbs) heavier than my ideal weight. Sure, it’s not the end of the world, but I don’t feel good and so I’ve decided to do something about it.

It’s not that I eat badly, but I do eat too much. I love eating. I love tasting flavors and combining ingredients. I don’t eat any meat and I love vegetables, and absolutely adore leafy greens.

We also get a lot of stinging nettle weeds where I live in southern Italy and my balcony garden gets totally overrun by it. I’d always considered it a huge inconvenience… until I realized that those weeds were like my own personal crop of free organic leafy greens.

Did you know that stinging nettle is super healthy, and tasty too? Discover how to make homemade nettle powder, and you’ll start being happy to see weeds in your garden! www.cucicucicoo.com

Did you know that stinging nettle is super healthy, and tasty too? I wrote a couple of years ago about how to harvest and cook stinging nettle in soups and stews, and that’s still my favorite way to eat it, but I recently started wondering how I could get all the healthy goodness of nettle without having to cook it. And what I came up with was this: homemade nettle powder!

Your first instinct might be to turn up your nose at the idea of eating your weeds, but trust me, if you try nettle, you’ll start being happy to see weeds in your garden! Read on to learn how!

Read moreMake homemade nettle powder from your weeds

DIY Flower pots from tin cans

How to make personalized DIY flower pots from tin cans | Cri Erre Handmade for www.cucicucicoo.com

A wonderful thing about summer is being able to spend time gardening gorgeous flowers, delicious veggies and flavorful herbs. Well, at least you can if you have a garden! For those of us who live in an apartment, a few pots on the balcony and in the home have to suffice.

Today’s guest poster for the Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series is Cristina from Cri Erre Handmade. Cristina is an expert gardener, but also a lover of upcycling and organic foods. Today she will show us how to make a personalized flower pot from a simple tin can and a few other materials!

Cri Erre Handmade on Cucicucicoo's Eco Crafters and Sewers

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