Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Grasscycling?
    Grasscycling is the natural recycling of grass by leaving clippings on the lawn while mowing. When you grass cycle with your Friendly Robotics Robomow®, the clippings stay in the mowing chamber longer, being cut and re-cut several times into very small clippings before falling back onto the soil. Once on the ground, they decompose quickly and release valuable nutrients into the soil. This results in a healthier and better-looking lawn, and eliminates the need to collect and remove the clippings.

    Why sse Grasscycling?
    Grasscycling saves time, money, and protects the environment. Mowing time is reduced since the bagging and disposal of clippings is eliminated. Grass clippings add beneficial organic matter to the soil, which provides free fertiliser and produces healthy, green lawns. Grasscycling reduces the need for turf grass fertiliser and water requirements, minimising the toxic runoff which enters storm drains and pollutes lakes, creeks, and rivers. Grasscycling also reduces the amount of garden waste disposed of in landfills.

    Does Grasscycling require special equipment?
    You may be able to use your existing mower to grass-cycle, but you will have to mow very frequently compared to mowers that are specially designed to grass-cycle. 
    The Friendly Robotics Robomow® is a dedicated mulching mower that mulches better than a traditional mower thanks to its Triple-Chamber-Mulching system and the 5800-RPM blade speed - double that of a typical petrol mower. It was designed specifically for mulching and has special blades and a deep cutting deck that allow your grass clippings to be cut several times (up to 8) before they are returned to the lawn as a natural fertiliser.

    Will Grasscycling make my lawn look bad?
    No! If a lawn is properly mowed, watered, and fertilised, grasscycling can actually produce a healthier-looking lawn. It is important to cut the lawn frequently to produce the small clippings that will fall between the standing blades and decompose quickly. Many golf courses and parks have practised grasscycling for years. 
    The key to maintaining a neat appearance is to cut the lawn often enough to produce short, small clippings. Short clippings decompose quicker and will not cover the grass surface. Mow when the grass is dry to prevents the clippings from clumping and leaving piles on the lawn. 
    Many homeowners mistakenly cut their lawns once a week, usually at weekends when they have the time. Grass should be cut when it needs cutting, rather than mowing on an artificially imposed schedule.
    With the Friendly Robotics Robomower® you can set a weekly program to control the mowing schedule and forget about mowing for the entire season!
    The Robomow® will automatically depart at the day and times scheduled and automatically return to the Base Station to recharge and get ready for the next scheduled operation.

    Does grasscycling cause thatch build-up?
    No! Clippings and thatch are simply not connected; research has shown that grass roots are the primary cause of thatch, not grass clippings. Thatch is composed mainly of roots, stems and crowns; caused by from the abnormally fast growth of roots and other plant tissues as a result of improper fertilising and watering. These plant materials contain large amounts of lignin and decompose slowly. Grass clippings on the other hand, are approximately 80-85 percent water and contain only small amounts of lignin, meaning they decompose more rapidly.
    Golf courses, sports fields, and parks have been mowing grass for years and recycling with no grass catchers. This is done by using "reel" mowers that have seven to nine blades, positioned so close together that they result in smaller clipping pieces that can be efficiently returned to the lawn for rapid decomposition.
    A small amount of thatch (approximately 1/2 inch) is actually beneficial to a lawn, insulting roots and serving as a mulch to prevent excessive water evaporation and soil compaction.
    If a lawn has a thick layer of thatch, a vigorous raking or the use of a mechanical dethatcher will get rid of it. Mild cases of thatch can be controlled by routine aeration. Prevent the return of thatch by mowing the lawn to a proper height - probably a little higher than usual - by deep soaking the soil each time you water it and by switching to slow-release fertilisers.

    What benefits do grass clippings provide if returned to the lawn?
    Grass clippings returned to the lawn provide up to 25 percent of your lawn's total fertiliser needs. Clippings contain about 4% nitrogen, 2% potassium and 1% phosphorus. While decomposing, they also serve indirectly as a food source for the bacteria in the soil, which do many beneficial things (such as decomposing thatch) for a healthy turf environment.

    Are mulching mowers any more effective than regular lawn mowers?
    Mulching mowers are rotary mowers that cut clippings into smaller pieces and equally disperse them back into the lawn for decomposition. Removing only a third of the vertical green growth is very important when using a mulching type of mower. Well-designed mulching mowers distribute clippings more evenly across the lawn surface than regular lawn mowers.

