I live on around 2.5 acres. While I’ve added a LOT of garden beds, I still have a little under one acre of lawn to cut. My boys have now grown and moved out, and since I don’t like cutting the lawn, I hired a lawn care company over the past few years. My lawn is green, which is all I want, with very little care. Eighteen years of leaving the grass clippings on the soil has certainly helped. Finding a lawn care company that cuts with mulching blades and would cut the lawn at 3-4 inches in the summer was a challenge, but eventually, I found a company that did a good job.
In late 2023, I decided to switch to a robotic lawn mower. I decided to switch to a robot from a service because of cost and noise.
I bought a Husqvarna 450XH EPOS. This model has the highest cutting height – up to 90mm, and operates by GPS, so no wired installation is required. It’s expensive but costs less than a full year’s lawn care service (cutting twice and edging once a week). So the payback is less than one year if I take care of the edges myself (more on that in a bit). Since the mower should last 10 years, switching over will save a lot of money over time.
With the help of the company I purchased my mower from, I set up six cutting zones. For the season’s last three weeks, I set the mower to cut 24/7. Next year, I’ll set cutting times to avoid cutting when I’m overhead watering.
The results have been fantastic. The robot gets stuck or lost occasionally because it might lose the GPS signal on a very cloudy day in areas below the tree canopy, but other than that, it just goes along cutting. There is almost no noise, and you don’t even notice anything other than the front headlights at night, which are really fun to watch.
And I must say, it creates VERY straight cut lines, which is a bonus.
The auto-mower can’t cut or charge when temperatures fall below freezing, so I cleaned it up and brought it into the basement for the winter.
The Husqvarna robotic mower misses about an 8-inch strip along the edges of the garden border unless it can turn around inside the garden bed. I’m eliminating the trench along most of my beds by filling them in with dirt and mulch. That will eliminate the need to cut anything along the edges of the garden beds, although that means grass will grow into the garden beds. For now, I’ll cut the edges twice a year with a hand lawn edger, which I do now anyway. The other option is to simply run a push mower twice a week around the edges. I tried this, and it only took 20 minutes to do the whole property. Eventually, I plan to install a brick paver edge around the garden borders. This will hold back the grass, hold in the mulch I put down in spring and create a nice, neat look.
I am so happy so far, and as I said, I only need one year to make the investment worth it. Best of all, no noise!