I was looking out over my lawn today and noticing that it is in need its first trim.
This means it is also time to "rally the troops" and do a good yard clean up. The winter and wind always does its job of cluttering the lawn with branches, pine cones, wind-blown trash, and the like. It also reminds me that every year, irregardless of how dutiful we are about the cleaning and clearing, the first time I mow (even on a high setting) I manage to run over and chop up a countless number of little sticks and occasionally hit a dirt "clump" from a mole tunnel. Nevertheless, I cringe at the thought of what it is doing to my blades...
Thus, my tip for the first spring mowing is this: Wait to get your blades sharpened until after the first one or two mowings. This way, all those sticks and other assorted debris you missed on clean up but your mower finds will nick your "old" blades.
By the time the blades are sharpened, the grass is really greening up, filling in nicely, and looks wonderful with an even cut from freshly sharpened and balanced blades.