Short white fibers in soil, crusty surface w/tiny spirals

Annapolis, MD

Since getting a load of shredded bark mulch last year I have noticed several concerning things in my garden. Not sure if they are related to the mulch or not.

(1) I have those UGLY, DISGUSTING, SMELLY orange dog fungi that attracts flies.
(2) When I dig down to plant, the soil is loaded with short white fibers.
(3) End of last season the surface got "crusty" and there were tiny spiral-looking, almost shell-like formations all over the ground near the plants. There seemed to be a lot of webs around the plants too. The crustiness was such that if I tried to dig, the crust would break into hand-size "plates" of the crust that came out in large pieces. Weird.

Can someone tell me what the white fibers and crusty shells are?

Thank you!

Bozeman, MT


Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

The slime fungus looks gross but won't hurt your plants, but keeping things a little on the drier side may help stop it from forming. The short white fibers are likely roots from another plant that is either nearby, or something that used to be in that spot but died. But a picture would help confirm. The crust sounds like it could be something I've seen when mulch gets a bit matted down and the bottom part of it starts to decompose but can't say for sure without seeing it so again a picture would help.

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