Fully Automatic/Automated Lawn Care. NO MORE WORK?

It’s official, the machines have risen and they are taking over every aspect of the Lawncare industry. Let’s take a look at what the pros and cons are of each of three items: Mowers, sprinklers, and fertigation.

There’s no doubt that each of these things are being adopted at a much higher rate than before. I can most certainly appreciate the technology and the advances that are being made and sometimes I feel that perhaps we are going to lose out on the physical enjoyment of taking care of our properties.

Looking at the Robo mowers first, these have made fantastic strides in the last few years and have definitely proven themselves to be very effective. Lawns that are being mowed with Robo mowers often look sleek and have less weeds than their manual mowed counterparts. This just has to do with the constant cutting that is taking place. I would imagine that the lawn would actually stay greener longer and would not have the opportunity to build up any additional thatch layers because the grass clippings would be so small.

As the wireless technology increases, these are going to become more and more desired by new homeowners. They fit very well into a category of people who work too much to take care of their lawn, and who are used to the digital world and the technology managing most of their lives. I will be a late adopter of the mower, however I do want to give one a try and see what it does. I would still like to teach my kids how to mow, and overall just be a bit more or should I say less, technology reliant.

The next thing I wanna talk about is the smart sprinklers that will be definitely taking over the irrigation industry for lawns. This is something that needed to happen and I hope that it becomes a mainstay. Having sprinklers they can map out your lawn and not have any waste or overlap is absolutely huge the ability to water in a square or a rectangle shape with only one head is incredible. There is no doubt in my mind that iin areas where water is a major concern, these are going to take over from standard sprinklers.

Finally, fertilizer tanks. Well this isn’t new, I could see this being adopted in an even bigger way as time goes on. If you already don’t have to mow your lawn and you don’t have to think about your sprinklers, then this is the next logical step. Filling up a fertilizer tank once a year and letting it feed for a small lawn is actually a very easy and economical thing to do. Larger lawns, would require getting a couple more fillings but it would still be easier than putting around a spreader.

I’ve always been a big fan of fertilizer injection, and a lot of these tanks can take both soluble powders and liquids. The next big thing will come along are robots that are not only cutting your lawn but also can take a small measure of fertilizer on its back and feed every time that it cuts. I guarantee that this is coming they’re just trying to figure out the nuts and bolts but… It’s gotta be coming soon.

So I guess the big thing is, are we ready for this? Are we ready to stop doing Lawncare? It seems as though it’s getting to that point and I don’t know if I’m quite yet there.

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50 thoughts on “Fully Automatic/Automated Lawn Care. NO MORE WORK?”

  1. Interesting video. Automation is something that will appeal to some homeowners and not to others. I think the two camps will be split between those who have a minimal interest in lawn care, but who don't use a lawn care company for mowing, using it as time saving, allowing them more time to do other things, family, non-lawn care hobbies, work etc. The other camp who won't want to use these devices are those who have a different perspective on lawn care. Those who do it themselves because they enjoy it, they like doing the traditional cultural practices like mowing and feeding. I personally love being on the lawn, its also a place we share together as a family. My daughter loves learning about and taking part in the gardens life cycle, getting her hands dirty. I get it, not so long ago I worked within the automotive industry and have seen automation explode in that sector, but just like there's people who will never give up actually driving cars because they love it, there's plenty of us that will never stop wheeling out the mower onto the lawn and just living in that moment..

  2. It’s happening. It won’t take over but it will become a parallel path. To those with blinders on, only considering their OWN situation, don’t forget the people who simply cannot manage their lawn well (single parents, elderly, etc…). It will have its place, as will us homeowners who LOVE to manage our own lawn with our own hands and want manually operated tools (granted, you see a LOT more of those also becoming electric powered too).

  3. Resistance is futile. You cant beat 24/7 mowing, and without all that ridiculous noise a gas machine makes.. I'm fine with just edging, its personally the most satisfying part, along with fert. I get more time to tend to my family, garden and honey-do list. Everyone pays a service anyway around my neighborhood; if you do whats the difference? The weight of the machine across your yard, quiet, with more consistency and control? Personally, I'll take it.

