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Garlic has a better survival rate when mulch is applied. Mulch insulates and prevents the freezing/thawing action which can heave cloves out of the ground. If snow cover can be assured, that can be adequate mulch, but we would still recommend mulch to protect the garlic. Clean straw, chopped leaves, grass clippings or other types of available mulch can be applied 3-6” inches deep.
Organic mulch should be loose enough so that the garlic shoots can emerge through it in the spring. As soon as spring arrives, make sure the garlic is emerging through the mulch. Mulch will also conserve soil moisture and provide weed control, so it is best to keep the mulch on the garlic until harvest.
After mulching your garlic, it is time to rest and wait until spring. Garlic is usually the first green shoots out of the ground as the snow melts!
Use mulch that is available to you! Grass clippings, pine needles, chopped leaves, straw, woodchips, mushroom compost, or a mix of all of the above.