How to mulch garlic
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. Mulch will also conserve soil moisture and provide weed control, so it is best to keep the mulch on the garlic until harvest. Some garlic growers do remove the straw in the spring to prevent fungal diseases with wet years. We would not do this as we want the weed suppression and moisture retention. Some garlic growers even put mulch down in the spring. Do what works for your garden and region.
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. Some mulch like marsh hay can be too heavy, so if this what is available to you use it, but as soon as spring arrives, make sure the garlic is emerging through the mulch.
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!
In the spring, make sure the garlic makes its way through the mulch. It usually can do just fine by itself, but sometimes it may need some help. Check on your garlic sprounts as soon as the snow melts!
What mulch should I use?
Use mulch that is available to you!
Straw (works best)
A mix of all of the above