You need to think of DOF as an aesthetic rather than technical aspect with shots like these. By adjusting the shutter speed/ISO you can select the aperture according to your aesthetic requirements. If you can't, you live somewhere bright and need an ND filter or two.
There should be a fairly simple way around the time it's taking you to get the shot right. The camera should have a meter giving you suggested values in several modes. Pull up the live histogram with the meter, dial in what the camera suggests and check the histogram. Now twiddle the settings until the histogram is stacked as far to the right as possible without falling off that edge. When you look at this picture on the lcd, it may well look over exposed but don't sweat that (as long as the histogram is not blow at the right) pull it back to where you want it in LR. This way, you minimise noise and maximise shadow detail. The good news is that what you've posted look fine exposure wise.
I don't like the colours though. They are really muddy. I can't see an obvious colour cast (you'd adjust it out using the WB sliders or the pipette in LR - in camera WB settings are for jpg shooters and masochists shooting under sodium or stage lighting) but I would have a play to make them more pleasing and I'd ramp the saturation up too.
Again, these pics could use some more sharpening too.
"Fixing it in post" is more often than not an excuse for sloppy field technique. That said, post work is also of essential importance to making quality pictures (unless you are Ken Rockwell!)