BELFAST — Weeds can seem a problem of biblical proportions to gardeners. A famous Bible parable, in fact, refers to them as from an “enemy.” Who wouldn’t agree?

Just in time for spring garden planning, Donna Coffin, Cooperative Extension professor at the University of Maine, will offer help in a free Belfast Garden Club lecture, Tuesday, March 21. Coffin will talk about how to identify and manage weeds.

The one-hour program, free to the public, is the fifth of nine garden club lectures for 2023.  Coffin’s lecture will be streamed live at noon in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street. Those who wish to join from home may attend via Zoom. For more information and to register for the Zoom link, visit

Weeds compete with garden crops for nutrients, moisture, and sunlight; they can reduce the quality and yield of fruits and vegetables; and they affect the enjoyment of the landscape. Coffin will review several methods — including physical destruction, competition, mulching, biological control and herbicides, organic and nonorganic — to keep weeds in check.

Coffin holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from the University of Maine. She currently serves as an extension educator, focusing on sustainable agriculture and home horticulture programming. Her statewide efforts have included Master Gardener volunteer training, new farmer training and livestock care.

She has authored a number of agriculture and home horticulture extension publications and also writes a regional farming newsletter and statewide beef newsletter.

Founded in 1928, the Belfast Garden Club promotes the knowledge and love of gardening, the protection of native flora and fauna, and the importance of civic beautification.