I have wanted to do this for several years, but never quite around to it. Here in Maine, garlic must be planted in late October. The weather at this time of year is not really all that condusive to digging in the dirt. This year I planned ahead. I bought the bulbs from a lovely woman at the Common Ground Fair. 3 different varieties, German White, Russian Red and another, the name of which escapes me. She included specific planting instructions with each purchase.
I bundled up and hoed a long row in my garden. My hands were frozen. Off to the hardware store where I picked up thermal garden gloves and a bale of straw. Once home I dug my row a little deeper. Next I delved into the bottom of the composter for dark, rich, fragrant compost to feed and nurture my precious garlic bulbs.
All year the kitchen waste, some garden clippings, some fall leaves and the occasional bucket of manure from my horse go into the compost bin. I water it from time to time, and give it a weekly stir. When I need it I have beautiful dirt full of happy worms. It never ceases to amaze me that potato peels, coffee grounds and egg shells can make such lovely soil!
Here is one of the garlic bulbs nestled into compost. I then topped the row with soil, followed by a layer of partially decomposed wood shavings from the hen house. I then blanketed the row with deep straw to keep it cozy in the icy winter. It is my hope that today's efforts will be rewarded with pungent, flavorful bulbs of garlic next summer. That would be sweet!