Roots sapping my garden
I'm new to Alabama gardening having just moved here from Nebraska. I have been a lifelong gardener and know my way around the dirt, but I have came upon something I've not had to deal with in the Midwest. I live in Homewood and put a small vegetable garden in last fall. I put 6" of new soil in over the clay so they'd have good dirt. I noticed that the plants didn't grow well and looked small and anemic. When I pulled up the broccoli I noticed that there were a lot of small roots throughout the whole bed. They almost formed a mat in the soil. This spring I planted green beans and they look horrible, pale green and spindly. I've taken to fertilizing them every week and they look a bit better now. What is this that is stealing the water and nutrients in my soil and how do I get rid of it?