I usually sow carrots in early June for lifting in September. This year, I am planning to sow a short-rooted variety in August, for harvesting in November-December, and will use a fleece grow tunnel to protect them from frost

Are there any particular problems associated with late sowing?

  • 1
    Slightly off-topic from the question you're asking: in my experience, you don't need to provide frost protection as long as you'll harvest before the ground freezes solid. I've dug (full size) carrots out from under 3" of snow in December and they were very tasty. I think there are actually fewer problems than with summer growing (we tend to have more reliable/regular rain in the fall and weed pressure seems to be less).
    – bstpierre
    Jul 17 '11 at 2:42

As noted in my comment above, my experience is that fall carrots do better than summer carrots.

However, this page on fall growing cautions:

It is not uncommon for insects and diseases to be more abundant in the fall. Most problems from insects and diseases result from a buildup in their populations during the spring and summer. There is hope of keeping these pests at tolerable levels, however, if a few strategies are followed. Strive to keep fall vegetables healthy and actively growing; healthy plants are less susceptible to insects and diseases. Check the plants frequently for insect and disease damage.

Also beware that the shorter day length in the fall will extend the time to maturity. So your 60 day carrots may take more like 70 days or more to reach full size.

This page mentions cultivar choice for overwintering, though it sounds like you're not planning on overwintering:

Red Core Chantinay overwinters without splits or loss of flavor better than some of the more tender cultivars such as Nautes. Plant carrots by mid-July for fall and winter harvest. Grow under floating row covers if carrot rustfly has been a problem.

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