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Watch for blossom end rot on your tomatoes. It starts as a leathery black spot on the bottom but can spread to cover as much as half of the fruit. It's a common disease when the weather is hot and dry. There's no treatment for blossom end rot, but you can prevent it by mulching around your tomato plants and making sure they receive regular, deep waterings.
If you've been thinking about digging into a community garden or are interested in seeing the fruits of group gardening efforts, check out the Parade of Community Gardens. The self-guided tour includes more than 40 gardens in the metro area. Many of the gardens will offer snacks, beverages, entertainment or take-home art projects for kids. There also will be an heirloom tomato festival and a beehive demonstration. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Download a map of all the gardens at www.gardeningmatters.org or call 612-492-8964.
The idea behind Loftwall divider screens seems so simple. The freestanding, movable partitions can create multiple areas inside open lofts or workspaces (and might be equally at home in a dorm room). The aluminum frame comes in 4-, 6- and 8-foot widths with panels in a choice of materials: wood laminate, translucent plastic, fabric or double-sided adhesive for customizing with your own material. Prices start at $590 for the 4-foot wall. To see an idea gallery and design planner or to order, go to www.loftwall.com.
This online retailer discounts brand-name merchandise, and has added the "Modern Classics" by angelo: Home to its inventory. (That cumbersome name might put you off, but the moderate price point, $249 to $649, most likely won't.) The initial 18 pieces, including sofas, ottomans, upholstered chairs and loveseats, are the work of Los Angeles designer Angelo Surmelis. The set of ottomans, shown, are 18, 23 and 28 inches in diameter and are covered with a woven poly/linen chenille; the set costs $290.
• Twiggs Home and Garden is relocating from its Chicago Avenue store to Linden Hills at the end of the month, reopening Sept. 16. at 4301 Upton Av. S. Owner Beth Patrin said she has signed a lease, taking over the space vacated this spring by Garden Sampler. Patrin said the newly renovated space, about 650 square feet larger than her current store, will allow her to expand offerings in the Roost, Aidan Gray, Unique Stone and Couleur Nature lines, among others. She said she also plans to add nature-inspired art from some local artists, and to offer more indoor plants, pots, greeting cards and vintage pieces. A 25 percent sale on all items except the Sid Dickens line runs through Aug. 28 at the current location, 4753 Chicago Av. The phone number, 612-823-8944, remains the same. Patrin plans a grand opening celebration in conjunction with her annual holiday open house, Nov. 5-7.
• Hoigaard's said it has sold its furniture business to Hom Furniture in order to expand its sporting goods offerings. The longtime St. Louis Park retailer of patio furniture and accessories has transferred its stock to Hom, which expects to integrate it into its existing Seasonal Concepts outdoor offerings next season. Hom Chief Executive Officer Rod Johansen said the purchase means Hom will gain new lines such as Brown Jordan and Summer Classics, for example. Hom said it will honor warranties on items purchased earlier through Hoigaard's.
If you're not content to remodel your own home, how about someone else's? Starting Thursday, you can log on to www.diynetwork.com/runmyreno to see certain home renovation projects and choose which design elements should be used to fix them. Yes, you can even pick the mantelpiece. Then 13 episodes of "Run My Renovation" will run in mid-2010, documenting the transformations.
Bob and Debby Wolk celebrated their 50th anniversary in an informal, interactive and festive way. The Minneapolis couple, longtime gardeners, planted 11 rain gardens, one for every yard on their block.
KIM YEAGER, CONNIE NELSON