OK Konasdad, here we go, my advice on growing garlic. In our climate, we plant garlic from about the middle of September to the end of October, it should be planted in the fall. I have planted it in the spring, and good luck with that, it doesn't work well. Garlic needs to grow silently underground for the wintertime, it grows and grows, you may or may not see it growing, depending if the green shoots come up from the soil before the hard winter freeze, doesn't matter either way, if the green shoots come up, OK, if they don't OK.
Plant the garlic before the ground is frozen, obviously you can't plant it then.
Garlic loves good nutrition, important. Wintertime not so important, but spring rapid growth, needs nutrients and lots of it.
Plant garlic cloves (yes each single clove) about 3 to 4 inches apart (or more if you choose). The cloves will turn into bulbs by the middle of next summer and they need room to mature. Picture the size of a garlic bulb when you buy it at the store, and add a little bit onto it for the bigger ones that I know yours will turn into :) ;)
In the summertime (it is usually mid July for us), when about 1/3 of the foliage has began to turn brown, pull the garlic up. Lay it in the sun for about 6 hours to cure and then take it into a warm and air spot and hang it to dry for another two weeks. The stalk acts as a wick and draws the moisture from the bulb and cures it properly. After that point in time, cut (or rub off) the roots on the bottom of the bulb, cut the stalk off about 1/2 inch above the bulb and there you have your beautiful, home grown garlic.
I grow garlic by the thousands and they are certainly yummy!!!!!! Haven't bought garlic in years and years and years. And, there is always the garlic cloves that you miss that you can harvest later too, yeah.
Another thing, when you see in the summer when the garlic is setting the flower stalks, it is a good idea to cut them off to put the power of the plant to grow the bulbs, you don't need the flowers.....unless.....you want to delve even deeper into garlic growing.
I am doing that this year, I allowed quite a few plants to go to seed. I harvested these seeds and will plant them (actually I throw them around and scuffle them over with my foot). Next year when they make a bit bigger seed (like a little round pickling onion), I will uplift these and replant them, then the next year they will make the beautiful big bulbs, but that takes two years, it is a long process.
So, if you need any more information, ask away, your keyboard is your tool!!!! Have a wonderful day, you will get lots of other opinions from our forum friends, compile them in your mind, and you will have a wealth of knowledge on how to grow beautiful, clean garlic, hopefully ones that will not set your mouth on fire too badly!!!!! Cindi