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Planting for Wells and Pipelines

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Installation, maintenance, and repair of wells or pipelines disrupt local ecosystems. After these activities, energy companies will restore the landscape.

Planting the appropriate native seed mixes can significantly reduce the impacts of disturbance activities on the natural habitat. Cultivating native plants supports ecosystem health by creating pollinator-friendly sites, reducing runoff, sequestering carbon, and promoting overall soil health.

Our native seed mixes have been specifically designed to provide the maximum environmental benefit while providing equivalent performance to traditional non-native seed mixes. There are mixes available for rights-of-ways and stormwater basins.

Rethinking Design for Oil and Gas Utility Cover

Using native seed mixes gives engineers, installers, and project managers a tool to reduce erosion and sedimentation while improving the biodiversity of a site. Other key benefits of planting regionally appropriate native species include increased soil health and water quality.

Yellow flowers in a forest
This former well pad is bringing ecological value back to the landscape.

Seed mixes are formulated for different sites, pH levels, soil conditions, and light conditions. Utility cover mixes include the ERNMX-122 (FACW), ERNMX-131 (OBL), ERNMX-178 (riparian), pipeline mix with switchgrass, quick erosion control mix, native steep slope mix with annual ryegrass, and a mix for strip mines and gas production sites.

Civil engineers, installers, landscape architects, and regulators need to consider the intended use of land near a gas well or pipeline and the site’s environmental conditions when selecting the right conservation seed mix. For example, where pipelines pass through forested areas, a pipeline right-of-way can be planted with pollinator friendly mixes. Beyond pollinators, these mixes support other beneficial insects, songbirds, game birds, and other wildlife. Also, these plantings can provide connectivity between high quality habitats along the right-of-way. Our experience has found that appropriate seed mixes with diverse flora support diverse fauna.

Considerations for Beautification With Oil and Gas Utility Cover

A site can be made more beautiful by selecting the appropriate native wildflower meadow mix. The mix selected should take into consideration the site’s slope, hydrology, light conditions, and climate. Consideration should also be given for whether there will be walking paths through or along the site for the public to interact with the landscape. A seed mix that supports pollinators will also support other beneficial insects and songbirds.

Sometimes these sites have little or no topsoil. Measures may need to be taken to improve the soil. An option can be to incorporate 1”-2” of compost into the soil prior to planting.

Bee on a white flower
Embankment of a creek

Working With Companies for Planting Success

Ernst Seeds supports customer success and satisfaction by providing advice and resources. Our Seed Finder Tool can assist you with identifying potential seed mixes for your oil and gas project. Should you need assistance with mix selection or custom formulation, our sales team is ready to assist you.

For greatest success with your plantings, visit our online resource center where you will find our establishment guides and seedling gallery. Our establishment guides contain tips on site preparation, planting, and maintenance. To help you confirm that your meadow is growing, see our seedling gallery.

Appropriate Seed Mixes Make the Difference

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The key to a successful oil and gas cover project is the use of the appropriate native or naturalized species in a seed mix. Some factors that will determine the appropriate species for your site are your climate, soil condition, light conditions, and site hydrology.

Contact us with your questions about using seed for oil and gas utility cover, and don’t forget to check out our Seed Finder Tool. Please complete the form at the bottom of the page or call us at 800-873-3321.

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