An oft-repeated warning to gardeners is to avoid using produce from the grocery to start garden plants. The usual caveat is that they will have been "treated with a sprouting inhibitor." Our experience suggests otherwise. So far in the past two years we have successfuly grown garlic, ginger, Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes purchased from our usual grocer.
Garlic this year produced a bumper crop, with many heads the size of tennis balls.
Last year we produced about 8 times the weight of potatoes that we planted. I picked out several different types of spuds from the bin at Kroger. While not all of them behaved the same in our garden, all did produce potatoes. We were happiest with blue fingerlings and an elongated yellos-fleshed potato with red skin. These we will try again next season. (Due to space limitations, we only grow potatoes every other year.)
This year's success stories are ginger and sweet potatoes.
We planted two small pieces of ginger in pots last December and kept them going in the house all winter. They grew very slowly to about eight inches tall. In May, we transplanted them to one of the garden beds. After five months, we harvested just over two pounds of high-quality young ginger roots.
We just planted shallots, also purchased at the grocery for a fraction of the price of "seed" stock. I fully expect to harvest a crop this time next year.