FAMILY LANDSCAPING & SOD FARM.
Roots in Agriculture.
The story of Lucas Landscaping & Turf Farm starts in Garrett County, Maryland in the early 1980’s. At the time Adam Lucas Sr. and Genevive Lucas oversaw the family dairy farm on Jasper Riley Road. Adam Lucas Jr. and his 3 sons worked on the then family dairy farm at 846 Jasper Riley Road. The dairy farming business required hard work, long hours and a whole lot of help. During these years Adam Jr. had the idea of starting a second business to help provide for the family.
Landscaping is a Family Affair.
This idea was inspired by family relatives who owned successful landscaping and nursery operations in Akron Ohio. Adam Jr’s, younger brother and Southern Garrett High School alumni Paul Lucas had started an extremely successful landscape design and construction company called PL Landscape. There is also the Uncle of both Adam Jr. and Paul named Stanley Lucas (Brother to Adam Sr.) whom has owned and operated Lucas Landscaping and Nursery in Barberton, Ohio since the late 1940’s. Lucas Landscaping Ohio (as I call it) is the longest running nursery and landscape company in the area. These relative businesses have been an inspiration the whole way. We are stronger and more knowledgeable from the collective landscaping experience shared by all.
Lucas Nursery was born near Red House.
Our leap into the landscaping business was “head first” in the early 1980’s. With some planning help from family in Ohio, Lucas Nursery was established at the family farm near Red House (see photos), about 10 miles south of Oakland on Rt. 219. As Lucas Nursery, we purchased bare root tree and shrub stock. Both trees and shrubs were potted and planted and grown for retail sale right there at the farm. There were typically 100-200 quality ornamental trees and 200 quality looking shrubs. At this time Daniel Lucas was roughly 8 years old and started learning plant names and characteristics. Daniel, Jonathan and Matthew (sons of Adam Jr.) all spent time learning proper watering, pruning and maintenance which formed the foundation for our knowledge today. Our selection of trees included quality Red Maples, Flowering Crab Apple Trees, Amelanchiers, Pin Oaks and Dogwoods. Shrubs included Rhododendrons, Spirea, Junipers, Spruce and Mugo Pine. There is no other landscaper around whom has been working hands on with ornamental landscape plants…..as long as we have.
Early Installation and Landscape Construction Jobs.
At the same time Lucas Nursery (Red House) started selling quality plant materials to the public, we also began performing installation on jobs in Oakland and Deep Creek Lake. The nursery served as a home base with a mulch pile, river rock and field stone stacked on pallets. After some basic marketing in the local phone book and radio, the phone began to ring with interest in landscaping installation jobs. This was at a time in the mid 1980’s when development at Deep Creek Lake was really taking off. We planted lots of trees, installed seeded lawns at first and built walkways out of the old brick “holland” style pavers (before the onset of the concrete pavers). This early experience provided a sound foundation in honest business practices and doing a good job….every time.
Starting the Sod Farm.
Today Lucas Landscaping & Turf farm utilizes a fancy automated sod harvester to take the sod out of our fields. The current machine rolls and stacks the sod neatly on a pallet automatically due to the miracle of modern engineering. However it wasn’t always that easy.
With the nursery established near Red House and a seemingly strong demand for professional lawn installation in Garrett County, it seemed a logical decision to test the waters with sod farming. Also aiding in the decision to try sod farming was the fact that the dairy farm and traditional agriculture business was struggling. High labor costs, high feed costs, machinery and farm maintenance all started to not make sense given the low milk prices. The farm fields, however, were still there and ready to be planted with sod. It appeared that sod would be an opportunity to make better use out of the farm acreage. As a farmer, Adam Jr. was always looking for ways to better utilize our fields for efficiency and profit.
Sod offered a more instant alternative to seed with less maintenance and no weeds from the get go. It was easy enough to plant and grow but early harvesting for sale was rough. Initially we utilized a RYAN walk-behind sod cutter as shown in photo. Someone then followed the machine on the ground with a yard stick and a flat shovel to cut each piece to length. The pieces were then folded and stacked on a trailer for sale or delivery to job sites. Needless to say, this was a lot of hard work. Keep this in mind when you compare work ethic among various landscaping companies at Deep Creek Lake.
Business Slowed From 1999-2009.
Starting around 1999 business began to slow on the Landscape Construction side of things as Daniel, Jonathan and Matthew attended college and focused on gaining valuable experience. Our business has always been run in a very hands on fashion by family members. As the current generation attended college and work, it took away the ability to manage landscape construction projects. During these years, Adam Jr. primarily focused on growing the sod farm business as he could cut and sell sod without leaving the farm. The sod farm became a lean and efficient machine without the same amount of help around. Daniel attended college at West Virginia University and achieved a degree in Landscape Architecture. Jonathan attended University of Maryland for a few years and Matthew also went on to achieve a degree in Marketing from WVU. After graduation, Daniel was offered a position in Wilmington, North Carolina working for a renowned Landscape Architecture and Land Planning Firm. It wasn’t until 2009 that the family was re-united in Garrett County and re-focused attention on the landscape design and construction side of the business.
Back In Action!
Since 2009, Lucas Landscaping & Turf Farm has picked up where we left off and we are better than ever. This renewal of the landscape construction business has not been without its challenges. There is a whole lot more competition in today’s business environment and deep creek lake development has slowed since the early 90’s boom. Today we focus on building unique projects that stand apart from the competition. Skilled Natural Stone Integration, Deer Proof Plants and Unrivaled custom design set us apart from the norm. Today we are more capable than we have ever been. There has never been a better time to talk to us about your next landscaping or sod lawn installation project.