  4. Knowledge of had engine is becoming led important, but diagnosing and fixing things will sideways be. Electric mowers are fantastic for a lot of lawns. And your kids will have a more positive world view knowing that efforts are being made to slow global warming. If you want your kids to be able to fix a gas engine, then get a hobby project. A go-cart, motorcycle or vintage car that needs work, and do it with them. It didn't have to be a lawn mower.

  5. Your State Trooper story made me think of one I encountered. College girl in her small car, sitting in a parking lot. Not in a space. Car dead. Nobody could get around her. We offered to push her into the space five feet in front of her. Couldnt get her to take her foot off the brake once the car was in neutral. Finally convinced her, but my husband had to go over to the boyfriend in the passenger seat and guilt him. "Buddy, do you wanna get out and help?" "Uh…oh..yeah. okay." He'd never pushed a car in his life. As we were leaving, I leaned in to the girl and said, not all that quietly, "Honey, he's not The One."

  6. Ive worked in landscaping/horticulture for 21 years. Its both my hobby and profession. I've literally dedicated my life to it. I love growing things, including turfgrass. There is even a spiritual element to giving and sustaining life to a plant. When it comes to talk of automation, it certainly makes me feel more uneasy than any positive feelings about it. I love doing the work despite making $15/hour.

  7. I mow daily and like doing it. But if I had the money and if good automation was available, why not? I would have more time to do other things like top dressing and other crazy projects. Today it doesn't make sense to me just for the cost and bc I have 4 small separate sections of lawn. But imagine someone having a 1/2 to 1 acre, that would be awesome.

  8. Great video JP. I am about your age with kids of a similar age and find myself saying the same things my Dad would say when I was a kid but just a different topic. I think this technology change is for the good overall but there is a value in knowing how to change a tire or clean a spark plug. By the time we are grandparents I believe lawn are will be almost fully automated (from our point of view now). Look at the auto industry. No one opens up the hood and cleans there carburetor or fixes a blown gasket. It’s all computerized now and this is just a change of the guard. Either we adapt or be left in the past of year and the good ole days.

  9. It was mentioned below but I agree the concept is pretty cool- Personally I like doing yard work, but as I get older….and older I may not be able to do it anymore so having it automated would be great. I can't see any type of yard automation be 100% so there will always be the need for human intervention IMO.

  10. I’ve been using an Automower for three years now and love it. My new Irrigreen system is on my shelf waiting to be installed in April and I am considering the “fertigation” option. My lawn tools are now all battery powered.
    This kind of tech interests me but I do miss pulling out or jumping on the mower and hitting the lawn, the smell of the cut grass and the fun stripes.

  11. I agree so much with your concern with the upcoming generation. I have seen plenty of young people that can't change a tire on a car, and it's disturbing. To me, it's not about JUST changing a tire. When younger people can't/don't work on their own things at a simple level like a tire change, they don't gain the ability to trouble shoot other mechanical problems in their life and get good at it. This new way of life seems to shut down that part of the brain that wants to get their hands dirty and maybe a little bloody and fix something. I think working in your yard, showing pride in your lawn is important. I have found since moving into my house that my lawn has become my therapy, and I love it. Minnesota winters get to be long :). Great video!

  12. I’m not ready to come home Friday’s and the robot has my yard all striped up.
    That’s my small piece of pleasure.
    And if the neighbors see me out there. Ha!! They all know who the king is around my block.

  13. Half of my neighbors hire a lawncare service to mow their lawn. Once they realize lawn robots exist and probably cheaper in the long run, it should be a no-brainer for them. I think the biggest impact will be on that demographic and on lawncare services. I might buy one myself to cut down on mowing times (~1.25 hours) and let it take care of the back lawn and/or midweek mows rather than move up to a riding mower or zero-turn.

