When Jeff Probst started Turf & Landscape Management in 1991, he was a soon-to-be dad with a handful of employees.
Thirty-one years later, he’s expanded his services from basic lawn care to more comprehensive landscaping in the Severna Park/Annapolis/Davidsonville area — with 12 trucks on the road and about 20 employees, including two of his own children.
“Right now we’re kind of in our sweet spot,” Probst said.
Though he didn’t set out to create a family operated business, Probst has to admit that it’s working. Turf & Landscape Management has clients who have been with them since year one.
“Some of the little things that are the easy things to do — return a phone call or get an estimate out to somebody — seem to be work for some people. That’s the easy part of this job; doing the work is the hard part,” Probst said, “I’ve always been really hard on my kids about that. Every phone call needs to be returned daily. If you run an estimate, you should get that out to them the same day too, and I think that’s gotten us where we are now.”
These days Probst finds himself enjoying the construction side of the business more, such as pool decks, patios and fire pits.
“Green grass doesn’t turn me on anymore,” he said, adding that his son Mark handles the lawn portion of the business now. “I like building things and knowing something’s going to be around for quite some time — doing a big tree planting job or reforestation because that’ll be there longer than you’re going to be here.”
That’s not to say he doesn’t appreciate a well-maintained lawn, though.
What catches Probst’s eye is “a lawn or landscape that is manicured, has seasonal color, and is organized. And organized means there seems to be rhyme and reason for the way things are planted.”
There are some steps homeowners should take now to set the stage for a successful growing season, Probst said. Specifically, pre-emergent weed control for crab grass and mulching to retain moisture and prevent weeds should be laid in April or by early May at the latest. Additionally, now is the time to go through those flower beds to pull weeds and any other plant debris left over from winter storms.
Looking back on his three-plus decades in business, Probst appreciates far more than the transactions and services rendered.
“It’s been an interesting career in that I’ve made a lot of friends through customers over the years,” Probst said. “I’ve had some long-term employees that have been with me for 10-plus years. Seeing them grow, grow families buy a house — knowing that we’re not just going out there and cutting someone’s grass, we’re providing a job that employees can benefit from and grow themselves into.”
To learn more about Turf & Landscape Management, call 410-881-6256 or visit www.turfandlandscapemanagement.com.
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