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Spring Gardening Checklist

As the misery of winter thaws and the days draw out we can begin readying our gardens for another wonderful summer. Here are some tips for your spring gardening checklist:

Check the Deck!

Decking and Patio

This is a great time for any DIY and emergency repairs needed before you begin inviting friends and family round for garden parties. Also, use the Spring months to get rid of pesky weeds and moss you have been avoiding all winter. Check fences for damage and pick up twigs, leaves or winter debris.

Check Tools

While you are going to get the hammer to mend a broken fence, check other tools; such as the hand pruners, flower shears, hoe, spade and trowel. These may need sharpening, ready for all that digging and pruning. Think about sending your lawn mower for servicing or check it is in working order.

How is the Lawn?

Patches of fusarium or snow mould may appear over autumn and winter months. Look for yellowish, dying grass. To fix your lawn, improve aeration and drainage with techniques such as scarifying and spiking. Allowing the air to flow into the garden also helps, so cut back over hanging trees. A handy tip: give grass an extra lift with a quick rake.

Don’t let the Soil Spoil

To revive soil, begin by raking away old mulch and tidying up boundaries or borders with an edging tool. Add a layer of compost over the soil, avoiding the crown of plants. Look into getting fertiliser, but keep in mind that some plants may need special fertiliser. Finally, add a 1 to 2 inch layer of organic mulch to retain moisture and maintain soil nutrients.

Animals

Slugs

Slugs love the mix of warm weather with damp conditions. Be ready for their possible invasion with traps and barriers to hold them back. Scoop out half an orange and place it in the garden or sink half a jar of beer into the soil near vulnerable plants. Moisture absorbent minerals and slug pellets also help.

Birds

Wooden birdbath in garden with male house finch in it

Birds eat slugs. Encouraging birds to your garden keeps the threat of slugs away. Removing fallen leaves helps the birds see naughty pests easier, so keep your garden as clear as you can. Remember to clean the bird bath and bird feeder.

If you would like to leave out food, the RSPB recommends black sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal and soaked raisins in addition to soft apples, pears or bananas. Loose peanuts, dry foods and large chunks of bread create choking hazards for chicks so are not recommended.

In the Pond

Pond algae and weed growth appears around springtime so give your pond a good clean. Start feeding fish and when the sun comes out turn the water fountain on.

Plants and Pruning

Thawed Ground

Watering can, plant pots, spade, hat, gloves and flowers on garden lawn

A thawed ground makes planting easier. However, spring months are often victim to late frosts, even up until May. There are plenty of ways to avoid frost damage. We suggest planting “weaker” plants in sun spots or using organic mulch as a natural insulator for the ground around plants.

What to Plant?

What should you be planting through spring?

  • Tender summer-flowering bulbs.
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Bareroot trees
  • Shrubs
  • Perennials
  • Container-grown plants
  • Roses
  • Pond plants (especially oxygenating plants)

What to Prune?

Take a good look around the garden. Look for damaged or diseased branches. Before trimming, step back and see how the plant stands. Check the branch structure and look for nesting birds before clipping. Any branch smaller than an inch in diameter can be cut with pruning shears while larger limbs should be cut with a pruning saw. We recommend removing some of the oldest branches at the base to encourage new growth.

Shape evergreen hedges with a light sheering and rejuvenate old vines and shrubs with a heavy trimming. Divide perennials which clump together to maintain year-on-year performance.

Summer is on its way!

Getting in the garden early and doing all the dirty work is an exciting time because it means one thing: summer is on its way! It allows you to enjoy the early bloomers, such as daffodils and snowdrops. Finally, putting the hard work in now means your garden will look spectacular for when you want to relax on a lounger in the summer.

Why Buy a Cross Trainer?

Struggling to decide if you want a Cross Trainer for your home or not? Our infograph gives you the benefits:

Everdure by Heston Blumenthal at the Spring Fair 2017

The much anticipated Everdure by Heston Blumenthal BBQ collection was displayed at the 2017 Spring Fair during February. Buyers visited the huge event spread over multiple halls at the Birmingham NEC arena, with people coming to the Everdure by Heston Blumenthal stand to view the exciting, new BBQ’s.

Healthy Snacks to Eat at Your Desk

They say a workout starts in the kitchen. Whilst sat at your desk, either in the office or at home, it is easy to go through a pack of biscuits throughout the day. We are sometimes guilty of it at the Kettler office! But instead of a packet of chocolate, why not try healthy alternatives to graze on while hard at work.

