Growing garlic is almost as simple as placing a clove in the ground and leaving it alone until harvest time. Garlic grows easily in most parts of the United States, but some varieties do better in one climate over another, so selecting garlic bulbs that are adapted to the particular climate of your growing area is helpful. When selective bulb buying isn't an option, however, you can simply grow garlic from the bulbs you buy at supermarkets, grocery stores and farmer's markets.
Select healthy garlic bulbs from the supermarket. Healthy bulbs are plump and large with no signs of drying, shrivelling or rotting.
Break apart the garlic bulbs into individual cloves. Leave the skin and any sprouts in place.
Dig a small hole in your garden bed, deep enough to accommodate one garlic clove and its sprout if it has one.
Push the garlic bulb down into the hole with the tip up and the root, or widest, side down. Bury the garlic clove deep enough so that the tip is just below the soil surface. If the clove has a sprout, bury deeply enough to cover the sprout as well.
Sprinkle water over the newly planted clove enough so the soil is moist but not soggy.
Repeat Steps 3 through 6 for each garlic clove you want to plant.
In most parts of the United States, garlic cloves should be planted from September through November and they will be ready to harvest in the spring.
Some types of supermarket garlic bulbs are treated with a chemical that prevents them from sprouting. This can cause supermarket garlic plantings to fail to grow or to produce very small garlic bulbs and bulbs with very few cloves.