An Automatic Gardening Assistant
Tertill Weeding RobotThe Terill weeding robot is a moderately sized robot designed to live outside in your garden bed. It is waterproof, weather-resistant, and solar powered. Tertill is designed to run autonomously, cutting weeds as it finds them and skipping over larger plants that you want to keep.Check Price
- Great way to enjoy the garden more and weeding less
- Unique concept with virtually nothing else like it
- Grow Together bundle includes stickers and markers for a fun family activity
- Solar powered and weather-resistant, making it virtually maintenance free
- Pretty basic app with limited features
- Only covers 200 square feet
The Weeding Robot
The Tertill weeding robot is designed to cut down weeds before they have an opportunity to invade your garden. It comes with plant stakes so you can easily partition off small plants that you want to keep, otherwise it will eliminate any plant that is 2″ or less. It is weather-resistant, waterproof, and solar-powered you can sit it outside and let it do the dirty work. In terms of size, the Tertill is smaller than a traditional robot vacuum, but quite a bit taller. The taller height makes it possible for the robot to traverse over rocky terrain or across muddy rows. Overall, the Tertill is a good option for gardeners who want to spend less time pulling weeds.
The Tertill weeding robot is a unique solution to a problem that most gardeners face—how to get rid of invasive weeds.
The top of the Tertill robot weeder has a solar panel charger that allows the robot to sit outside all year long without ever needing to charge up.
All the energy it needs it will get from the sun, which makes the whole setup pretty maintenance free.
The bottom of the Tertill robot has four sharply angled wheels and a spinning single-arm nylon weeder.
Other than those two elements the rest of the underside is pretty simple.
The simple design helps this robot to conserve energy and keep its waterproof design.
How Does It Work?
This weeding robot works by being placed in a contained portion of a garden. It will required raised perimeter edging or some other barrier to stay inside of the garden.
It charges up using energy from the sun and once the battery is charged it will begin weeding.
The Tertill drives around the garden autonomously. There is no fancy mapping technology or any way to set up virtual boundaries.
- When the robot approaches a plant that is less than 2″ tall, it chops.
- When it approaches a plant that is larger than 2″, it saves in.
What if the plant I want to save is a seeding?
If your plant is newly growing, you can put a wire barrier around the plant to tell the Tertill that it is a good plant you want to save.
The concept is that by cutting the weeds to the ground every day, there is no reason to “pull the weeds”. Eventually the unwanted plants will run out of energy and die off.
Also, because the clippings are so small when they are cut, you don’t need to worry about bagging them up for displosal. The weeds will simply shrivel up and die up into the soil, turning into nourishment.
How Big is the Tertill?
The Tertill is quite a bit smaller than most robot vacuums, but it is taller. Unlike robot vacuums (which have to navigate under furniture), the Tertill’s biggest obstacles typically lie on the ground.
The four angled wheels are positioned so the robot can navigate uneven garden terrain and effectively locate the weeds and other plants in question.
The Tertill is:
- 8.25″ diameter
- 4.75″ tall
- 2.7 pounds
For comparison, the average indoor robot vacuum is approximately 12-13″ wide and 3-3.5″ tall.
What’s in the Box?
Wondering what’s in the box? The Tertill actually comes with a pretty wide assortment of parts and accessories. For this review, we received and tested the Grow Together bundle, which includes a number of extras.
Here’s the exact breakdown:
- protects individual plants or rows of plants
- used on the underside of the robot to cut the weeds
Plant ID Stakes
- helps identify your plants
- fun way to add some character to your robot
- for marking plant names on the stakes
- outlines the details of how to use the Tertill and more
To test the performance of a robot vacuum, we have a series of tests we run, but the Tertill is not your ordinary robot.
So we had to develop a new test and for this test, we’d need a garden.
We made a small garden bed and got to work. Here was the process:
- Create garden bed with raised perimeter blocking.
We planted carrot seeds in the 3 rows that you can see marked above. And to keep those seeds protected, we used the metal plant guards provided.
The guards are definitely an important step to ensure that the robot doesn’t accidentally run over the seedling plants after they sprout.
How big of a garden can it cover?
The Tertill can effectively maintain a garden up to 200 square feet.
It’s not an enormous space, but for most casual gardeners, that area coverage would be sufficient.
Our first result is a bit of a sad one…nothing ever grew in our garden. Either our soil was bad for the carrots, the weather was poor, or maybe my wife and I are just inept gardeners (most likely).
