Redoing an Old Garden

Denver, CO(Zone 5a)

We've just cleaned up and spaded the old flower garden in front of our porch. It's about 4' x 14'. There are only some old weed roots and a few beat-up weeds remaining. We want to cover the garden with landscape fabric and mulch or gravel, and then plant some xeric flowers. But we don't know how (or if) we should use weed killer before we install the fabric.

I don't really like weed killers because they can affect wild birds, etc., but we don't want to have weeds popping up right away. If weed killer is a good idea, what kind would be best? And some people say we don't even need the landscape fabric. Can someone advise us please? And we'd appreciate any other related help, too. Thank you!

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