    Are sharp lawnmower blades important?
    Mowing with a dull blade is like giving your lawn a bad haircut. Rather than cleanly cutting a dull mower blade actually rips or tears grass blades. This not only increases the intensity of the plant injury, but also the ragged edges serve as ideal entry points for various diseases. Dull mowing is especially visible in hot weather when the tip of each grass blade dries out and turns brown. Multiply this by several billion and your lawn may end up looking more like a field of straw rather than a lush green carpet.
    When mowing dry grass at the proper height, a sharp blade ensures a clean cut that can seal quickly; minimising the potential for disease problems brought on by dull mowing. 
    With Friendly Robotics Robomow® use only sharp blades.  Replace blades at least once per season, more if they have been severely dulled. It is recommended to replace all three blades for best performance.  Machine sharpening is not recommended as a good balance cannot be achieved.

    How often should I mow my lawn?
    Many homeowners mistakenly cut their lawns once a week, usually during weekends. Grass should be cut when it needs cutting, rather than mowing on an artificially imposed schedule.
    Decades of field research and experience have demonstrated that mowing frequency should generally be stepped up to once every five to six days.
    Cutting more often means that the grass particles are shorter, and filter down to the soil surface, where they quickly break down and release a surprising amount of nutrients - up to 40 lbs (18 kg) of nitrogen per half-acre (2,000 m²) - in addition to providing micronutrients and organic matter which serve as a mulch to conserve soil moisture and modify temperature extremes.
    Mowing height should be increased during the hot, dry summer. In most areas the grass will grow more quickly in the spring and autumn and require more frequent mowing. The lawn should be mowed frequently so that you remove no than one-third (1/3) of the total plant height.
    Mowing regularly and at the proper height improves your lawn. If you allow the grass to grow too long between cuttings, the thick patches of mowed clippings will suffocate your lawn in those areas. 
    This problem can be minimised by gradually reducing your lawn to its proper height over a period of two or three mowings, rather than scalping it back to that height in one mowing. 
    Using Friendly Robotics Robomow® is the best solution to adjust the mowing frequency to the growing of the grass. You can easily set the proper mowing schedule in a weekly program and RoboMower® will automatically mow your lawn.

     

    Does grasscycling spread lawn disease?
    No! Improper watering and fertilising are the primary causes of disease spread. If an accommodating environment for turf-grass disease is present, infestation will occur whether clippings are collected or not. Watering properly, only when needed (one inch of water every five to six days, in early morning) and keeping your mower blade very sharp for clean cutting will help your lawn resist disease.

    When and how often should I water my lawn?
    Water your lawn early in the morning so water has time to soak into the soil before the heat of the sun causes evaporation. Your lawn needs 1 to 1.5 (3-4cm) of water weekly. Sprinklers should be left on long enough to allow water to soak into the ground but not so long to cause runoff. Deep watering allows grass to develop a deep root system, enabling the lawn to resist disease and drought. Over-watering is wasteful and causes your lawn to grow too fast, resulting in more frequent mowing. 

    Do I have to rake the fallen leaves from my lawn?
    Regrettably, too many people waste their precious weekends raking leaves into piles or shattering the quiet peace of sunny afternoons with leaf blowers. There is a better solution, rather than trying to rid your lawn of fallen leaves, you should actually leave them where they are. It is nature’s way to recycle, after all. Certainly no one is raking up and bagging the leaves that fall in woods and forests. Given a bit of time, all of the leaves are transformed by worms, bacteria, and other organisms into a rich humus, which will continue to feed trees, shrubs, and other plants. Your garden is simply an extension of the same natural process. Trees around your property draw nutrients and minerals from the soil, converting those elements into new leaves and branches. By raking up those leaves, you essentially short-circuit the natural cycle by which nutrients are returned to the soil. After a number of years, the soil will lose its fertility. Friendly Robotics Robomor® has a well-designed mulching deck and blades that rotate 5800 rounds per minute enabling to shred whole leaves into very small pieces. The leaves will disappear into a thin layer of tiny particles easily digested by worms and bacteria. The leaves contain all of the nutrients and micronutrients your lawn needs.