Determinate vs Indeterminate Plants

As you plan out your garden, in addition to choosing your favorite fruits and vegetables, it's also important to understand whether each is determinate or indeterminate.
Tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, peas, peppers, and beans are just a few of the plants where this distinction is important. So, what's the difference?
Determinate plants are varieties that grow to a fixed mature size and yield one large round of harvestable produce. Once this wave has ripened, the plant will begin to diminish in vigor and will provide very little future production. These plants are genetically programmed to reach a certain size, flower, then stop growing.
Indeterminate plants produce fruits and vegetables in a continuous fashion. The main stem will keep growing and flowering even as fruits and vegetables are harvested.
If you want everything to come ripe around the same time, plant determinate varieties. If you prefer an on-going harvest, plant indeterminate varieties.