I love my garlic! Garlic is a cooking staple in my house. What I love about it is that I plant the cloves in mid to late October, put a layer of mulch over them (about 2 inches of mulched leaves and grass) and basically leave the cloves to overwinter until March.
In the spring when I see the garlic sprouting, I clear away some of the mulch and let it go until about the beginning of May.
I plant a hard neck garlic which means that around the end of May, the garlic plant starts growing this curly que type of stem from the center of the plant. This is called a scape.
The scape is cut off for two reasons. The first is to have the plant put it's energy into growing the garlic bulb instead of producing a flower at the end of the scape. The second reason is that garlic scapes are great for eating! You can sauté, grill them, or even pickle them! They taste like a garlic chive.
By the middle of June, the garlic is ready to be harvested!
I think the hardest part of growing the garlic was mulching the grass and leaves! LOL