We have had serious failure with our garlic crops over the past few years.
For some reason at this particular property we cannot grow garlic - the dreaded rust sets in soon after the leaves emerge and from there the bulbs will not develop. We've tried everything - spraying, feeding, planting early - but to no avail.
So this year we gave up on growing garlic in our garden and set our sights further afield.
We purchased three packs of certified seed garlic and divided them into 128 cloves for planting out. We planted 64 cloves in the garden of one of our son's properties around 2 k's away from our place. We then planted another 64 cloves at our other son's lifestyle property around 70 k's away.
We have regularly visited to feed and weed and there has been a bit of sibling rivalry between our son's and daughters-in-law as to whose garden will produce the better crop.
Son No.1 has a cultivated vegie garden where we planted our seed garlic - he has given it a few surreptitious feeds in addition to ours and the soil is fairly friable and healthy.
At son No. 2's they have still not established a vegie garden so the garlic were planted in the middle of a paddock where we rotary hoed an area and added a bit of compost before we planted. The soil is very compact and dense and we were a little dubious about how the cloves would do. Funniest thing - if you had a drone, or were looking at the patch from above - it looked just like someone had buried a body in the middle of nowhere!!
On to the results.
We were thrilled to dig up No. 1 son's crop and find we had 46 large cloves and 20 smaller ones. Hard act to follow.
At No. 2 son's (where they had not really paid any attention at all) we got 40 large cloves and 22 smaller ones - the difference was that the large cloves were really large - much bigger than any we got from Son No.1.
Upshot is - we have garlic galore. We can pay for the ground rental with garlic for the kids and will have plenty for us.