  14. Leave Automation to the Farmer's that need the mm accuracy for the $$ Yield Weight. Professional in some cases will use it, Small Business and Home too random to automate the mechanised side. Irrigation – Farming, Professional's 90% is 100% Auto irrigation to get the correct Irrigation, Fertilisation Ratio's, even metered weed control. Have a look at how advanced B-hyve Smart Hose Watering Timer App is under Zone Detail – Smart Zone Details. Would leave most Turf Grass Specialists Scratching their heads to find some of the required Info. Need Human's Full Stop

  15. I know you said “people may have less time to mow” it could be reworded that people want to have more time for other things than mowing. I takes me an hour to mow my entire property, which I find joy and peace in doing. However, could I spend that hour doing something greater? That is what automation does. It doesn’t take away, it gives us opportunities to do greater tasks while automation does the repeatable, low importance work. Fantastic video! Technology is amazing!

  16. Come stop in Idaho where I’ve had a Automower for 4 years! I’m not far away. I have a walker mower too but the lawn has never looked better! It’s gives me more time to apply nutrients to the lawn and tend to other lawn chores! I’m sure there was complaints when the dishwasher came out too.

  17. I find it interesting that most of us are OK with automated irrigation (and it’s something I’ll eventually be adding). However, I can see and understand the struggle to accept automated mowing. Is it that dragging a hose and sprinkler around isn’t the same as playing with a cool mowing machine? Or, is it the satisfaction that mowing provides the moment you mow a bit of turf?

    That all said, I wonder if automating the mowing could provide more time for an enthusiast to further perfect the lawn’s fertility and overall health. I could even see a future where every segment of the lawn is getting the exact cocktail of nutrients it needs automatically. Potassium is depleted in one corner but abundant in another? No problem, the theoretical auto-fert system could handle it.

  18. My take in terms of business; it will be a boon to small business to help scale and compete. Lets face it, most of us are just really good applicators and we transitioned out and now we manage/baby sit all day. Automation will help us create higher margin work and better work environments by managing labor. Its not that people don't want to mow, they don't want to mow for 12-15$ an hour with crap benefits.

  19. I take heart in the fact that there will always be purists! That may not give me comfort as a green industry business owner but at least I can sleep at night!😆 As for the story about the men (boys) on the side of the road….. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Great video JP!

  20. For me personally, yes. I'm getting older and my health isn't where it should be but having a fully automated system or even a semi-automated system would be nice. I love to mow but when it comes to REEL MOWING every other day, having a automated system would be awesome. It's giving the time to do those sorry of things that it would be helpful. Otherwise, mowing once to twice a week is just a good idea to just get out in the yard and push a mower. To me it's somewhat therapeutic and I stress reliever to see what you actually can do when you do yourself versus having an automated system do it for you.

  21. I'm in the home automation space. It is absolutely NOT time. For a lot of people mowing their lawn whether they like to do it or not, is their only exercise and outdoor time they get.

    But you are right I believe in 20ish years it will be possible in the right scenario you won't have to lift a finger in the yard if you don't want to.

    Instead of granular on the autonomous mower…a small liquid tank and spray bar, would be where its at.

    Thanks for another interesting video.

  22. A really impactful story about the guys getting help with a tire change. I honestly blacked out in disbelief for 30 seconds just trying to process that scenario. Sheriff should have been giving directions, not doing it for them.

  23. Innovation in technology is getting to the point where it is actually subtracting from our lives. A fully automated lawn might sound good at first, but next thing you know you’re a slave to the robot overlords. Everything in moderation, my friends.

  24. I read all the comments; and I didn't see one, nor a mention of it in the video, where anyone had things called "trees" or dogs and kids; if you ever of had anything more than baren 'carpet grass' for a yard that only is for looking out the window at or to impress people driving by, you would know that if you actually use a lawn you would want a bunch of those "tree" things to "shade" your kids and dogs to play with something called "stuff" …. not only does that "stuff" get left out in this used yard, but these big tree things for "shade"(thats where the sun light rarely shines on the grass, so many lawn fanatics might have removed all of it, which also would lessen the chance of any people/animals out in and disrupting the perfect lawn for looking at) but tree things actually make their own "stuff" that just falls out of them

