Opinions on why these leaves do this


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This seems to happen to all my melons, two seasons in a row now. About the time they start fruiting the leaves begin to brown. By the time fruit is ripe, leaves are brown, withered, and gone. Cantaloupes, honeydew, crenshaw, and watermelons. Clay soil. Watering amount was my first suspect, but I have different watering zones with no remarkable difference.
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Even in warm weather? Constant 95+ days here.
You are correct in assuming that downy mildew is a cooler weather disease. Normally about 75F is the optimum maximum, but not always. DM is a wind born disease made much much worse by damp weather and watering staying on the leaves during NIGHTTIME hours. Cucumber Mosaic Virus looks very similar but it normally shows lumpy/bumby distorted leaves. Also, the leaves on both young and old leaves are typically smaller and curl downwards. CMV is spread by aphids and whitedflies. DM is not a fungus but rather a type of water mold caused by water staying on the leaves, primarily during nighttime hours in which the "spores" of this windborn disease lands on the wet leaf and begins reproducing. Most DM in Texas is caused by late afternoon overhead irrigation.
 

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