In any case, we were not able to test the Tertil removing weeds in our contained garden bed.
As a result, we moved on to a larger test.
Testing Usability & Weeding
Since our garden was a failure, we moved onto testing the Tertil in our larger backyard.
Technically, this is not how the Tertil is recommended to be used. As it really needs a confined space to be most effective.
Even so, we wanted to let the Tertil loose in our backyard to find out:
- If it could navigate over various obstacles
- What sort of objects it would get stuck on
- If it could actually remove weeds
#1 – Navigation
In terms of navigation the Tertil did great. Our backyard is around 0.5 acre and over the course of several days I would find it at various locations around the yard.
It had no trouble dealing with the various surface types in my backyard, which include rocks, small barriers, trees / tree roots, larger plants, concrete, dirt, grass, pool decking, and more.
#2 – Getting Stuck
The only area it struggled with was some of our tree boxes. It was able to come over the top of the box to get inside, but once inside it couldn’t escape. Even so, it’s hard to complain too much about that.
Beyond this issue, it was able to handle all of the other yard obstacles and surfaces without any issues.
#3 – Removing Weeds
Tertil does a good job at removing weeds, provided they are small. Which is really how the whole robot works. Any plant over 2″ tall it views as a plant you want to keep (whether it’s a weed or not).
In my view, it’s more about weed prevention. If you have weeds already established you’ll likely need to remove those first and then set Tertil to patrol and prevent future weed growth.
The Death & Rebirth of Our Tertil
In January we had a huge sleet and hail storm (in addition to rain), which is a rarity in Phoenix. As a result, our Tertil had stopped working and I originally wrote here that it was dead.
However, it seemed it just needed a reset and a few days in direct sunlight.
With that, it started working and is again patrolling my yard high and low in search of woods. So our test continues!
Setup & Usability
Setup and usability of the Tertill is easy. It’s solar-powered and pretty autonomous so all you need to do is place it in the garden and you’re good to go.
There is also an app that integrates with your smartphone if you want some additional features. But I will add, the app feels a little underdeveloped.
It is able to tell you the basics, like how much battery is left on the robot, outside temperature, and solar power as well.
I’d like to see some additional information about performance, the number of weeds removes, working time, etc.
It is possible that these features will continue to develop, but right now the app is pretty basic.
Using the Tertill
After the initial setup, daily use of the Tertill is basic. It charges itself from the sun and when it has enough energy, it will run a weeding cycle.
Because it is able to cut the weeds daily, they are going to be quite short and easier to manage.
Keeping the Tertill running smoothly mainly just involves replacing the weeding nylon spinner as needed.
The frequency of those tasks can change based on use.
Aside from the weeding, there is minimal other maintenance tasks.
There is no weed bag to empty and no battery to manually recharge. Doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Is the Tertill a good value?
So all things considered, is the Tertill weeding robot a good value?
For casual gardeners with a relatively small area coverage and limited time on their hands to de-weed, the Tertill could be a good option.
The value of this product will be the highest for users who really despise weeding or simply don’t have the time to do it. It has a “set it and forget it” approach which makes the Tertill attractive for novice gardeners.
If you have a large garden, you may find that the Tertill isn’t powerful enough to cover the entire area.
|Floor Type||Outdoor; dirt|
|Returns||Varies by retailer|
Should You Buy the Tertill?
I would recommend the Tertill if you want the following in a weeding robot:
- Self-charging: It’s pretty nice that you can leave this robot outside and it will charge itself up in between run cycles. Furthermore, it is also waterproof and weather resistant so the elements won’t be an issue.
- Up to 200 sf coverage: If you have a small garden approx. 200 sf, the Tertill could be a good option. Gardens larger than this will need a 2nd Tertill. Each Tertill can cover 200 square feet.
- Reasonable price: Considering that you can leave this robot outside and it does the dirty work for you, most people would probably consider the Tertill to be a good value. Especially when you consider the value of not having to de-weed your garden and potentially increase overall yield in your garden. There are a lot of things to like about the Tertill weeding robot.
- March 3, 2021 – Our Tertil wasn’t dead. We were able to get it working again and it’s running normally now. Updated our content accordingly.
- February 26, 2021 – Updated the page based on our usability tests.
- December 22, 2020 – Initial version of the page was published.