    so a big part of my lawn care is to "look around for stuff" and then rake "stuff" or pick up "stuff" …. all this "stuff" has to be removed before the lawn can be mowed or treated at all – this practice of dealing with "stuff" also is the main reason we can not have our robot-vac on an auto routine; as even inside(with only small 'tree-like' things called plants, but in here is a good example of what "shade" would be like if you don't have it outside in the yard) there is often more "stuff" randomly laying around because it gets used more(might be because of the increased "shade" happening inside which people/pets do often like at most times) and again all that "stuff" has to be cleared right before the robot can run its course

    so, sure, if you don't use your lawn or house, and just like looking at it, you might not need "trees" nor have people/pets with "stuff" laying randomly around – but if you do, you first need a robot to pick up all that "stuff" before it can mow or vac, and I just haven't seen good robots that I would trust to do that yet …. seems now since we got the robot-vac, I personally have to do more work preparing to run it than I have to do just vacuuming myself

    but sure, I'd still take a robot mower that ran every day in the growing seasons …. I'd just have to spend a lot of time pulling the chewed up "stuff" out of it that caused it to error on and stop because I didn't notice it in the yard, just like I have to do with the robot vac now

  25. Nope….no auto bot cutting/doing my yard work…..I have so much enjoyment just being out there doing the work as just sitting out there just enjoying it…..I wouldn't mind maybe watching the white box with blue eyes rolling around in the neighbors yard tho….😉

  26. I'm all in on the robo mowers. I love being in my lawn, however I love being in the lawn with my family more than I love mowing. The robo mower gives me that without sacrificing the quality of the lawn. I think in the next 5 years these will be so common place nobody will bat an eye.

  27. Not for me, I like to get my hands dirty and mind away from the 9-5. Working on the lawn is my tranquility time/zen…especially in the spring when I’ve been away from the lawn because of winter. Thank you for the content….

  28. People are genuinely lazy. Any chance to not exert physical effort is a godsend. I grew up without drive through fast food and banks etc. Never thought I’d see the day where most people would have their food delivered. There’s a reason Amazon is enormous
    Automated lawn care is not going away. People are too lazy to mow and lawn care companies have seen labor shortages and staggering increases in fuel and fertilizer. They cannot make overhead
    Never underestimate the lazy ass, cheap American. Remember most people who shop don’t think twice about buying a worthless piece of Asian made clothing in the same store where they can buy a sink made in China while stocking up on Doritos and toilet paper. It’s all about convenience
    Guarantee when the automated mowers hit a price point of $300 – $500 my lazy ass neighbor will have one

  29. I really enjoy working in my lawn and garden. Put on the ear protection (+/- music play list) and I get 2 to 3 hours of uninterrupted solitude. The satisfaction of looking at the fruits of my labors is worth far more to me than hiring out a lawn service and a chemical provider for weed and feed. I am 65, and kind of enjoy getting my butt kicked from the reel mower or a shovel or the Pro Plugger, dropping in a new cultivar of grass. Finally, that 6 to 9 hours of lawn nirvana each week (if replaced by the Skynet Lawn and chemical service) would have to be replaced with something else. I love to travel and spend time with my wife, but the solitude of the lawn is something that I really enjoy.

  30. I think there’s something invaluable about walking/mowing your yard every week. Knowing where the struggling spots are or where weeds are popping up. With an auto mower you’re missing out on that. As Allyn always says, learn your land!

  31. What's most irritating to me isn't that you saw 6 young men who didn't know how to change a tire… it's that you had 6 young men who were not smart enough to watch a YouTube video on the side of the road to learn how on the fly. This isn't a lack of skill – this is laziness. Bigger issue.

  32. Interesting topic so here is my two cents and talking strictly about homeowners on this one. Artificial turf was going to be the thing at one point so that people could have the perfect lawn and not have to do anything. Didn't work out for the most part. Robot mowers are cool and even with them getting more efficient and cheaper it will never replace the lawncare nuts out there who actually enjoy doing yard work. For the people who don't have the time which I could relate to at one point there will always be landscapers out there. Services will always be around. The one thing I think that really make sense is the smart irrigation systems and how far they have become. Eventually they will come up with systems that rain down on the lawns to imitate rainfall. The robot fertilizer idea pretty much the same as the mowing so they go hand and hand. Kids learning how to do things is up to parents. Calculators has taken away the need to do math but is still something that everyone should learn how to do the basics.

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