This is my 1st post here, I just became an Automower G2 owner recently and have the following questions:
1) If I am not mistaken, all mowbots can only mulch, ie: can't bag. One argument says that this is the natural way & is beneficial for the grass to have its own clippings as fertilizer. But another argument says that this is only true to a certain degree & that it sure contributes to the thatch problem - requiring more frequent de-thatching treatments. What is your opinion?
2) Is using mowbot really more environmental? Please factor in the electricity cost (which is minimal I know), the battery replacement (both cost & what it does to our landscape), blade replacement, etc. when compared to a petroleum counterpart.
3) One boundary wire for all current & future models? The most painful part for setting up a mowbot is staking in the wire. I used 1,700+ feet of boundary + guide wires combined & boy, I can still feel the pain in my legs whenever I just think of it. My vendor told me that this same wire can be used for other brands & future models of mowbots, is this true?
4) Mowbot service is more time-sensitive than other equipment. Of course unless yours breaks down during non-mowing seasons. Otherwise, grass doesn't stop growing and if a down time lasts longer than 2 weeks, what do you use to mow your lawns to get it ready for the robot to mow again? Luckily I have a Neuton walk-behind rechargeable mower, but what if one doesn't have a backup mower?
Despite popular belief, short clippings dropped on the lawn after mowing are not the cause of thatch buildup. Clippings are very high in water content and breakdown rapidly when returned to lawns after mowing, assuming lawns are mowed on a regular basis (not removing more than one-third of the leaf blade).
Since robotic lawnmowers mow regularly, you will cut less than one-third of the leaf blade. Perfect!
2. I'm unaware of any scientific studies done on cost. To help you calculate robotic lawnmower cost you should replace the blades once a year and the battery whenever they die. Other than that, you shouldn't have any cost related items outside of electricity which is about $7-12 a year. Batteries can last up to 5 years, but average is a few years.
Keep in mind that when you own a gas mower, you're still sharpening or changing blades, buying spark plugs, gas, oil, air filters and so on. And if you're using a landscaping company, the cost never stops because you have to keep paying them. It's estimated that a Evolution will pay for itself within 2 years if you're paying about $35 a week for lawn service.
3. It's correct the boundary wire can be used for both Robomowers and Lawnbotts, however the distances from objects are different.
4. Many lawns do not grow during the winter...and if it does you could let the mower mow once a month or so during the winter season to prevent the lawn from getting too long. You can also raise the wheel height during this time. In the worse case scenario you can use a weed trimmer to get the height down to about 4 inches, or you can use your walk behind mower. But again, if you let the mower cut once a month or so during the winter, you wouldn't need a backup mower.
Welcome to the word of not mowing and let us know how you like your Automower.
Hi, thanks for the link & your quick reply. Ok, so grass clippings will not contribute to thatch build-up, but what about the debris layer that includes but not limited to: dead insects, twigs, decomposing leaves, pine cones, etc.?
Let me use the Automower a lil' longer before giving you guys & gals a report. I already see some rooms for improvement...
I put in my perimeter wire shortly after it rained. That was a great idea. The pegs went in easily as my wife pulled the wire tight with her foot while standing. Do not bury the wire as you may have to find a broken wire or have to move it later. My unit travels over my sidewalks to mow on the other side of the walk. IF you can put the wire beside the sidewalk, half of the unit will keep the sidewalk edge mowed. I have a hard time even finding any grass trimmings so that is a non-issue for me. When returning after being serviced, I used my neighbor's riding lawnmower to cut it down as low as possible. I changed the oil and sharpened the blade in her mower. She was very grateful. We helped each other. She would like to have a unit.
Hello from Tasmania Lawnbott points out that its necessary to rake up leaf litter, twigs etc, but the question of how the mower deals with such encounters is still pertinent. How much damage is caused when a piece if pine bark, pine cone or even an apple or apricot gets caught under the skirt? The more robust Ambrogio machine would surely fare better than the more delicate Automower from Husqvarna? But maybe the more easily replaced Automower blades makes it a relatively minor problem for the Husqvarna, likewise a simple blade restoration maybe all that is required on the Lawnbott? After all accidents must happen cheers
Modog or anyone ... When the Automower is programmed to follow perimeter back to the charger, will it sense the charger across 4M of lawn ... and depart from the perimeter and cross directly to the charger? Or will it insist on following the perimeter all the way round to the charger.
Also if Automower is programmed to follow loop back to charger and a guidewire is connected to the perimeter back to charger will Automower pick up the guidewire (leaving perimeter) to follow guidewire back to charger?