I made a trip to Oregon a few weeks ago and I noticed a substantial difference in landscaping practices from where I am from (Middle Tennessee) - I liked what I saw in Oregon. One of the major differences is the use of mulch in landscapes. Although we use use mulch in landscaping, the guys in Oregon seem to use it much more. From what I saw, anywhere that seemed like a person would either have a difficult time growing grass (e.g., around several trees or on steep slopes), or where a person might have to trim with a stringtrimmer, they put mulch. The designs they made with the mulch looked very appealing to me (NOT too deep), both aesthetically and ease of maintaining (mowing). I found two sites (possibly members of Lawnsite) that have pictorial examples of what I am talking about. http://www.lewislandscape.com http://www.creativescapes.com The reason I am bringing this up is that it would seem that the practices of using mulch in this manner would be advantageous to both the landscaper and property owner for the following reasons: 1. Reduction in mowing and trimming time. The properties I saw in Oregon had virtually no trimming, plus the area mulched is inversely porportional to the mowing area. 2. Professional look. 3. Reduction in growing grass in problem areas. I know that Tennessee already has a hard time growing grass (transistion area) - if mulch is applied in these areas, problem areas can be somewhat eliminated. I don't think Oregon has the same problem growing grass - they had the best, greenest looking grass I have ever seen. 4. Better chance to perform preventive maintenence on turf areas that are left. I would think the customer would be able to justify spending a little more on the lawn per sq. foot if he/she had less to take care of and knew there was a better chance the turf would perform like they desire. I think of the 80/20 rule - a person can spend 80% of his/her effort to perform the last 20% of the job. That is, we tend to spend the bulk of the time on a job trying to make it perfect. If we could reduce the these problem areas, less total effort can be spent on making the lawn the way we want it. It seems to me like the guys in the NW has done a good job of this. What do you guys think? Does anyone agree/disagree with the above theories? Some of the examples from Oregon are pretty extreme (only one patch of grass in the middle of the yard) - mainly looking at using the mulch as an aid in providing a professional look and reducing overall lifetime costs of the property. It's something I have thought about for the past few weeks and I would like to pose to the forum for discussion.