Here’s what healthy snacks we are eating at Kettler HQ:

Detail of a nut mix in a plastic bowl.Nuts

Nuts are packed with protein for better recovery after exercise as it repairs muscle tissue. Nuts fit into a nice little container and provide a filling snack to replace chocolate sweets.

A womans hand holding a mix of dried fruits.Dried Fruit

Dried fruit or freeze dried fruit is a healthy little snack for a sweet tooth. High in fiber and low in calories makes this a perfect little treat with a variety of choices available in your local supermarket. Plus the natural sugar gives us the good kind of energy we need to get through the working day.

A Good Dip

A healthy dip, such a hummus is very en vogue when it comes to snacks. Hummus is great because it reduces the risk of cancer, lowers cholesterol and is rich in protein. Also, it is filling, comes in plenty of flavours and is easy to make in the kitchen!

What About Lunch Time?

As previously mentioned, a workout starts in the kitchen. Why not prepare something healthy the night before you come into work? Claire, our Fitness Customer Services Manager, regularly posts her delicious pre-made lunches on her Instagram account, @claire.morganlee, while Niki, our Internal Sales and Logistics Administrator, tucks into a tasty salad at lunch time.

Fruit

It is a standard, staple part of any healthy diet. While snooping around the office I found plenty of tasty fruit, accompanied by a bowl of porridge.

Green Tea

There are so many Teas to choose from! Walk through the Kettler office and you are bound to catch a whiff of every kind. Flavoured green tea seems to be a favourite here.

Hope this has inspired you to go healthy at work. Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram about your new healthy snacks.

HIIT Workout: What, How and Why?

HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training has been all the rage over the last 5 years and is set to be one of the most popular exercise trends of the decade. Here at Kettler we like to keep on top of the latest crazes in the fitness world so we can cater our home gym equipment to what you want. Here is our guide to HIIT.

HIIT Workout: The What?

For years, Olympians and professional athletes have used HIIT (high-intensity interval training) to prepare for their sports, as if it were their little secret. But anyone can do it! To put it simply, High-intensity interval training is the opposite to, say, marathon running.

In a HIIT session, you go all-out and give 100% in short bursts of exercise followed by short periods of rest. This means you get a full exercise routine done in as little as 15 minutes, so you can continue on with your day.

HIIT Workout: The How?

It can be done anywhere and with any machine (or with no machine at all). For example, on an exercise bike: push yourself, flat-out, peddle, peddle peddle! Then rest. Stop completely or slow the peddling right down for an active rest. The focus is on getting your heart rate right up and then filling your body up with oxygen during the rest periods.

On average, a 15 minute HIIT workout, 3 times a week has better effects on your body than an hour of running – perfect for those with a busy schedule.

HIIT Workout: The Why?

So what are the benefits of HIIT. The quickness and convenience of it has been mentioned, but what does it do to your body?

  • Tones the muscles.
  • Boosts endurance.
  • Great for your heart.

Pushing your heart to it’s maximum has the same effect as pushing your muscles, increasing its productivity and strength. Also the high-intensity burns calories for longer, more than continuous exercise. Finally, it keeps training interesting. Tedium can destroy a workout. It stops you from exercising. With HIIT, it is simple to switch what you do from 1 exercise to the next.

If you are looking for a new, exciting way to improve your health, give HIIT a go. It’s short, sweet and great for your health!

What Are the Benefits of a High Incline Treadmill?

A treadmill is simple – we all know a treadmill. You turn it on, run, change the speed and stop. It is a good, simple and effective way to tone muscle. But what if you could tone more and progress faster? A high incline treadmill isn’t just a gimmick, it is the next step in fitness. But what are the benefits?

Extreme Muscle Toning

Any sort of incline challenges muscles further. A high incline treadmill tones the muscles much faster, improving quads, hamstrings, glutes and also ankle strength. A higher incline tones muscles and burns calories 5 times quicker for fast fat loss.

Improved Cardio

Without a strong cardiovascular system your muscles cannot work to their full potential. A strong heart will improve your endurance. The high incline treadmill pushes your heart rate even further than a normal treadmill, allowing you to push yourself and improve your health.

Prevents Boredom

Running on a treadmill in the house can lead to boredom – there is no escaping it. There is only so much you can stare at the pattern on your wallpaper while you run. Adding another level of difficulty keeps a workout fresh and exciting while providing a new challenge. Having the option of pushing the incline as far as you can go will keep an exercise routine exciting.

