We have the go-ahead to plant garlic again after a years hiatus due to “Rust” problems. That plant disease is airborne and affects the Allium family (garlic, leeks & onions) as well as Hollyhocks and a few other perennials. We needed at least a year to try & eradicate this problem.
Planting Garlic….highlights from an article by Vancouver Sun’s Randy Shore who runs an excellent garden column on some Fridays.
#1 Buy good quality garlic at a garden centre (I like Red Russian variety but there are many interesting varieties), or at a farmers market, not at a grocery store!
#2 Garlic is a lime lover so your soil needs to be amended before planting with compost or mushroom manure, organic fertilizer (with a high nitrogen content) and a handful of dolomite lime. If leaves start to yellow in the spring, give the plants a dose of fish fertilizer.
#3 Break garlic cloves apart, being careful not to damage papery skins. Plant approx. 6″ apart and 4″ deep, with the pointed end up.
#4 Mulch the area with approx. 6″ of shredded leaves,ie run over dry leaves with a lawnmower or chop up in a large container with sharp hedge shears. This will keep winter rains from washing out nutrients and in summer will keep soil from drying out.
#5 Plant now, harvest next summer!