Most people assume that you plant garlic in the spring, like onions and other vegetables. But that is not the case. In Oklahoma, garlic should be planted in October. In fact, most seed companies will not even ship it to you until after September 1.
We order most of our garlic from Filaree Farms. They are located in Okanogan, WA, are organic certified and have a wide selection of different types and varieties of garlic. They shipped our order to us the last week of September. Planting garlic is pretty hard work, so Tom spread the work out over about a three week period devoting a couple of hours several times a week to planting garlic. The garlic is shipped to you as "heads". Heads consist of several "cloves". You break the heads apart into the individual cloves and the cloves are what you plant.
After planting, it takes 2 to 3 weeks before the garlic sends leaves up through the soil seeking the light. At that time, Tom mulches it with leaves or pine needles. This year he planted oats between the rows as a winter cover crop. Now that we've had several killing frosts, the garlic looks pretty sad. See below.
The leaves have been nipped back pretty badly by the cold weather. One would think that it is ruined. However, once the weather warms up in the spring, this garlic will come to life and begin growing again.
By June it will be ready for harvest. You know it is ready to harvest when the tops begin to die. It is a lot of fun and quite exciting to dig the garlic. It seems like magic to see how one small clove has grown into a head of garlic that may be a couple of inches or more in diameter!