We went on a road trip Sunday 2016 June 26th, to the Eastern Ontario Garlic Field Day, hosted by and at Beaver Pond Estates near Maberly.
It was a good turnout of 22 including some from as far afield as Quebec, West Virginia and Alberta. Of note were board members from a fairly new garlic association called ail.quebec. They have some nice recipies online as well: http://ail.quebec/recettes/

The weather was good in the morning but by afternoon had turned hot and windy. It became difficult to hear because of the wind and softspoken speakers.

We had lots of great information sharing and always came away learning something new.
In our case, over the years we have been planting the garlic cloves further apart each year, worried that they were too close and would interfere with each other and result in a smaller bulb. This past year we plant 6 cloves in a row, spacing at 6″, totally 30″ from side to side, of one type.
The next type would be in another row 10″ away. We typically plant 6 of each type of the 75 or so that we put in the ground, and more of some of our favourites.

We learned that other home gardeners typically plant closer, 4″ or 5″ between plants and much less between rows… but in almost all cases they are growing only a few types. When there is only one type the rows are much closer together, on the order of 5-6″.

Note that this is completely different for large producers who use mechanical harvesters.

So are a result we are going to be planning on increasing the density of planting in the fall, mostly the distance between rows, but possibly also building a new dibbler (a stick with a board with 6 pointy dowels on it to make holes for planting) that goes from 6″ spacing to 5″ spacing, allowing 7 cloves instead of 6 in the same 30″ bed.

We are also happy with our laser printed garlic signage (from last year), tomato signage this year and will be making up some new veg bed identifier signage shortly. We have a grand total of 1600 square feet under cultivation across 10 raised beds

Gardens total 1600ft^2 2016
Veg1(2003)3’x40’=120′ tomatos, carrots
Veg2(2005)3’x28’=84′ peas, lettuce, spinach
Veg3(2007)4’x16’=64′ peas
Veg4(2006)29’x23’=667′ garlic, tomatos, beans
Veg5(2010)15’x30’=450′ potatos
Veg6(2011)6’x12’=72′ beans
Veg7(2011)3’x8’=24′ tomato, garlic bulbils
Veg8(2011)3’x8’=24′ garlic bulbils
Veg9(2016)4’x16’=64′ tomatos
Herb(2013)4’x8’=32′ Herbs

Some of these measurements are subject to change and review later today. Some of them have been modified. Veg 7 was moved this spring, Veg 9 was built and Veg5 is getting a chain link fence to keep the deer out.
This fall we will be adding more triple mix earth to Veg5 to fill out the new boundaries. Veg 8 will also be moved two feet away from the fence to allow all around access.
Veg1 may be moved out from the fence two feet as well, but it is a much bigger job and may not get done this fall.