Last year's crop, which we harvested in July, was big, in quantity and in bulb size. We harvested them a little later than recommended, after all the leaves had died down. By then many of the bulbs had partially separated and didn't have all the many layers of leaf sheaths that holds the garlic bulb tightly together. The worry is that the bulbs won't store as well. So far, we've had no problems and the 520 cloves that we planted today looked healthy.
Dad disced the planting area before we got here. My mom and I separated the 100+ bulbs into individual cloves. The garden was a little harder than we like, so digging the four 50-foot rows spaced 10 inches apart took some extra muscle. We set each bulb about 4 inches down and about 4 inches apart. I always like to look at the garlic cloves nicely lined up in their rows.
Once all the rows were planted, we covered the garlic with about two inches of soil and then put them to bed with a loose covering of straw.
The cloves will snooze through winter, and then sprout in spring beneath the hay mulch. If it stays warm this fall the cloves might sprout too soon. Given all the wacky weather of late it is hard to predict what conditions to expect in the next few months. However, we've found that the garlic seem to do well under most any condition and come July there is always a great crop to harvest.