It’s surprising how few people realise that the same techniques used by farmers and large land management companies can be used in small projects like domestic landscaping for gardens. Of course, there are limitations to how much can be directly applied – few people have gardens big enough to drive around in combine harvesters for example. However, if you think about the workmen who carry out grass cutting for local authorities, you’ll often see them walking around with machinery very similar to garden strimmers. That works very well when you’re simply looking to keep excessive growth under control – they turn to ride on mowers when things need to look a little tidier, much like you’ll be looking for out in the back garden.
Now, it’s not only grass that you find in the average family garden, so we’ll leave that for now and return to it in a moment. There’s also shrubs in flower beds, water features and more, and on more affluent estates you’ll increasingly find the play equipment that used to be reserved for pub beer gardens for the kids to entertain themselves, as it can now be installed fairly affordably, in the low four figure range. All of this if for a future update though, where we’ll talk in much more detail about what to plant where, how to maintain a home vegetable patch and much more.
So, let’s return to the matter in hand, and that’s lawn care. Most of us have mowed a lawn or two in out lives, and consider it to be a necessary evil of owning a home with a garden, essential family living perhaps. One thing that experts agree on across the industry is that the secret to a healthy and thick lawn is regular care, which means keeping it to a healthy length. A well kept lawn will often mean you need to spend less time on the tough jobs like weeding and moss killing, so regularly mowing at a good length is vital. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a case of the shorter the better either, that only applies up to a point. The blades of grass keep it hydrated, that’s why mowing under the heat of a midday summer sun will likely result in a brown or yellow tinge in an hour or two, and certainly before the day is out. You may also have noticed that the colour returns to a beautiful green very quickly with rain (assuming you’ve not killed it off with sunburn!), so that should be a clear illustration about how volatile and vulnerable short grass can be. On the other hand, a wild growing garden will take a lot of sun hours to take away the green glow, but it’s tough to get under control again in the short term, and mowing will often reveal that it’s become very uneven in terms of coverage across the garden.
So, what’s the solution? We all have very busy lives, and it can be hard to find the time to mow twice a week, particularly if there’s a large front and back garden to tend to. Well, technology may now have the answer. For a few hundred pounds (well, few might be a stretch, probably six or seven hundred is more of a reasonable estimate), you can now be the proud owner of a mower that mows without you! The technology has raced forwards in the last couple of years as you’ll see in this robot lawn mower review website. Their top choice is the Flymo 1200r (http://www.robotlawnmowers.org/reviews/flymo/1200r/) which is echoed in forums and reviews across the internet, and that’s encouraging for many buyers due to the well known Flymo brand.
When considering the cost, it can initially seem prohibitive, but you need to look at it in terms of the time savings. If you’re normally mowing the grass a couple of times a week for an hour at a time, that’s probably around 50 hours a year spent mowing, so a £600 price tag will soon seem more attractive over the long term, especially as you’d expect a robot mower to last at least five years and probably ten or more. Even at five years, that’s 250 hours of mowing time saved, isn’t your time worth more than £2.40 an hour? That’s not the only consideration though.
Many of us use mowers that collect the grass into a container, to empty into our garden waste bin or bag up and take to the tip. These robotic automatic mowers, on the other hand, mow so regularly that they leave the clippings to mulch down (mulch being a posh way to say naturally break down and disappear back into the ground). This is actually a huge benefit, as when you dispose of the ‘waste’ in the bin or at the tip, you’re also disposing of nutrients in the clippings. By allowing them to return to the soil, you’re going to be allowing your lawn to benefit from them all over again.
If you just leave the clumps of grass behind from your normal mowing activity, you will likely end up with piles of rotting mess in time, but the robot mowers mow much more regularly than you’re likely to, so they leave a much finer residue. This makes the breaking down process much faster and near invisible to the human eye, which is much more likely to be acceptable on your lawn.
So, save time and end up with a healthier lawn, for less than the cost of a gardener for a couple of months. It seems like a straightforward decision to us!