Excellent article, Ken!! As a northern gardener, I would just add.... if you garden in the north, don't be afraid to ignore the "conventional wisdom" and grow whatever type you want to grow. I originally grew a couple of hardneck types (which I actually prefer, because they have few, but larger, cloves around the central stalk), but then tried a couple of softneck types (Polish White and Western Rose, which were supposed to be relatively more hardy in cold climates) because I wanted to make "garlic braids." Those also grew fine for me. This year I have a Creole type, Ajo Rojo, which is growing well in my "open" garden as well as in an unheated hoophouse. I find it quite amazing that the garlic, planted in the fall, will survive REALLY cold temps in the winter; the winter of 2013/2014 here was exceptionally cold, with extended periods of sub-zero temps, and yet my garlic ALL came up without a single miss. And learn from my mistake and don't let the tops dry completely down before digging -- I did that the first year (like I do with onions) and had a mess of loose cloves... much nicer to get intact bulbs!