Took the straw off my garlic and had 1 inch shoots.I planted later this year, NOV.26 and i had no shoots before covering for winter.Just glad they all lived as i was advised on this forum i would be ok.
I planted mine November 14th and they are up as well, except I don't remove the hay mulch. I just leave it in place to prevent weeds and and they grow right through it. I turn the hay under after harvest.
baygrower, you need to remove all the mulch but leave a good 1" to suppress weeds. i put down 1-2" of salt marsh hay (or is it straw?) that i got for free and then put 5-6" of shredded leaves. it's all packed down to maybe 3-4" and i pulled off the top 1" and i'm going to leave the rest. the flakey texture of shredded leaves is so fine that the garlic easily grows thru it.