So I was at my old allotment getting the rest off my stuff together including my raspberries when my 87 year old plot neighbour turned up. He's an ex farm hand and has had his allotment for the last 35 years, so I mostly trust what he says, and his advice and help over the last year was invaluable to me for my first year.
I was telling him how it was taking me ages on the new plot to dig it over for the first time since the couch grass and bindweed roots are taking so long to pull up (they seem to be in patches rather than everywhere, but I was trying to get as much up as possible when I did find them).
His reply was, "you silly s*d, check for yourself, those roots go well beyond 5 feet deep in the soil so you'll never get rid of them. They just go too deep." (He's right, they do go too deep, although I've not checked to his 5 feet)
I already knew about the fact that if you cut them up they shoot from that tiniest of roots again. And he said that's fine. His advice was to stop wasting time with my digging, give the whole plot a light forking to loosen all the soil, then to rotavate it all the other way (knowing I have a mantis now) a few times to break down the soil to the right consistency for sowing. When you inevitable find the new weeds popping up either pull them up from the soil as most of their roots won't be that deep, or paint them with glyphosate to try and kill them and the roots.
Now, I am time limited, as I am travelling a few days in the next couple if weeks for work and were on holiday for the first two weeks of April. Ideally I want to get the whole thing dug over, ready for owing when we get back from holiday. Does anyone else take this approach to their lotty?
In terms of using glyphosate to paint the weeds, I'm not against this as I don't tend to go in for the whole organic thing anyway. It's nice, but not ultimately why I have the lotty.