Now that the weather is consistently below 90 (and still slightly above freezing at night) I decided that it was time for the winter crop. After a quick batch of instant pickles that I whipped up with onions, bell pepper, and lots of garlic, I decided to use the remaining three heads of garlic to plant for summer harvest. For the record I planted them about 3 inches deep--about an inch deeper than some instructions say to better protect from freezing--and about 4-5 inches apart. The garlic cloves are sandwiched between the perennials (chard, rhubarb, and an artichoke) and some leftover baby beets. At least with it sandwiched, even if the beets do nothing I at least know where I planted the darn garlic. So there.
On that note, let me say that this is my first time attempting garlic in New Mexico. My sources for gardening are a mix of Arizona desert books (warmer and much lower altitude than here), and one minor source that is outdated but more suited to the altitude and NM weather. I hear that growing garlic works pretty well here assuming that the weather behaves, the water is right, and that the soil is right.
That is a lot of assuming. But it is worth a shot since I was able to find nice healthy heads of garlic for cheap. Whether or not they will grow? I have no idea. I don't care. It is an experiment that should work at least a little and it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Besides, I see no reason for my nice new garden bed to sit empty and alone over what winter we have.
As a note, the cloves should be a random Silverskin Garlic variety as that is what I could lay my hands on at the grocery store and looked healthy. Since they were still firm and looked nice I went with the basic bulk garlic in hopes that it was treated with less anti-sprouting chemicals. I like my food to have as few chemicals as possible thanks... though sometimes I do feel the urge to kill every last sticker bush in sight.
I am never really sure how well my garden is going to work, but I am always willing to shell out a few bucks to try a new plant. (Especially at less than a buck for the three heads)