How do I install a ground spike for an outdoor umbrella clothes dryer?

Nothing smells as sweet as sheets dried in the summer sun. Not only is outdoor laundry drying easy and convenient, but a clothesline saves money and energy. An umbrella clothes dryer is one of the most space-saving forms of a clothesline. It offers the most drying line in the smallest possible space and folds for easy storage. There are several different clothesline spikes available. Some spikes say that they do not need concrete. However, soft earth after a rain or heavy clothing can cause a poorly installed ground spike to shift.

Choose a spot for the umbrella clothesline. It must be away from landscaping, lawn furniture and other impediments. It should also be in direct sunlight and in an area that allows for the free flow of air.

Dig a hole as deep as the ground spike and several inches wider. Place the brick or stone in the bottom. Use the spike as a measurement. Place it in the hole and make sure that when the base is resting on the stone, the top of the spike clears the ground by at least 2.5 cm (1 inch), but no more than 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inches). This allows a lawnmower to go over the spike with plenty of clearance.

Mix the cement according to the directions on the package.

Place the spike in the hole and put the yardstick into the hole of the spike. Hold the level against the yardstick to make sure that the spike is straight.

Pour concrete around the spike, adjusting it to keep the spike straight. Make sure that the concrete remains about 2.5 cm (1 inch) below the lip of the spike.

Hold the spike straight until the cement begins to harden. Place the lolly sticks on all four sides to hold the spike steady until the cement is thoroughly dry. Depending on the cement and weather conditions, this may be as long as two days.

Place the centre pole of the umbrella clothes dryer on the spike.


The dryer and the spike can be bent or damaged during heavy winds, so be sure to remove the umbrella clothes dryer during inclement weather.

Things You'll Need

  • Ground spike for clothes dryer
  • Shovel
  • Small piece of brick or flat rock
  • Bag of concrete
  • Level
  • Metre rule
  • 4 lolly sticks (optional)
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About the Author

Based in Nashville, Shellie Braeuner has been writing articles since 1986 on topics including child rearing, entertainment, politics and home improvement. Her work has appeared in "The Tennessean" and "Borderlines" as well as a book from Simon & Schuster. Braeuner holds a Master of Education in developmental counseling from Vanderbilt University.