Plant garlic in the Fall. Yup, you heard me, in the Fall.
Planting your garlic 4-8 weeks before the first frost allows the cloves to get established before it freezes. Then, after the last frost hits in the Spring your little garlic cloves are off to the races! Planting in the fall instead of in the spring time gives them a head start growing wise and usually produces larger bulbs that are more flavorful! Who doesn't want that?
When you plant your garlic in the Fall make sure to follow the instructions that came with your cloves. Instructions you ask? Yes, instructions. You can't just use garlic found at your local grocery store. This year I used Silver Rose Garlic. Once, you plant your garlic cloves out make sure to cover your future glorious crop with a couple inches of something insulating such as straw or my favorite, bark. I prefer bark because although straw can be cheaper, bark doesn't take root and start growing. ;-)
Last fall, after our final harvest and all of our veggies were spent we laid a thick layer of straw to help prevent against weeds through the Fall and Winter. However, early next Spring we cleaned the straw out of the beds and since it's quit hard to get every single little piece of straw we had a bigger weed problem in the Summer with straw that decided to grow. (We learned the hard way so you don't have to.)
As you can see this year we planted a winter snow pea for ground cover in our veggie beds instead and of course covered the garlic cloves in bark. I'm optimistic that we will have better luck this year with weed control. At least we won't have straw growing, that I can be sure of.