First, I noticed that the "Chinese Pink" variety given to me last Fall by a friend was up well before all of the others. I asked around and it seems that this particular variety is extra early. This can be a good thing, but it can also be bad.....it's mature in July instead of August, but poking up out of the ground that early makes it more susceptible to late frost damage, so I mulched it with straw to try to protect it a little.
For instance, all of the "Music" garlic I bought in the Fall of 2012 was sprouting up tall and vigorous - right beside a bare spot where I had planted my old "Music"......I was a little worried.
But I had been so confident when I had harvested my garlic last year....it looked great.....it cured up great....the cloves separated fine and looked healthy...what went wrong?
I've read that if you grow your own garlic and replant your own cloves year after year, your plants will get acclimated to your area and get stronger and grow bigger and better. I totally think this is true....my garlic knew exactly when to come up.....it was waiting until the time was just right. The new garlic had it's "internal clock" set to someplace else....someplace that had an earlier "first average frost free date".
I think I have the smartest garlic in the world!