My first softneck I ever grew, on recommendation from my sister for its amazing longevity in the kitchen. It has proven to be that and then some. We regularly crack good Oregon Blues in August of next year, still ready to eat while the next batch is getting clipped and cleaned!
At first I noted its relative mildness in the fall but by the time you’re cracking it in December and January, it has gotten hotter- probably part of what makes it keep so well. In some years, some of the plants will go hardneck. This is a "plastic" trait- meaning it will vary year to year. I've experimented with planting all the hardneck bulbs separate, to see if the trait stuck, but they'd randomly return to softneck at roughly the same rate as the general population. Scape removal is very important for yields- Silverskins with intact scapes are tiny.
*Please note, Oregon Blue was sold to me as an Artichoke, but after enough years under my belt growing several Artichoke and Silverskin types, I now know that my Oregon Blue is a Silverskin. I have find other sites that also sell it as a Silverskin, and you'll occasionally see its name as "Oregon Blue Silver." While I am not expert enough to know, there is always a chance there are actual Oregon Blue Artichoke types out there, but I've only ever grown this type that has turned out to be Silverskin. What I have seen of other vendors at regional festivals is also a Silverskin, so I suspect the Northeast only really has that.
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