Variety

As well as adding a level of difficulty, the high incline design allows you to perform more than just a jog. You can include incline lunges, squats, high knees, side skips and straight skips in an exercise routine.

Up Hill Climbing in a Controlled Environment

Love hiking? It is a great way to improve muscle and keep healthy, however uneven ground and unpredictable weather can put a stop to things very easily. A high incline treadmill allows you to improve your leg muscles, preparing yourself for an outdoor hike, thus providing a safer foundation for when you step outside and take on any wide open space.

We Are On Pinterest!

As well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you can find Kettler on Pinterest! We have a choice of fun and inspirational pins to look through. Enjoy our wide range of boards, including:

  • Kettler Casual Dining.
  • Outdoor Living.
  • Indoor Fitness.
  • Kettler Toys.

Whether you need ideas for the perfect present, mesh garden furniture or gym equipment for the home, we update our Pinterest regularly with pins on our whole range. Follow us for new and exciting products in addition to ideas to improve your home and garden.

Enjoy the complete Kettler experience, where we showcase the absolute best of what we sell and also what we love.

Christmas Jumper Day!

Happy Christmas Jumper Day from Kettler!
They may look silly but they feel nice and cosy.

Top 3 Go-Karts Picks for this Christmas

With Christmas on its way here are Kettler’s top 3 Go-Karts for perfect presents Santa can bring your children:

The Dakar Air Kettcar Go-Kart from KETTLER's Toy range on a grey background.

Dakar Air – £249

  • Suitable for ages 5-10 years.
  • Adjustable, high back moulded seat.
  • Built dimensions: 125 x 72 x 67cm.
  • Awarded Best Outdoor Toy 6yrs+ 2015 by Loved By Parents.

The Barcelona Kettcar Go-Kart from KETTLER's Toy range on a grey background.

Barcelona – £199

  • Suitable for ages 5-10 years.
  • Handbrake controls for both rear wheels
  • Quality wheels with rubber tread.
  • Built dimensions: 125 x 67 x 67cm.
  • Awarded Best Outdoor Toy 6yrs+ and Best Ride On 6yrs+ 2014 by Loved By Parents.

The Suzuka Air Kettcar Go-Kart from KETTLER's Toy range on a grey background.

Suzuka Air – £179

  • Suitable for ages 4-8 years.
  • Adjustable moulded seat – No tools needed!
  • Scratch resistant frame.
  • Built dimensions: 112 x 64 x 62cm.

Kettler’s Tough Mudder

Our National Sales Manager for Fitness, David, took the Tough Mudder challenge, pushing himself to complete the psychical as well as psychological obstacle course or “Mud Run”.

David had this to say about his experience:

“Tough Mudder is a team event, with emphasis on the group achievement of its goal rather than individual performance. There is no official timing involved, the ethos is very much about helping and relying on other ‘Mudders’. I did the London South West event with my wife, Kate.

It is basically 10 miles of muddy terrain, with 25 obstacles between the start and finish. The obstacles range from high fences which you have to help others over, whilst relying on others to help you too; to ice cold containers which require complete submergence; to outright ‘mild’ electrocution. It was a far cry from the usual Saturday fare!”

David and Kate managed to get round in a fantastic 3:45 hours. David described the whole event as “good fun and something I’ll never forget”. Indeed.

Kettler Lights, Camera…ACTION!

Using a sprinkle of movie magic and a dash of Indian Summer, Kettler recreated a beautiful summer garden to film new product videos for next years’ brand new ranges. Not only did we shoot new products but also current garden furniture, including Kettler’s RHS Wood collection and the Palma Mini Set.

Fiolmeing the RHS Wood section

Birmingham based Slinky Productions helped us bring our ideas to life, shooting on location in some stunning gardens around the West Midlands. Our videos will showcase what makes Kettler garden furniture so special and allow people to get a closer look at our designs, materials and features.

Not only have we made videos for the garden furniture sets, but also our newest fitness products, including the high incline treadmill K2 and Arena treadmill (pictured below).

Filming in the studio for Kettler Fitness

Take a look through our website to see our new fitness products and look out for our new garden furniture coming soon…

Kettler to Distribute ‘Everdure By Heston Blumenthal’ BBQ Range

We are firing up the UK BBQ market as the UK and Ireland distributer of ‘Everdure by Heston Blumenthal’. Following a successful launch at SPOGA, Mike Westrup, CEO of Shriro Australia Pty Ltd, the leading Australian consumer products company that developed the range with Heston Blumenthal, and Paul Bevington, Kettler GB managing director, signed the deal.