Hi! I am in Zone 8 as well, only in Oregon! I have had great luck growing garlic (and I'm not super with other veggies mostly because we have a lot of trees). I just placed my order for more garlic and shallots. I will plant them as soon as I get them. For me, the begin to grow over the winter. In the summer when they bloom, I snip the flowers off. When the top of the plant turns brown, I harvest. For several years, I simply saved a couple heads and replanted those. But after 4 years, the heads became very small so I ordered new.
Have you checked out Territorial
? They have sooo many different garlics to choose from. Organic too!
Here is some more advice
Happy garlic growing! Harvest garlilc with my daughter last month was one of the most enjoyable days of my whole life!