Best practices for homes without gutters

Century Landscape

LawnSite Member
Hey guys,

Looking for advice/ideas. What special considerations do you normally make when installing beds around homes without gutters? Or do you refuse to install beds in these areas without gutters?

When possible, I know it's best to use river rock or pebbles at the drip line to control runoff and erosion, but in some cases, it's not always feasible. Especially at the valleys of the roof, where serious water comes down, it can be a real washout depending on the rain.

Specifically, I'm wondering what you've found that works best as far as the type of mulch you use and dealing with floating, runoff, and erosion. I've heard pine straw is better for this, but haven't used it myself. I know pine bark really doesn't stick well, but it seems some of the others like cypress and eucalyptus don't do too much better.

Any advice?


LawnSite Silver Member
North Jersey
The benefit of gutters goes way beyond the erosion control. I dont want all that water along my foundation. How it is dealt with varies by region. Around here gutters are important, but almost everyone has basements and the soil is very clay like. The use of decorative stone will help slow the erosion some, but the higher the roof the larger the stone needs to be. Gutters are the best bet, unless there is some regional reason why they are not installed in large. There is one product on the market that claims to disperse the water over the landscape rather than dripping in a single location. Like a funny shaped drip edge. Interesting concept, but still does nothing to get the water away from the foundation.
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SDLandscapes VT

LawnSite Senior Member
Essex, VT
For homes without gutters (and we see about 50-50 with/without) I use 18"-24" away from the foundation 1"-1.25" clear crush stone or river rock over fabric on top of a final grade that slopes away from the foundation. Works pretty well--for roof valleys it's best to use a flat stone to disperse the water and avoid serious washing out