Yardwork: How much is too much?

Right? The world is full of all sorts and THS reflects that, good and bad.


I have never mowed (?mown, here come the grammar police) a lawn in my life and I am not about to start now. Pass


I have had three sits on ten acre properties which required me to use a zero turn mower, or commonly known as a rideon mower. I knew before accepting the sits that this was included (fairly long sits). But I actually love it, it’s like racing around a go kart track reliving my youth lol Also whipper snipping edges etc including lawn mowing has been a normal part of nearly all sits I have done in Oz. Injury has now confined me to basic household jobs but I really enjoyed it all in the past and going forward I will do it again, health permitting. I’m an outside gal and will be until they put me in that hole in the ground :kangaroo:

@colin. I sure hope not. More than likely, the parents were told of the plans to leave their child with total strangers and they put an end to that and made other arrangements. Also, the grandchild would technically be considered a third party, so the child being there would be against THS rules. Maybe you were lucky that they asked this, as anyone who would even think that this would be acceptable is probably not someone you would want to sit for. Bullet dodged!


We don’t normally do sits long enough to merit lawn mowing. We’re happy to water plants, inside and out and I wouldn’t mind mowing a smaller garden if we were to do a longer sit.

One of our recent repeat sits had a new toy - a robotic mower controlled by an app. We just had to keep an eye on it and rescue it if it became stuck in an uneven area / rabbit hole!

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The instance that I had was when a grandmother sent me a personal invite to look after her pet and grandchild. She told me that she had “inherited” the grandchild and she needed to get away! (This was way before third parties were in the T and Cs)
I advised her to be very careful otherwise she could have social services after her.


I don’t know why anyone would be annoyed, but if that’s happening to you then just make sure you mention it in your profile, then you won’t be expected to do any and they can’t give you a bad review because of it.

I know you’re called @KittyKathy so I’m pretty sure you must focus on cats, but were perhaps the annoyed ones dog owners, as that would be more physically demanding so that’s a slightly more understandable reaction.

I was at a sit in a Sydney flat some weeks ago and they had a robotic vacuum cleaner. I’d say that’s a complete waste of money!

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@HappyDeb that is an interesting theory regarding the dogs; the last lady had 2 cats and they were purely indoors so it may have been something else. I think because she was retired and her gardening was central to her identity she was shocked that someone would not be interested in tending to it.

Hi @ziggy my husband would agree … one of his favorite sits included the Bentley of rideon mowers and stunning grounds. He was a very happy gardener at large!!
Not the actual mower model … But part of the grounds.
We returned four times although a gorgeous Lab, GSD & livery horses were much more appealing than a lawn mower. :wink:


You know how hugely pet-orientated THS is, but I suppose with it being called TrustedHouseSitters it sort-of implies house, garden, and property as a whole. So personally if it’s getting to you then maybe just apply for ones with hanging baskets or pots (if you can tend to those okay), or apartments, or even shorter stay ones where you wouldn’t be expected to cut grass given the length of stay.

@KittyKathy As sitters, we also ask about this during the video chat – before making any decision.

The list of questions we (and all sitters) should ask before deciding whether to accept a sit is truly growing. Look at all the other threads on the Forum.

Just add this item to the list of questions and be vigilant!


This from a current listing:

“Regarding maintenance of the outdoor area, there is a strimming machine and a chainsaw…”

@Angela_L oooh nice machine, Angela! I can imagine hubby most definitely would have been in his element with that one! :rofl: My grounds weren’t quite as picturesque, mainly flat with gum trees. But I had plenty of wildlife as in kangaroos, magpies, Lorikeet, Galahs etc etc etc come in every day and particularly after a fresh mow, they loved picking through the grass. I also had two Australian Terrier dogs to care for who wanted to chase the mower each time but not such a great idea I thought lol Health permitting, I have been invited back for two more long sits, another couple of rideon derbys left in me yet! :kangaroo:


Chainsaw?! Just no!! Certainly in the UK people need to have done a course to use a chainsaw

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It is a good thing to have when there was a storm and the road to the house is blocked by fallen trees.

But I agree: I would ask an experienced neighbour for help with that. In Sweden, more people are killed when clearing roads etc than by the actual storms.

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I wouldn’t have anything to do with a chainsaw even at my own home, much less someone else’s. But if some HOs need that, it’s important to make that clear upfront.

Among folks who RV a lot in the U.S. at least, it’s common to carry a chainsaw, because they cut firewood and clear fallen trees on their travels. On various forested roads, especially narrow ones, it’s easier to cut a fallen tree than to back up an RV down an entire road. Some places aren’t wide enough to turn an RV around.

The listing does go on to say:

“… experience with using garden tools, but you can also get a bit of training once you arrive, it is pretty straightforward but some safety guidelines need to be followed in order to avoid injuries and damage to the equipment.”

The listing does go on and specifically to say they are looking for “people with proven groundskeeping experience”.

Honestly, I am surprised such a listing is permitted based on the enormous amount of work required. And you have to have your own vehicle and be prepared for “access to the property by foot is by a 5-minute walk through a forest road”.

And the property is for sale!

But there are 2 cats!

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some people are just taking the … (you ALL know what I mean)

It needs to be reported

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