One of the things that I didn’t immediately realize when we moved here, is that we now have a real garden. I know, it’s hard to overlook a 2.4ha / 6 acres land, but having a real garden that needs to be taken care of, is a new concept to me. Of course it’s hard to miss the large variety of olive trees, almond trees, cypres trees, apple trees, apricots, figs and pears too. And there are probably quite a few trees that we still have to discover as we have no clue what is what (especially between the different varieties of apple and pear trees). The trees are all equipped with automatic watering from our own well, but they will need pruning, care and it will probably also be interesting during the harvest months. Our goal with the garden is to keep some areas as wild as possible, to give room to bees, birds, the neighbors’ cats, lizards and other wildlife. When we start planting some more greenery, we will prefer drought resistant plants over thirsty ones. Even though our water comes from our well, it’s still a precious resource. And then we have all the grass! Directly around the house, the pool and the poolhouse there’s a large 2000m2 garden with a lot of grass. And while Robert mowes the grass on our “wild prairie” with his Kubota, we needed some help with the grass in the garden.
And that’s where Goatier comes in! “Wait who?” Jean Paul Goatier, our new Robomow lawn mower robot. In the few weeks that he has been with us, Goatier became part of the family riding around the garden, keeping the grass neat and short.
When the Robomow arrived, I had the option of contacting a technician to help me install the lawn mower robot for me, but when I checked the manual it turned out to be surprisingly easy! First we installed the green perimeter wire around the part of the garden where we wanted Goatier to work. There’s one hillside in the garden, but the Robomow RK2000 allows slopes of up to 45%, so that was no issue. It kept being simple once the entire wire was safely fixed with a few hundred pegs: we placed his base station in a shady area and connected the perimeter wire to the base. We also connected the base station to the power and didn’t even have to wait until the robot mower was charged: the color touchscreen started immediately and the setup interface was very intuitive. We programmed him to be working Mondays to Saturdays from 10am to 6pm, so he went to work right away.
Once Goatier the Robomow went to work, we were a little bit underwhelmed: his traction wheels worked very well, he drove through the entire garden, stayed well inside the perimeter wire and stopped and turned around when he hit something or when we would push the red STOP button. And he turned back to his base station at the end of the day or to recharge his batteries. But we didn’t see any result! Because we knew there was a lawn mower on its way, we didn’t cut the grass since we moved here end of February, so the grass was long, full of yellow flowers and thym. A bit of a rustic grass look, so to speak. However, the Robomow is thoroughly tested on different kinds of European grass and thus it is recommended to let the lawn mower work for a week to ten days to appreciate the results. Once Goatier zig zagged around the entire garden several times this past ten days, the lawn looks really nice! Now when I watch the before photos, I can say I’m impressed!
With our rustic grass, we started with a cutting height of 100mm and gradually reduced the length to 50mm. It’s such a wonderful sight to see Goatier drive around the garden. Even the cats like watching him from the windows.
Another thing that is pretty impressive, is how the RT2000 manages to mow the edges around the pool terrace, because the blades mow beyond the wheelbase. And last but not least: Goatier the Robomow is very quiet! His noise level is lower than 60dB and when we worked in the garden last week, it was not disturbing at all to hear the robot mowing the grass. I’m pretty sensitive to sound, and don’t like repetitive and uncomfortable noises when I’m enjoying our garden (or anything for that matter). And now that the grass is neat and short, we can reduce Goatier’s work hours as well. He will help us keep the grass under control: less work… and more smiles!
UPDATE may 2022
While we try to keep large parts of the garden as wild as possible to give room to bees, birds, the neighbors’ cats, lizards and other wildlife, the lawn around the house has been kept neat and short.
Goatier works only 3 days a week in spring and fall and drives over the hill (up to 45%) and automatically turns to his base station when his workday is over. In the summer the grass is mostly yellow and dry, as we don’t water it in the summer heath, but Goatier is back to work at the end of the summer to make sure our wild Ardèche lawn looks good at all times.
The cats love watching him from the window while he’s working hard, but other than that we usually forget he’s there, as he is very silent. We’ve replaced his knives twice, at the start of every new season and cleaned him, but other than that he is low maintenance, just what you expect from a robot.
We’re really pleased with him as he saves us time while we do more fun activities in the garden, like sunbathing, entertaining, swimming, gardening and enjoying the view.
This blogpost was created in collaboration with Robomow. As always all photos, opinions and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep JOELIX.com going!