The Q&A Archives: Overwintering Carrots, Tearing Seed Tape

Question: I discovered some carrots from last year's planting while I was digging new rows for this year. They were perfectly formed and tasty, although not as tasty as same varieties harvested from last season. Can I plant carrots late summer and harvest themthe following spring? Although the package doesn't say so, are you supposed to tear seed tape in half and plant each half in a different furrow? Due to my short growing season, I start tomato seeds in January and I have some 2 foot plants fortranspalnting in late May. Any suggestions on doing this a better way? R Schneider Dover, VT

Answer: Although carrots can overwinter with enough mulch and/or snow, they need the full growing season (that is, the summer) to grow their roots. If planted in summer, they will mature small carrots in fall, but not full sized ones in your area. It is fine to tear the seed tape if it is longer than you want your row. You may be starting your tomatoes too early. It is generally recommended to start them 6-8 weeks before planting time. In your area, you probably don't want to plant them before late May, which would put your seed starting time around the mid to end March.

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