Here in zone 6a, garlic is usually planted in the fall. I try to get my garlic planted in late October. There are lots of great garlic varieties with different flavors and culinary uses. This year I bought 2 heads of “Chesnock Red”. Honestly, I picked that variety because it was at the garden store next to the tulip bulbs and I liked the pink stripes. Gardening doesn't always have to be a well-researched, intellectual activity. Sometimes you just put things in the dirt and hope for the best.
I turned the soil and dug a shallow trench. Heather broke apart the head of garlic into individual cloves and we placed them pointy side up in the trench. This season I put the garlic next to the blackberry bushes. I will chose a different spot next year to avoid a build up of diseases in the soil.
6 inch spacing is advised but I cheated and put them a little closer together to fit all the cloves in. I covered the cloves with soil - photos suggest I laughed maniacally the whole time, I guess garlic makes me happy.
Then I mulched the bed with a layer of salt marsh hay. In the spring I’ll pull some of the mulch aside so the garlic can grow through it.