When spring lawn mowing begins in earnest, many of us consider upgrading our old lawnmower for a new one. But have you considered a robotic mower? Read on to discover some surprising benefits of robotic mowers.
The obvious benefit of robotic mowers is that they do the hard work of lawn mowing for you, but not everyone considers that an advantage – some people find mowing the lawn enjoyable, or doubt that a robotic mower could do the job as well as them.
Garden broadcaster, author and RHS judge Martin Fish (click here to watch his Pots & Trowels videos packed with gardening advice each week) felt the same, until he trialled a robotic mower. “When I agreed to the trial, I did initially feel like it was doing my job and I was a bit sceptical about how well it would do it,” he says. But, as Martin confesses, his robotic mower (now affectionately named Monty) has grown on him.
“When I’m away at shows I can be gone from two or three days or up to a week and I used to dread coming back and having to cut the lawn if it had grown too long, but with Monty we come back and the lawns are mown.” The mower is programmed to go out daily in all weathers and cut just a few millimetres of growth each time and, as a result, Martin’s lawn is now thicker and healthier than it has ever been under this little-and-often regime, and he seldom needs to use fertiliser. “There are no stripes but the lawn does have a lovely billiard-table finish,” he explains.
That’s one of the biggest benefits of using robotic mowers. The mower can cut little and often so the lawn is constantly and regularly cut, not just when you can find time to squeeze the lawn mowing in, by which point it may have grown too long. Little and often keeps the lawn growing strongly and healthily, which reduces the need for additional feeding, and helps keep weeds at bay by encouraging a thick sward. The fine clippings produced quickly rot down to feed the lawn, keeping it green.
The other huge benefit a robotic mower brings is that they are very environmentally friendly. Battery powered, there are no emissions or petrol fumes, and if your electricity comes from a green supplier, that means they’re very sustainable to run.
“Monty is cheap to run, there are no emissions and no petrol fumes, the process has a low carbon footprint and it recycles the nitrogen in grass so I don’t have to use artificial fertilisers,” Martin confirms. In fact, Worx, the manufacturers of a range of robotic mowers called Landroid, have calculated that its battery-powered Landroid mowers have saved over 11 million pounds’ worth of fuel while at work, the equivalent of 1,300 cars taken off the road.
All the major mower manufacturers now include robotic mowers in their range. When they first arrived on the scene, robotic mowers did seem quite expensive compared to conventional push mowers, but there are plenty of budget-friendly models available now as well as those at the top-of-the-range. Choice of model depends on the size of lawn that needs to be covered, then there’ll be some initial set up – robotic mowers use a perimeter wire around the edge of the lawn area to sense where they can mow up to and you will need to install its docking station, where it heads to recharge – but once they are in place you can sit back and let your new robotic friend do the work, or go on holiday with no worries about the state of the lawn when you return. Most can also be controlled via apps on your smartphone, so you can adjust your mowing programme wherever you are.
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