The safest way to figure out if you need a charge controller is to take Battery Amp Hour Capacity and divide this by the Solar Panel max. power amp rating. If the quotient is above 200, you don't need a controller. If the number is less than 200 than you need a controller.

For example if you have a 100 amp hour battery and a 10 watt panel, you take 100 and divide it by .6 (600mA) and you get 166.6. Since this is less than 200 you need a charge controller. If you have a five-watt panel in the above example you take 100 divided by .3 (300mA) and you come up with 333.3. Since this is larger than 200 you do not need a charge controller. However you still need a blocking diode, to prevent the battery from discharging to the panel at night. So as a general rule of thumb you don't need a charge controller unless you have more than five watts of solar for every 100-amp hours of battery capacity.