Gravel as mulch

I would like to convert an area covered by iceplant, 20 x 40 feet, from iceplant to ornamental gravel. It's more work than I can handle at my age.
I am getting conflicting info re covering the soil under the gravel. What are the relative advantages/disadvantage of using black plastic, permeable plastic cloth or just put the gravel on the existing soil?
Part of the area is level, part is at a medium slope.
Can anyone speak from experience? Any URLs?
Thanks for all input
--
Walter
www.rationality.net
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With nothing under it, weeds will grow up through the gravel and you'll hate it. Open the phone book and find a real garden center that sells the kind of black material used by professional landscapers. It's tougher than black plastic - sort of a fibrous material that I can't describe.
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Hmmmm .... That "fibrous material" is called "road tarp". That is what I put under my deck with gravel on top of it. Three years later -- no weeds -- no standing water. It is heaver than "landscaping tarp".
Road tarp will let water drain into the ground and does not let anything grow through. Plastic may not let the water soak into the ground. Weeds will grow through the gravel only.
One other thing I did --- which is a complete sin -- by many here. Before I put down the road tarp, I .. I ... used ortho's "Total Kill". I know, I know - I will burn in Hell for that :(
Also I am no expert here by any means- just a humble beginning gardener - even my felt flowers are dying :)
Enjoy Life ....... Dan
--
Email "dan lehr at comcast dot net". Text only or goes to trash automatically.

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Dan L. wrote:

Did something similar.
After using the vegetation killer to zap what was rowing, turned over all the dirt and leveled it. Then used Preen / Casaron (sp) on the dirt. Added the fabric. Added more Preen / Casaron on p of fabric. Added 3 inches of gravel. Four years. No weeds.
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wrote:

The permeable allows the area to drain and dry out, eliminating the possibility of stagnant water. I built a wooden border, tacked permeable plastic landscape fabric, then filled in with gravel. The border help to contain the gravel and creates a pleasing boundary. There are no strict rules, but I'd have some concern about not having a border with a slope. Regardless if you use landscape fabric or not, there will be weeds to remove but the fabric will help delay the weeding.

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http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/gravel/gravel.htm
we leveled our back yard by hoeing and pushing the dirt to level it. deep digging will, I fear, raise all those weed seeds and set them to grow. We put the thin fabric barrier down and then the pea gravel. we got some greens growing up thru, but mostly each spring there are seeds that germinate. we dont use any chemicals. just gravel will sink down into the soil.. forever. my parents had a long private drive that needed gravel nearly every year for 50 years. in spring the cars would drive over the soft area the gravel would get pushed down, the mud would squirt up (clay) we want the back yard to be a water sink to keep the house from getting flooded. the permeable stuff works fine. we have a slope out at the dacha where we just put gravel around the ponds and I am sure that it will need to be terraced a bit to keep the gravel from sliding off. we will use some treated wood to do that. Ingrid

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