Rooting Garlic for Spring Planting
Garlic can be planted in both the Spring and Fall. If you decide to plant in the Spring, then I suggest rooting before planting.
We took an old empty cranberry juice bottle (plastic, store bought) and cleaned it out. Count the number of garlic heads that you plan on rooting and cut that number of holes (about the size of a silver dollar) in the side of the plastic bottle (the "side" which will now become the top). We had 3 full heads of garlic and one single clove of garlic (so we cut 3 silver dollar size holes and one nickle size hole in the plasic). Secure/tighten the bottle lid. Fill the bottle with water by using the holes that you just cut (in other words - don't fill using the usual opening - lol). Place each garlic head in an opening and wait one or two weeks (until you see a good root system growing - see picture below)
Gently remove each garlic head from the plastic bottle (the roots should easily come out without being cut off).
Now, tenderly separate each clove from the head of garlic (see picture below). From one head of garlic I got 10 cloves, which means that there will be 10 plants yielding 10 heads of garlic in the Fall (providing that nothing disastrous happens during growth). You could estimate that from 3 heads of garlic you could yield 30 heads of garlic. That's well worth the effort!
Plant each rooted clove about 5 inches apart and about 3 inches deep (the dirt should be up to the green part. Another way of describing it would be that the green part is above the ground)
The middle stub in the picture below should be discarded - that was the old plant/stem from last year.
The picture below is our garlic just emerging from our Fall planting. You will notice some gaps in the rows - that's because some of the cloves did not root and rotted instead. That's why rooting the garlic is a great step to take for Spring planting.
Below you will see that this clove cluster has a few rotting cloves in the middle. The second picture below shows when I separated the rotten cloves from the good one. And finally, the third picture below shows the healthy rooted clove just separated from the rotten ones.
Enjoy your Spring garlic planting!