Wish I'd seen this thread the year my garlic shot up early before the winter snows, and then I panicked and tried to cover as many young plants as possible with bedsheets stretched across haybales on either sides of the rows, to protect them from frost and bitter winds. I didn't have enough
frost cover, but ALL the plants did just fine, covered or not. (needless to say, I'm NOT going to post the pics I took then - though when I see those pics pop up on my computer screen saver, I have a good laugh at myself!) It was one of my earlier years growing, and now I'm more relaxed...
BUT, regarding a comment made several pages back on this thread,
many of the big garlic farms in new york state, where a lot of seed garlic is grown, had some really bad disease issues this year.
... I've attended a few field days, and when I learned about nematodes the first time, I also learned they can live several years in the soil, so "practicing at least a four year rotation is recommended."
That's ONE tip I wish I'd learned earlier. Since I'm not selling seed garlic, it's not worth the cost of testing, but also since I have enough ground, I've been rotating ever since. I don't THINK my garlic is infected, but I can't help but wonder at some of the slightly yellowed clove papers (and so have been culling those before I replant.)
Reaffirming some of the other helpful 'tips' I read here, Growing Great Garlic
IS book to have, SCAPE pesto is absolutely the BEST (though I've made it with walnuts in the past; next summer, I WILL try sunflower seeds - thanks for THAT suggestion!); and I also enthusiastically agree with the prior poster who pointed to bloomingfieldsfarm.com/garbrdhow.html
as the best guide to braiding.