How to Stop Robotic Mowers Going Over Flower Beds

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Robotic mowers are a great timesaver and it will surprise you just how powerful and agile they are. The more rugged mowers cope with all sorts of surfaces and terrain and will even cross your garden path to get the job done.

You can run into problems with a robotic mower if you have a flowerbed in the center of your lawn as these bots may not recognize your begonias and zinnias as being anything more than overgrown grass to be mowed down.

A robotic mower can easily go over flowerbeds so you have to take action to ensure that the mower leaves your flowers well alone.

robotic mower and flower bed

In this quick article, we will outline some effective methods for stopping your robotic mower from accessing flowerbeds and other areas of your lawn you want untouched. 

A robotic lawnmower can easily mow A flower bed down

Because manufacturers design robotic mowers to handle gradients and uneven terrain, a flower bed that is level with the grass will be fair game.

Flowers and even low-growing shrubs cannot withstand the powerful mowing deck and centrifugal blade action of robotic mower blades.

You can see just how powerful the cutting action of these autonomous mowers is in this video of a Husqvarna mower cutting down weeds, briars, and vines:

Here are some effective ways in which you can keep your flower bed robotic mower-free

To ensure that your robot mower does not access your flower bed you have to have to make it clear to the bot that your flowers are in an area that is off-limits.

This can be done using a physical barrier that the robot mower cannot pass or making use of the mowers sensor and signal-based navigational system.

Here are some methods to try:

Surround the flower bed with perimeter wire

Perimeter or boundary wire is a continuous loop of wire that your robot mower relies on to detect its boundary so it can navigate your lawn.

The wire, which is connected to the charging station of the robotic mower, acts like a giant antenna, emitting a continuous signal that the robot can detect and use.

If you run perimeter wire around your flowerbed the robot will not cross the detected boundary and damage your plants. Simply loop a length of the wire and connectors and peg it into place around the edge of the flowerbed.

Paving blocks or stones can form a barrier

To help your robotic mower navigate a more complex lawn arrangement, physical obstructions can also be helpful.

Placing a boundary that your robotic mowers ultrasonic sensors can detect means that the bot will change direction when it approaches the flowerbed.

For physical obstructions to be effective, they have to create a barrier with a height that the sensor can detect.

Some creative landscaping can surround your prized blooms with boulders, stones, or bricks that will prove impenetrable to your robotic mower. 

robotic mowers

Consider planting flowers in a raised bed

An alternative physical barrier for prized plants is a raised bed that provides an instant blockage for a wandering robotic mower.

Raised beds not only protect your flowers from being accidentally mown but also prevent weeds, have better drainage, and are warmer for a longer growing season. It is also less likely a ball or enthusiastic pet will land in the middle of your flowers too.

You can experiment with a variety of designs using wooden or plastic sides for a store-bought or DIY raised bed. 

In a large garden with multiple flower beds in the lawn, divide the grass up into zones

If you have expansive grounds with multiple flower beds, you may need to divide up the lawn into specific zones for your mower to work on individually to minimize the risk of flowers being chopped up.

Some models of robot mowers allow you to create different zones for mowing in your garden. You can assign grassed areas as the main area, adjoining areas, and separate areas with their own start points and mowing schedule. 

Lastly, turf over your flower bed and move it to a more convenient location

Getting a new robotic lawn mower may be a juncture for reconsidering the layout of your garden. A whole grassed area is going to be easier for you and your mower than flower beds, trees, and other obstacles.

If that is the case, you can simply dig up the flowers, remove any excess soil and returf and level your lawn. Plant your flowers along the border of your lawn or perhaps use containers that you can move easily. 

If you want your robotic mower to dodge your flower bed, these features may be of interest

In avoiding flowerbeds and other obstacles in your garden, your robotic mower can miss edges and narrow passages which may not end up looking as tidy as they could.

High-specification robotic mowers come with thoughtful features that help you get every bit of grass in your lawn properly mowed. Look for the following features:

  1. Edge mowing: this feature enables robot mowers to mow the grass right up to the edge of the lawn. In some mowers, they offset the cutting blades to ensure that the mower keeps every bit of the lawn smart.
  2. Narrow passage mowing: Some robot mowers are specifically engineered to mow along narrow passages in your garden. These nimble models ensure that every bit of grass gets cut in awkward spaces and corners too. 

Rounding up

Robotic mowers can exist side by side with all sorts of garden features, but it often takes some creative thinking for your mower not to be hampered by obstacles.

Using the onboard technology of your robotic mower and some basic landscaping to your advantage should mean that your perennials will bloom year after year!