Tomatoes can grow in two main ways: determinate (bush) or indeterminate (vining).
Determinate tomato plants are more compact. When fruit sets the plant will stop growing—usually at 3-4’ tall—and the tomatoes will all ripen on the plant at around the same time. These tomato plants don’t need a lot of support.
Indeterminate plants will stretch out on vines. They can stretch to about 6’, but sometimes they can get up to 10’ or more. These plants will need something to climb on for support. Indeterminate tomatoes keep growing until the frost comes, and fruits will show up throughout the season for a continuous harvest instead of all at once.