Recall that we are trying to plant all of the old seeds that have been piling up in the cabinet. And many years, we've planted beans and saved partial packets. This evening, after the sun was off of the pasture, I took the pile of old corn and bean seeds up front. I made the summer bed inside the small center fenced area where the goats have been fed all winter. (This is where we had pumpkins the past two years.*) I
Because I actually want to have produce in my garden this year, I hedged my bets a bit here. The five X sections received Burpee's Sunny Days Hybrid sweet corn and Burpee's Tenderpod bush snap beans, both packed for this year's planting season (2016).
Then I went nuts with the older packets: in the two furrows, I dumped everything else. Both trenches received a full helping of Burpee's Sweet Corn Jubilee Hybrid value pack (2010) and Wetsel Tendergreen Stringless Garden Beans - Bush value pack (2003). The west end of the long strip received KK Lawn and Garden Blue Lake Stringless Garden Bean - Pole (2003). The east end of the long strip received both a Burpee (2011) and a Ferry-Morse (2002) packet of Kentucky Wonder - Pole. The smaller strip received Burpee's Tenderpod bush beans (2011).
According to this website - http://awaytogarden.com/estimating-viability-how-long-do-seeds-last/ there is a small chance that at least some of the less-old seeds (from 2011) will germinate. It will likely be that they germinate at a far lower rate than current seeds, though.
Corn - 2-3 years
Beans - 2-3 years
Pumpkins - 2-5
Watermelon - 4-10
* No, there will not be a "three sisters" presentation in this bed. I am avoiding squash, melons, or any other soft-leaf items this year. Last year's squash beetles were insane and evil and I don't want to encourage them by feeding them every year.
ETA: ... and I just tore a tick out of my side. *sigh*
ETA Thursday morning - nice rash! However, that rash is not a sign of infection by itself. "If you've been bitten before, tick saliva can cause a skin reaction between 18 and 72 hours. It can look severe, but by itself, it is not a sign of disease." Reference: http://www.tickencounter.org/resources/tick_biteology