Gardner was part of the Blacks Cats side that lost the Barclays Asia Trophy final to Manchester City on Saturday evening when the teams battled on a soaked surface.
That match only got the go-ahead following the intervention of Tottenham groundsman Darren Baldwin.
Although Sunday was sunny in Hong Kong, there has been more rain as well, so despite United cancelling a planned public training session, the chances of conditions improving to any great extent for Monday night's encounter with Kitchee FC were slim to non-existent.
And Gardner knows it will not be pretty.
"The pitch was absolutely horrendous," he said.
"It wasn't bad enough for the game to be cancelled but it was soft. It was dead.
"You couldn't pass the ball forward because it wasn't rolling properly and you were scared in case you passed it inside in case it stopped rolling.
"You had no choice but to hit it long."
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has admitted more stringent pitch preparation will be demanded of organisers when the Asia Trophy tournaments are arranged in future.
Although Hong Kong has been the venue for the four-team competition in three of the six occasions it has been held, a new 55,000-capacity stadium in Singapore is due to open in 2014, which would clearly be an alternative.
Not that this will help United on Monday evening, even if manager David Moyes has been putting a brave face on the final game of United's five-match pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia.
"Two teams have to play on it," said Moyes. "It is the same for everybody.
"We are used to playing on good surfaces and pitches but there was nothing the people in Hong Kong could do to make the weather any better. It was terrible for three or four days.
"It is drying out now, which might make it worse if it gets bobbly."