Subsurface root system in my soil

Asked May 26, 2015, 11:08 PM EDT

I have a complex "root" population that seems to be in all the soil in my yard. It gets really thick about 4-6 inches below the surface. The roots become so dense it's difficult to turn the soil. The "roots" don't seem to be attached to a surface plant. Even when I build raised beds and fill them with fresh (purchased) soil, within one growing season the roots appear in the soil in the beds. I believe that they are affecting the growth of my plants but I don't know what they are or how to get rid of them. A small bunch is shown in the attached pix. Thanks for your help. Jim Schwartz 503-641-6320

Washington County Oregon horticulture soil and fertility issues

1 Response

Hello,
As you know, it is difficult to identify a plant from a photo of the roots. The photo doesn't give a sense of scale, but my guess it is a perennial. It could be fine feeder roots extending from a tree in a neighbor's garden or your own. Have a look at this you tube video to see whether this makes sense in your situation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20KFT61nwN0.

I've seen something similar (although i don't think as extensive) with Robert's geranium: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/471991. That link also has a guide to common weeds in Portland.

I hope this helps.
Nick