Garlic is the last plant that most gardeners sow. It is planted around three weeks before the ground freezes. This gives the cloves a chance to develop roots, but not tops (which cold weather destroys).
- Separate the head into cloves, being careful not to remove any of the peel. This is accomplished by “cracking” the basal plate that holds the bulbs together at the roots. Once this plate is separated, the cloves fall away.
- Sort the cloves by size. Plant the largest, and set the rest aside for consumption. Eat the smallest ones first, as they will not keep as long.
- Locate a spot in your garden that receives full sun, and in which the soil is well-drained. Add mature compost to the soil.
- Sow cloves 2 inches down, 6-8 inches apart, and pointed side up/root side down.
- Cover the bed with a layer of mulch, if desired. I cover mine with a light layer of leaves mixed with soil; by springtime the leaves have mostly disintegrated, adding nutrients back to the soil.