Let’s face it – weeding our gardens is the worst thing about gardening. The situation can get even less exciting if it is scorching hot outside, and if the mosquitoes and gnats are out in full force, taking care of a garden can be a real hassle. Luckily, the robots are here to save the day. The Tertill Robot Garden Weeder is exactly what it sounds like – a robot that weeds your garden for you! Of course, it would only make sense that the Tertill Robot is green and looks very similar to an indoor Roomba or other self-sufficient robot vacuum.
There’s no doubt that indoor Roombas, produced by tech company iRobot, have been revolutionary for home cleaning, so why not utilize that same concept in the yard? Helen Greiner, who worked for iRobot in the early days of the beloved Roomba, has carried on the concept of the Tertill Robot as CEO of the company and has made it into quite a successful venture.
In April of 2021, Greiner told Forbes that sales of the Tertill Robot were up a staggering 600 percent compared to a year earlier. She stated that “people are spending more time at home and have time to put in a garden. As people go back to work and start to vacation again, Tertill will be an even bigger help keeping the gardens well maintained.”
So, what is the Tertill Robot Garden Weeder, and do you need one? Read on for more information about this revolutionary garden tool.
How It Operates
As you might expect, the Tertill Robot has larger wheels than an indoor robot vacuum so that it can run seamlessly throughout a garden (more on this later). The weed eater runs off of solar energy, which is retrieved through the nifty rectangular solar panel on the top of it. This means it charges itself instead of needing to be plugged in, and it will know when it has enough battery to roll around and do its job.
Similar to Roombas and lawn mowing robots, the Tertill Robot has a nylon string on the bottom that spins to cut the weeds. Additionally, the wheels are able to intelligently “scrub” the soil to automatically snip emerging weeds. Using sensing technology, the four-wheel drive Tertill Robot can get a “feel” of whether a plant is healthy or if it is a pesky weed that needs to be eaten. Any plants over an inch high will not be cut, whereas anything under an inch will be cut. Since the weeds the Tertill Robot cut are small, they go back into the soil and replace the nutrients into the soil, leading to a healthy garden with no weeds.
If you want to keep a small plant that the Tertill Robot would otherwise cut, the weed eater comes with ten so-called “plant guards” that you can place around the desired plant(s) and the robot will not cut them. The Tertill Robot also comes with “row guards” that do the same thing as well as replacement nylon cutters (AKA “whackers”). Of course, owners can buy more of these guards and replacements on Tertill’s website.
It is important to note that given the Tertill Robot’s process of only cutting anything under an inch high, a garden has to be cleaned up of any existing high weeds for the robot to function as intended. For this reason, most users have their Tertill Robots run every day so that pesky weeds do not grow high enough to the point where they have to be pulled.
Unlike many indoor robot vacuums, the Tertill Robot does not have mapping or programming technology, so users need to make sure to have a border of some sort to contain the robot within the garden and not let it stray into other areas. These borders generally have to be 4 inches high or taller to prevent the Tertill Robot from leaving the garden, but any form of barrier will work, whether it is a brick border, wire fencing, railroad ties, and so on.
The company says that one Tertill Robot can cover a 20 foot by 10-foot garden, or somewhere around 200 square feet. Of course, the Tertill Robot is waterproof and can sustain rain and snow. The Tertill Robot is easy to operate, as users just have to press a single button for it to take off and start cutting weeds. Aside from periodically replacing the cutter, the robot requires very little maintenance.
Various companies sell robot weeders for agricultural and farming purposes, but they are priced at tens of thousands of dollars. Luckily, if you’re just looking for a robot weed eater for your small garden, you can find the Tertill Robot Garden Weeder on Amazon for just $349.00. If you order a gift bundle, you get the robot plus extra guards and whackers for $399.00.
Of course, as with any sort of robot traveling through an open space (whether it be indoors or outdoors), the Tertill Robot can get stuck on objects and would need to be moved to continue running. This can be irritating, as it defeats the purpose of the robot weeder doing its job with no human interaction. Tertill recommends users regularly make sure their robots are not stuck on anything while they are running, especially after new plantings or bad weather conditions.
Of course, the area space that one robot can cover may also be an issue for some gardeners. Current owners report that their robots don’t do great in gardens larger than the area that Tertill recommends, meaning they can simply go in a circle or they miss a lot of weeds. For this issue, Tertill recommends users buy multiple robots for any gardens larger than a 200 square foot garden. This increases costs, and many people may not have the budget for additional robots.
Ultimately, weeds have always been a chief complaint when it comes to yardwork, so the Tertill Robot has been a game changer for many gardeners and outdoor lovers. As with any technology, it is to be expected that Tertill will continue to upgrade and improve the Tertill Robot Garden Weeder in the coming years to add more features, capabilities, and user-friendly options for owners. Greiner also hinted they may be looking to create smaller versions for smaller gardens, so be on the lookout if you’re interested for a robot for your small garden.