My carrots' tops look normal, but the roots are deformed and taste bitter. Any ideas?
—George Larson, Kent, Washington
Try growing short or half-long carrots. Though they may not be as impressive as their long-rooted counterparts, they are more tolerant of less-than-ideal growing conditions.
Also, always thin seedlings, allowing space to grow and develop properly. Make sure the plants receive sufficient moisture, watering thoroughly during dry weather and when the top few inches of soil are crumbly and moist.