Planting garlic is similar to planting tulip and daffodil bulbs: push them deep in the soil in the late fall and wait for the magic to happen in the spring.
First make sure the soil is loose, friable, and free of weeds. Add a bit of compost and get ready to plant. I placed my garlic cloves gently on the surface of the soil to get a sense of how closely to space them. Then I pushed my garden knife into the soil the full length of the blade and dropped the garlic down. After all were planted, I covered the bed with a layer of hay and watered.
Garlic is the crop that keeps on giving. Two years ago I visited Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, where I purchased one head of Inchelium Red (softneck) Garlic and one head of Eric's German White (hardneck) Garlic. I planted them in October 2012 and saved my entire harvest the next summer without eating a bite.
In November 2013, I separated the cloves from the heads of garlic and planted again. By July 2014, I had 73 heads of softneck garlic (about 3.75 pounds) and 31 heads of hardneck garlic. From that harvest, I reserved five heads each of hardneck and softneck for replanting. The five heads of hardneck garlic separated into 17 large cloves; the five heads of softneck garlic separated into 62 small cloves.
I learned that garlic slowly adapts to its micro climate, so my garlic is now Red Bucket Farm garlic, specific to my little piece of paradise. Garlic smells fantastic even when planting, and it's not too late to plant this fall. What are you waiting for?