Garlic is really easy to grow and tastes infinitely better when it's homegrown.
Type of garlic to grow. There are hundreds of named varieties of garlic, but they can be divided into two categories: hard neck and soft neck types. If you live in an area with freezing winter weather, you can grow either type but will probably be most successful with the hard neck garlic (rocambole, purple stripe or porcelain types). If you live in an area with warm winters, little or no spring, then stick with soft neck garlic. Otherwise the general technique is the same.
How much garlic should you order? One pound of garlic produces 5-7 pounds of bulbs under good conditions. That's probably enough for a small family. You may want to grow several varieties to spread out the harvest and storage life. Hard neck varieties have stronger flavor and easy-to-peel large cloves, but they don't store long. Soft necks have a milder flavor and many small cloves, and they last much longer in storage.
Preparation of area. You are better off using raised beds. Nothing fancy; prepare a 3-foot wide bed, rake some extra soil on the bed and — voila! — instant raised bed. Add some well-composted manure if you have some; otherwise, spread a few handfuls of 5-10-5 fertilizer for every foot of bed. In the North, plant after the first frost but before the ground freezes. You want the garlic to start making roots, but you do not want it to really start growing and send up a shoot. In the South with softneck garlic, you can plant as late as the end of December, but you are probably better off planting around the beginning of November or perhaps a bit earlier.
Planting. If you have full heads of garlic, carefully separate the cloves. Plant one every 6 inches in your bed (make about a two inch deep hole, as with an index finger) and drop in the clove. Water and cover with a good mulch. My favorite is a mixture of ground-up leaves and grass clippings. Put at least 3 inches of mulch on top. The mulch is critical and will do several things. In the North, it will keep the ground moist and warm; in the South, it will help keep things moist and cool. The garlic will make roots, but will not send up a shoot. The mulch will also keep down weeds in the spring. If you do it right, you might have to pull one or two weeds from an entire bed of garlic. Once you have your mulch spread, leave everything over the winter.
Spring. In the spring, you will get shoots poking through the mulch in early spring, usually about the time you would plant peas. Fertilize again. Let your garlic grow. If the spring is dry, provide supplemental irrigation. With hard neck garlic in the North, the main shoot is going to curl and have a single seed at the tip. These are called scapes. Cut them off when they form, because you will get larger cloves if you do. In addition, the scapes are delicious braised in a bit of olive oil. In the North, your garlic will be ready sometime in late June or early July. It is ready when the lower leaves start to turn brown. Dig it up, store in a dry, well-vented place for several weeks to let it cure. Store permanently in a cool dry place and do not let it freeze. Save some of the bulbs for planting next fall. Soft neck garlic will be ready much earlier, perhaps as early as April. Dig and cure it the same way.