My wild strawberries started to sprout in early March. I started these late last summer and in the fall I covered them with leaves – not that it is necessary. They seem to be fine even though we’ve had a lot of frost here in Oshawa, ON Canada. It even snowed since I find these in early March and they are fine (I left it uncovered), but they just stopped growing. They should be left covered until all risk of a heavy frost is past.
Also, my lemon balm – which can be seen at the bottom left of the picture – came up as well. My garden sage, Greek oregano, and wild thyme also started to sprout in early March. So if you are in a climate with cold winters, leaves or mulch can really help your plants to grow in early spring even though you can’t see the plants hidden under it.