Question about installing natural stone steps on a small hill

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Old 10-22-18, 08:22 AM
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Question about installing natural stone steps on a small hill

I live in the northeast and I have an upper and a lower yard which I would like to connect with some 3ft wide, 6 in high and 16" deep natural stone steps. There is currently a 3ft step down from the upper yard to the lower yard I need to fill in before I can install the steps leading the rest of the way down to the yard where I will eventually build a patio but I can;t find many resources online with instructions for how to do this type of project.
I was told to remove all of the soil and composted yard debris (which currently makes up the majority of the material of the slope I want to install the steps on) until I reach the sandy base layer, then bring in 3/4 in gravel to build the slope back up before I can begin to install the steps. Does this sound right? My question is:

How do I compact the gravel to make it as solid a slope as I can? I know I can use a plate compactor but what system should I use for compacting it...in other words would I compact it every couple of feet or every 6 inches? Also...how wide do I have to go with the gravel? I am limited by property lines so I can only go so wide...does it have to be a certain width? Once I lay the gravel and get ready to install the steps, should I use concrete to set the steps in place and should I start installing them from the top down or from the bottom up? Once complete, I'd like to cover all of the gravel in soil...how many inches of soil should I lay down so I can install plants etc in the spring? Should I use any sort of landscaping material in the project to keep the weeds to a minimum?
Thanks so much for your help.
 
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