Fine roots compact ground
For the last 2 years my mother has been fighting a loosing battle with fine roots. Wherever she digs the ground is compacted with a mass of fine roots. The roots are not attached to thicker roots. She has to sift the soil so she can work it. She will plant seedlings and after a few weeks the roots have overtaken the bed, matting around the roots of the young plants. The roots become so dense that one has to use a hoe to break up the ground. Watering exacerbates the problem and when watered the broken and unattached roots begin to grow. Mum has worked this garden for over sixty years. Yes there are trees around but there has been for many years. The yard is quite large and the roots are everywhere albeit not visible on the surface. She lives on acreage and is not impacted by neighbours. We are experiencing drought conditions but we have many times over the decades. We have been wondering if these are not just roots but a living organism that looks like roots. Perhaps someone has more knowledge. I have googled and come upon a couple of other similar sounding situations to which no helpful replies were posted.