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Thanks to our former landlady’s policy of doing the yard work at her property, I have missed out on the chore of lawn mowing since we moved back to Germany in 2014.  Our current landlord doesn’t do lawns for his tenants, so we had to invest in some garden tools.  Although I didn’t know robotic lawnmowers existed until a couple of weeks ago, I was intrigued by the novelty of them.

We currently have a small yard.  In fact, it’s probably smaller than the yard we had in Jettingen.  It would be nothing for me to mow it with a regular mower.  Even as I was shopping for a lawnmower, I told myself this was a rather extravagant purchase I’d be making.  Still, the idea of having a robot cut the grass was too exciting for me to resist.  I don’t enjoy mowing, although I do like having a neat lawn.

I used to have a robotic vacuum cleaner.  I bought a Roomba when it was still a somewhat new concept.  I used it fairly often, but it wasn’t practical in the house we were living in when I bought it.  It would get caught on the fringe of my area rugs.  I also have a Scooba that I used in North Carolina and Texas.  That is a robot that mops.  I left it in storage because American and European electronics don’t always translate well with different voltages.

The robotic mower, though… that was something different.  I settled on the mid range McCulloch R600, a British machine that curiously came with no instructions in English.  I ordered it on Thursday.  It cost 599 euros and arrived yesterday.  It’s now waiting for its maiden voyage.  I also bought us a Bosch battery powered weedwhacker.  Truth be told, we could probably just weedwhack the whole yard in about ten minutes and call it done.

Before we can use the mower, it has to charge.  We also had to lay down boundary wire.  Here are some photos of Bill hard at work, installing the wire for our new toy.

First, he needed to weedwack a path to lay down the wire.  

Arran has really missed Bill.  He was gone for most of March and had to work this morning.

I got a charming video of him looking for attention, but I haven’t turned it into something I can post in the blog…

He finally laid the wire down around the perimeter of the yard, then set up a guide wire.

This new mower is pretty snazzy.  You can set it to mow while you sleep if you want to.  We can’t use it tomorrow, because tomorrow is Sunday and Germans get really pissy if you do yard work on Sunday.  Maybe it will be charged enough in a couple of hours to try it out.

This machine is very lightweight.  It even has anti-theft features and uses a PIN.

 

This 24 minute video was a Godsend.  We were able to find the owner’s manual in English online, but Bill couldn’t get it to print.  Watching the video was helpful anyway, since it showed exactly what Bill needed to do.

 

Yeah, I know I probably should have just bought a push mower.  At our first German house, we even had a mechanical mower that didn’t use any power that didn’t come from my muscles.  It seems silly to get a robot mower for such a small yard.  I don’t know what got into me.

By the way, our new next door neighbors have a pool in their much bigger backyard.  I think they’re setting it up now.  I feel their pain.  We had a pool in Texas.  It was great to have in Texas because it gets so hot there.  In Germany, it seems a little like a lot of work for not so much pleasure.

I was hoping we’d go out today, but Bill’s had a lot to do and needs to relax.  Tomorrow, we’ll find somewhere to have a beautiful lunch, like we did last week.

Edited to add:  It took about 100 minutes to fully charge the mower.  In the course of about two hours, it finished a large part of the lawn.  Bill used the weedwhacker to cut the places that were missed because it was getting dark.  From now on, the mower can operate several times a week so the grass doesn’t get so high.

Here’s a quick video.  The dogs were bewildered by the robot, while I was impressed by how quiet it is!

Another edit:  The end result after I let the robot run again Monday.

I think this is going to work out just fine!

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