Back in 2007 our family tried a new approach to gardening – a couple of Square-Foot-Garden boxes. At that time I made some 4 foot by 6 foot net trellises to match the larger frame shape and some 4 foot by 4 foot ones for the smaller frame shape.

This year we had more plants that wanted to climb than we had squares in which to put them. We decided to try the frames without the Square-Foot boxes. A couple of weeks ago we bought the supplies, set up the frames (5 feet by 5 feet), and planted the seeds. My goal was to get the six net trellises made before the plants needed them.

It turned out to be an opportunity for me to practice making squares of square-mesh netting in preparation for my upcoming class, “Netting, More or Less,” where I will be teaching about square-mesh netting. It took me three trellises to get the written instructions to match what I was actually doing.

That left me with three more to finish, and I was beginning to get bored with repeating the same pattern over and over. I started thinking, “What would happen if . . . I made the squares three inches rather than six inches? Would it take more time or less time, more material or less material, and by how much?”

I figured out the pattern, based on the three I had already done and started to work. It took more than double the amount of cord to finish this one and more than double the amount of time to make it. When I finally completed it, I liked the finished trellis, but it took too much time and cord for me to want to make another one.

This time, as I began the phrase, “I wonder what would happen . . .”, I added the words, “. . . if I used diamond-mesh netting instead of square-mesh netting?”

I decided to use the six-inch-size mesh and with the aid of my husband’s strong mathematical skills, I designed a new pattern. When the trellis was finished, I liked it. It was quicker to tie and used less cord than either of the other trellises. I’ll have to wait and see if the plants like it as well.

With only one trellis left, can you guess what I wondered? Yes, I wondered, “What would happen if I use the three-inch mesh stick and diamond-mesh netting”. It took me more time to make than either of the six-inch-mesh trellises and used more cord than they did; however, I think it took less time and less material to make than the three-inch-mesh square mesh netting.

Now that the netting is finished I just have to avoid killing the plants in the garden and watch them climb up the trellises.