Garden, Guide

April 25, 2017

Why I’m considering getting a robot mower

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As the spring arrives and summer gets closer, I am considering buying a robot mower. Why? Well I’m tired of a tired looking lawn. While I’ve not got the biggest lawn, but I like it to look good (despite our dogs best efforts), and the more I think, the more appealing a robot mower becomes.

Despite my lawn not being vast by any stretch of the imagination, finding time to mow the lawn regularly seems almost impossible.  By the time I’ve got the mower out the garage, located & plugged in the extension lead, and then actually mown the lawn while traipsing a cable about before packing up again, I’ve lost the best part of an hour.

This is where a robot mower comes in…

The Basics

I am not talking about a remote control mower here, but an automated robot mower. The basic principle behind all robotic lawnmowers seems to be the same. Lay a perimeter wire around the edge of the lawn to act as an invisible fence that the robot won’t cross (several shops have assured me that this wire disappears quickly as the grass grows over it). The mower then sits in a dock on the lawn, automatically departs, mows and returns to charge throughout the week. Specs and exact features vary depending on makes / models, but they should all mean no more mowing for me.

Turf

As far as I can tell, all robot mowers are mulching mowers. Speaking to someone I know in the lawn care trade, he said the number one way to get a better lawn is to mow it regularly, cutting smaller amounts. By cutting little and often turf growth is focused sideways instead of up, leading to a healthier lawn. It’s even better to mulch the cuttings. They’re cut even smaller, left on the lawn to decompose adding nutrients and water back into the turf. It’s compost / fertiliser for your lawn for free. This should give lush, greener lawn.
Time

Now I admit, an hour to mow should be easy to find each week, but less easy when you can’t mow the lawn when it’s wet, haven’t got enough daylight after work or just need to put your feet up. Just as I think I’m getting into the habit of mowing regularly, something happens to thwart my routine; it only take a rainy day to mess up the best laid plans. Before I know it, other commitments of life have got in the way, two weeks passes and the lawn is scruffy, long and any attempt at regular mowing looks lost. At least with a robot mower, it would all be taken care of and the lawn looked after while I’m at work. It also means, when I come to BBQ, the lawn is ready to use, not in need to a tidy up first.

Gadget

Let’s be honest. This isn’t all about lawn quality and time saving. Ultimately, I don’t live to mow our lawn, I have plenty of other things to be doing, but the pure gadgety nature of these mowers definitely appeals to my tech loving side. If it’s affordable and has other benefits too, then I can;t help but smile a little more.

Cost

When I first heard about robot mowers I instantly thought they were going to be cripplingly expensive. But with a Robomow RX12u being available for £499 so they’re much more affordable than I first thought. In fact I had been thinking about getting a cordless lawnmower to save the time and hassle messing with cables. When you consider a reasonable cordless mower is £300+ spending £500 but not having to mow isn’t such a bad deal.

Got a bigger lawn? At the top end the do head into several thousand pounds, but then they cut over an acre of lawn. If you were about to buy a ride on mower / lawn tractor, they’ve got to be worth considering.

What’s next?

With a lot of models out there I still have a lot of research to do to get the most suitable model in budget. The mains ones I’m considering are from Robomow, Flymo Bosch and Husqvarna.

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