The week of Halloween is when I do my garlic planting. It is challenging to find the perfect place to plant my garlic taking into consideration that you need to rotate crops, the sunniest spot and of course fertile, loose, well drained soil. My small vegetable garden area is on the west side of my house. Only about ten feet from the house. Which means the house casts a big shadow most of the day until mid June. High Summer it gets as much as 10 hours of sun. This is the only chosen spot available that my hubby and I agree on.
I separate the cloves from the big bulb and use only the largest cloves for planting. You could use all the cloves but the smaller the clove planted, the smaller your next year’s bulb harvest will be. LARGER CLOVE, LARGER BULB HARVEST. Place clove 4” deep, tip side up, flat root side down and about 5” apart. Cover with soil. Water them in.
Here in Wisconsin, zone 5, I put about 10” chopped leaves and grass clippings as a mulch. Garlic might grow and show its greens. Don’t worry it will be fine and come back next year in Spring. Around the end of May I push aside what mulch has not decomposed, exposing the new little plants. As the plants get bigger I push the mulch back around the plant. The decomposing leaves and grass clippings are feeding the worms and the worms are feeding the garlic. WIN, WIN. Worms are happy and so am I. :0)
2017 garlic harvest was GREAT. Even got to eat the ‘garlic scapes’ (garlic going into bloom). YUMMY! I used mine in stir fries. If you don’t want to eat the scapes, you still need to cut them off. If you leave them on and they go to flower, your garlic bulbs will be small. You want all the plants energy to go to the blub, not to making flowers.
So if you want to give it a try, do so with confidence. You can just purchase some ORGANIC garlic and plant away.