To insure that your garlic makes thru the winter months you need to put 3-4 inches of straw on top of your cloves. It is a lot of work to do this but it is an important step in the process of garlic growing. Also it helps controlling the temperature of the ground in the summer,keeps the ground from drying out and keeps the weeds from taking over the crop. There is many ways to do the process. You can use a straw blower or by spreading by hand.