I have decided to try a different approach when planting my garlic this year. I usually weed & dig over the bed I am planning to plant in. After looking into permaculture techniques I became very inspired by the no dig method of gardening. Some advantages include not disturbing the natural soil structure, & it saves your back when it comes to digging it over!
I started with pulling out the bigger weeds & any other plants I didn't want left in my garlic bed - I put these into my compost bin. I left some kale plants & a parsley plant that had self seeded there & I will plant the garlic around those.
I then spread a thin layer of compost to the top of the soil, sprinkled on some lime as we have quite acidic soil being located in the forest. I also made up some comfrey tea which I sprinkled on. I then gave it a good water with the hose. Next I laid newspaper all over the garden. It's good to make sure its a few layers thick. This helps prevent weeds coming up from the compost layer. You then water the newspaper well too!
Use a small kitchen knife to cut holes in the newspaper where you want to plant your garlic.
Press the garlic cloves into the soil so the pointy end is at the top - this is were the new garlic leaves will sprout from. I then covered the newspaper with a layer of straw - you can use whatever mulching material you have at hand - garlic particularly likes sea grass, or you can use leaves, or pea straw. I gave it one more good watering & will now leave the garlic to do it's magic. I will add some pics in a couple of months & let you know how my no dig garlic bed is going. Happy Gardening!