Treat your Research Lab like a Separate/New farm.
Put 10 plots some place Visitors can get to easily. I put mine in the opening screen they see when visiting your farm. Why you may ask??
Because when you use the first visitor on a fresh plot that has been watered and fertilized, They they will make the plot "Multi-Harvestable". And you get credit for it without using your resources.
If you know something else that may help please post here.
Here are links to the two other discussions with more information.
Comment from player with good info.