Dig or turn over the soil to a minimum depth of 6-8 inches. You don’t have to get scientific about it, but make sure the soil is loosened up. We want to give the roots some space to grow so digging to 10 inches deep would even be better.
Add some organic material like compost or old straw. We like to use straw bales that are a year or two aged by the weather. The old straw breaks down into the nicest, darkest soil.
2. Plant the cloves
Break apart a bulb of garlic and separate the cloves. Be careful not to remove the outer wrappers or membranes of the individual cloves.
Take note of how the cloves fit together in the bulb because you want to plant the cloves in the same orientation. Garlic cloves are pointy on top and flat on the bottom.
Push a clove with the flat end down into the soil about 1 inch deep. You want to make sure the pointy end is sticking up and that the tip is no deeper than an inch.
Plant the cloves about 8 inches apart.
Cover the cloves with soil and tap down.
Water liberally. Give the garlic about an inch of water each week unless you’re lucky enough to have Mother Nature do it for you.
3. Protect the garlic
Watch the weather. What good gardener doesn’t? Be aware of dropping temperatures and protect your garlic once freezing temperatures arrive.
After the ground surface freezes cover the garlic bed with 3-4 inches of straw. This will insulate the garlic from temperature extremes in early Spring and help to keep down the weeds when the garlic starts to re-grow.
There you have it. By planting garlic in September you’re on your way to a wonderful gardening season next year!