Posted: 19/07/2013 at 09:43
Good luck, DLG! Have faith - the glyphosate will work, eventually - you might have to accept that your first year in your new house is mainly about getting it 'clean', but it will be worth it next year, honest! Also, I'd say don't expect to get rid of every last weed - you have not failed if you still get quite a few coming up here and there, that's just the nature of gardening. You're aiming just to get a bit ahead of the game and clear the worst of them out of the way.
Don't lose heart with the digging - once you've got most of the ground clear and your plants in, then you ought to have minimal digging needed - especially if you are able to stay on top of it with really, really regular light hoeing and snipping through the season - a little and often works well.
Finally, I've discovered the joys of mulch! We put a thick, thick layer of leafmould down over winter, and it is a delight because although some weeds (eg ground elder, grrrrr) still come through they are really easy to get out because they have been seduced up into this lovely loose layer of mulch that their roots can't get a good grip on.
So hang on in their and don't get downhearted - the first year is the toughest and IT IS ALL WORTHWHILE! Enjoy, and let us know how you get on.
PS there are stronger weedkillers you can use IF you don't intend to plant anything in the soil afterwards - eg where you are going to have paths etc. But I assume that doesn't apply?