This is the first time this has ever happened in my gardens. The squirrels have taken the blooms off of three of our sunflowers before they really had much chance to open and had not set seed yet. They bit them off right at the top of the plant where they were close to the fence top. Have you heard of this before and what makes them do this??
The do this because sunflower heads are tasty. :) Yes, this is a common issue with squirrels. In the past, they may not have realized that the sunflowers were there, so did not bother them. Now that they know about them, you can expect that this will be an ongoing issue. This article will help with keeping them away:
I have 6 hydrangea bushes (large mopheads) in the same garden bed and exactly the same soil conditions and under the same watering conditions. Three are in full sun and three are in partial sun. All six have been in the bed for three years. Two of the bushes in the partial sun flower and one of the bushes in the sun flowers. The others don't. They have never been cut back. The growth is on the old stems. They have not been caught in a freeze. Only the dead branches were taken off. There is no sign of insect or leaf damage. In fact, the leaves of the non-flowering plants are beautiful. The soil has a lot of compost in it and it is mulched. Why don't all the plants flower? What can I do? Any help is appreciated. As I said they are all in the same beds. In fact, some are right next to each other.
The following article should be of some help to you: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/hydrangea/hydrangea-not-blooming.htm
We just noticed little red bugs with 6 legs and antenaes going up and down the stems of our sunflower like (much smaller) flowers that bloomed in early summer. They weren't on the leaves or under them. What could they be?
The little red bugs are aphids, which can be found in various colors but appear red on sunflower plants. Here is an article that you may find helpful:
How can I save sunflower seeds for planting next year?
Allow the flower heads to die down and then cut them off. If you have a problem with birds, cover the sunflower heads with netting. Place the heads in a dark area to dry and then remove the seeds, storing them in an airtight container or paper bag until ready for planting.
When can you harvest your sunflower to get sunflower seeds?
Once the flowerheads have dried, you can simply cut them from the plant and remove the seeds for replanting.
I planted sunflowers in my grandchildren's garden. My daughter said that there are ants all over the stalks of the sunflowers. Is there something on the stalks that attract the ants? Also, is there something that can be used as a deterrent without killing the ants?
If there are ants, there is a good chance that aphids are attracting them. Once you get rid of the aphids, the ants will go away. This article will help you with getting rid of the aphids: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/homemade-aphid-control-a-natural-way-to-kill-aphids.htm
I did not find any sunflower seeds this season to plant. What is the best time of year to plant the seeds? I live in NY about 50 miles north of the city.
Late spring and summer are ideal planting times for sunflowers. Here is an article that you may find helpful: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/sunflower/growing-sunflowers-in-your-garden.htm