Getting Garlic in the Ground

For the past few days, I’ve been cleaning the wreckage in my garden after we finally had a killing frost. Its victims were the tender plants like winter and summer squashes, green beans and peppers. I heaved them into the compost pile.

But all is not lost. I still have two kinds of kale, carrots, chard, and a second crop of lettuce (covered). I have winter squash stored in my office, the coolest room in the house. I still have potatoes. We ate the last of the onions, which grew as fat as softballs, this week.
And then, today I planted garlic. 

When I lived back East, my co-worker Ellie grew the best garlic. She harvested enough from her garden to give bulbs to us who didn’t. She inspired me. Her rule for growing was 4 inches — each clove 4 inches apart and 4 inches deep in the soil. Plant them in the fall. And mulch. I stick to Ellie’s rules. 
I had a good crop this year, enough to last us until spring when I will resort to store-bought.

In late summer, I went to the local farmers market, where I scored three heads of garlic with fat cloves to supplement the best of this year’s crop for planting.
I prepared a spot in one of my garden’s beds with rich compost. Naturally, I followed Ellies rules.
Next spring, probably around early April, I will check the garlic. The shoots beneath the mulch will be the first green I see in my gardens. I am still in wonder when it happens.